12 Ways to Incorporate Social Media into Your Next Event

If you are attending or exhibiting at an upcoming event, be sure to prepare an online marketing strategy to help you plan for it, as events are a great opportunity to build awareness and promote your organization online. There are many online channels you can use for event promotion, but we would advise you to incorporate social media. Social media is a key resource for promotion and engagement, and by executing the following steps, you will set your organization up for marketing success.

Let’s start by taking a look at the promotional aspect…

Before the Event:

  • Create and/or engage in a hashtag. Create buzz by giving the event a special online presence with this way of categorizing tweets.
  • Does the event have its own social media presence? If so, make your presence known there as well. Post on the Facebook event page, tweet using the event’s account and hashtag.
  • Make your schedule of events social-friendly. Allow users to “check-in” to venues. Make sure all blog posts related to the event can be easily shared on social networks and via email. The schedule should either be on a dedicated mobile page or on a page that was designed in responsive.
  • Spread the word elsewhere online. Make sure your colleagues and peers blog about the event and be sure to have an email campaign focused on it, or maybe even a webinar. Press releases are great too.
  • Keep it conversational. Be sure to ask open-ended questions regarding the event that generate a response. Use social media as an opportunity to gauge interest in the event, take surveys regarding what should be featured, and use it as a forum to field questions. This also gives a chance for organizations to retweet users’ responses in order to build a “word-of-mouth” hype.
  • Keep a countdown running. Don’t overwhelm your followers with information and messages only about the event, but be sure to have it mentioned and remind the users of it daily.

During the Event:

  • Take pictures of everything. Just when you think you’ve taken too many photos, take some more! People want to feel like they’re at the event, almost to the point where they feel like they didn’t miss out at all just by following you on social networks. Document everything as it will provide great blog content for your official site later on. Ask attendees to do the same and post on Twitter using the hashtag.
  • Take videos of all possible content. If anything, it’s great for your organization’s YouTube channel, but can also liven up a post-event blog entry. Also, it helps you sell future events.
  • Make your location known. If you’re attending a large scale event, make sure your followers know exactly where to find you. Tweet what room you’re in, what booth you’re at, and always use the hashtags so people know what you’re referring to. Even landmarks are helpful!
  • If people aren’t seeing you, MAKE them notice you. Engage with others at the event via social media so they feel compelled to come and find you. Search the event’s hashtag and interact with those participating so you already have some background with people when you meet in person.
  • Did you just meet someone you want to remember? Make them remember you. Engaging with and commenting to people via social media is the new “collecting of business cards.” No need to try to remember who you hit it off with at the conference, as long as you stay engaged with them through social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Tell everybody what happened. Write detailed and lively summary blogs for your organization, and leave no detail out.

Once it’s all said and done, your organization will have not only been an active participant on the conference room floor, but online as well. Promoting events via social media benefits you, your organization, and the event. There’s no better way to consistently engage and converse with others while spreading your organization’s name across multiple channels.

Be sure to incorporate as many of these steps as you can at your next event. If you need a plan, contact us for help. Good luck and enjoy!

Avoiding the Black Hole of Prospects – When to Walk Away

Yes, you have worked really hard on this potential deal. Yes, you have spent countless hours communicating with this prospect. Yes, it is hard to walk away. But, it may just be time to let this one go. Whenever you are developing a relationship with a potential lead, a lot of time and effort most likely goes into it. But sometimes it’s just not enough and this prospect is not worth your time. Here are a few signs that should tell you its time to walk away:

Focused Solely on the Numbers

Numbers and prices are obviously a big part of any sale. But, that should come after a relationship has been formed. If a prospect is asking about the price and costs of everything right off the bat that most likely means they are already leaning on a different product or service, or are not interested in learning about what might actually be best suited for their needs. They want a quick solution that won’t break the bank and are not ready to take the time to find the right one.

Not a Decision Maker

At the end of the day, it is a decision maker that will close the deal with you. While communicating with a prospect, ask yourself if this person can actually make the decision. Do they know everyone that is involved? Can they tell you what they see for the future, after this deal is made? Are they openly communicating with you or relaying messages to someone else in their company?

Choosing an End Date

Make sure the prospect can give you an end date or period of time where they would like to start utilizing your product or service. If it is too open-ended or they appear to be dragging their feet they will most likely not close a deal any time soon. The last thing you want is emails or phone calls going back and forth for months on end with no positive end result.

Do They Understand What They Want?

When forming the relationship with a prospect, part of it is the understanding what exactly they are looking for. Can this person, in detail, express the needs of his or her company? Talk is cheap when it is broad and unhelpful. To best fit their needs and yours, you need to know what exactly they are looking for.

Fail to See the Value

You know your product or service is of value, but do they? Sometimes a prospect might not see the true value that your product or service will bring to them. If they need constant reminders and convincing then just maybe it is not the right fit for them. If they fail to see the value, then there most likely is no value in continuing to sell to them.

Lack of Communication

One of the easiest signs to a sale going nowhere is a lack of communication. If they are simply ignoring all of your emails or phone calls, or there are large gaps of time between responses then odds are they are uninterested. In selling, persistence is key. But, after a certain point, the time spent attempting to communicate with an uninterested prospect, is better served building a relationship with someone else.

Are They a ‘Yes Man?’

Communication is a two-way street. At first, you want to listen and research as much as possible to make sure you understand their needs. But, when it comes time to demonstrate and explain your product and service, what is their response? Are they asking questions and clarifying details? Do they seem engaged? Or are they simply nodding their head and going along with whatever you say? If it is the latter, interest in your particular product or service is probably low. By asking questions and having a dialogue, the prospect is truly deciding if it is right for them. If they stop asking questions or agree with whatever you are saying, then they are most likely already thinking about a competitor and have become dispassionate.

 

Now, if you are witnessing some of these signs, it may be time to walk away. But, that does not mean cut off all future communication. Times change and down the line, they may in fact be in need of your actual product or service. Keep the relationship you have built whether small or strong and follow up once again down the road to gauge if things have changed.

In the meantime, do not waste your time falling into the black hole of prospect chasing. Stay on top of solid leads and don’t waste time with those who are not serious about doing business.

Market What You Can Do for the Small Business Owner

When offering different merchant services to small businesses, give them the best. From merchant accounts to marketing and social media, show why you are better. With that in mind, are you doing that these days? If not, why is that? Be the vendor who makes the small business owner feel like you’re the best outsourcing choice. That said, marketing plays a major role in such tasks.

Be the Small Business Provider That No One Else Can Be

To be that small business provider that no one else is, pass any vetting done by business owners. Some of the important traits you want to have:

1. Respect

Why is it that your brand gets respect more so than others? It may be because you offer products and/or services that are superior to your competition. For instance, do you have a merchant solution that is worth one’s time in preventing chargebacks? If so, you’ve got a winner on your hands. For those not aware, chargebacks can cost businesses millions of dollars. In running a small business, the owner allows customers to use their credit cards. In turn, some of those customers fail to make the payment. They decide they do not want the item(s) purchased or never intended to pay for them in the first place. Either way, the small business owner receives the bill. If you offer a merchant solution for this or other such problems, let small business owners know. You can market your brand through blog posts, press releases, social media and more.

The goal is to show small business owners why your products and services are more respected.

2. Authority

As a business owner sees a vendor looking authoritative, that vendor has an advantage. You can earn authority in many ways. One of them is by writing stellar blog content for your website. You can also try and get that content published on other sites as a guest blogger. As more small business owners read the great things that you and your brand do, they are more inclined to reach out. Having an authoritative look and feel can do wonders for your image and sales revenue. As such, market that authority any chance you get.

3. Results

What good are you to any small business owner if you can’t show results? Your results should bring in increased sales and revenue for various companies. Do your best to promote your track record of success. Press releases, social media, and even video are all great resources. You can also include such results in some of your social networking efforts. By showing small businesses that you are the ones for the job, your phone or email should heat up.

With those tips in mind, are you doing enough marketing to show what you can do for the small business owner.

 

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers marketing and business topics on the web.

4 Tips for Better Marketing of Your Website

Doing all you can to market your company’s website should always be a top priority as a business owner. Pre-Internet; most business owners relied on word-of-mouth and marketing to get business. When turning the clock forward a couple of decades ago, the debut of the Internet literally changed the business world. For many business owners, this meant marketing in a different way, one that’s helped countless businesses succeed.

If you have been wondering how to go about better marketing for your website, it is not all that difficult. With the right focus on spreading the word, your business can reach to new heights. Those heights can end up being quite lucrative at the end of the day.

Make Your Website Stand Out

When it comes to making your website stand out from that of the competition, it all begins with a plan. For individuals entering business in the last decade or two, were they thinking no website was necessary? If so, you’ve likely woken up to the reality of the situation.

In starting a business, one of the first things business owners need to focus on is having a quality website. This starts by looking at where to buy domain names. It is important to remember that the right domain name for your company is crucial. Not only do you want a name that differentiates you from competitors, also have one easy to remember. One of the great things with domains is you won’t pay an arm and a leg for them. Shop around, searching for the best domain provider out there.

Once that important chore is behind you, the next big task ahead is marketing your new website. Stellar marketing has to be a top priority. If it isn’t, you will find it hard for your site to rank high on Google and other search engines. In turn, you will make it harder for consumers to locate you.

Pixabay

Market Like There is No Tomorrow

In marketing your website, zero in on these four keys:

1. Resources

Use any and all resources to market your site. Although some marketing campaigns will cost money, others are free. Should you decide to work with an outside marketing firm, be sure to research them ahead of time. Even though there are some fantastic marketing firms out there, you want only the best.

2. Content

Anyone who knows anything about websites understands the important aspect content plays. If lax on writing and posting marketing content, you’re already behind the eight ball. Once again, you may end up having to go outside of your company, seeking the help of a freelance writer. If that is the case, review them as you would any other firm you think about doing work with. Also make sure that any and all blog content written gets promoted on social media.

3. Social media

In putting social media to work for your website, remember social networking is available to you 24/7. As a result, there is no reason you should not be using it. Another important factor with social media is that quantity overrides quality. This means you do not have to be on half-a-dozen or more social sites to get the full impact of it. You are better off when you focus in on one or two sites that make the most sense for your business, and then put all your time and effort behind them. Often, you are best-served on Facebook or Twitter, the number one and three sites worldwide.

4. Customers

Never forget the important role your customers can play in helping to market your website. It is your customers that oftentimes know you better than anyone else. Let them help market you and your brand, especially to their family members and friends. In case you worry that many of your customers won’t be too excited about marketing you, give them some incentive. By offering different specials and deals, you will have more energetic customers. Marketing your website is something that isn’t a choice, it is a necessity.

When you put your mind to it, the possibilities are literally endless.

 

 

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers marketing topics on the web.

4 Keys to Guest Posting Success

Whether you guest post regularly or it is something you truly need to do more of, knowing the various benefits that guest posting offers is something you should definitely be on top of.

That said is your brand doing all it can with guest posting? For instance, have you reached out to countless blogs to see if you can guest post to them on a regular basis? If not, why is that? Some business owners will state that they do not have the time (or patience for that matter) to do all that reach out, only to have many publishers come back and respectfully decline. In the process, the former are denied yet another opportunity to promote their brands.

In the event guest posting has not been a big priority for you up to this point and time, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to change that thinking moving forward, allowing you to grow your website traffic. So that you know how to best take advantage of guest posting for your brand, remember these four tips:

1. Identify a message

What exactly are you looking to accomplish with guest posting in the first place?

If you’re on top of your game, you know that guest posting can direct more eyes towards your website–traffic that very well can turn into dollar signs sooner rather than later. That said make sure your message is loud and clear. When guest blogging; don’t make it all about your brand.

For one, there’s a good chance many publishers will not run your guest post if it comes across as too self-promotional. Google and other search engines are likely to penalize too, so be wary of posts where it is heavy on the “me” factor and light on the “we factor. Rather write the posts to help consumers learn more about your general industry, giving them information they may have trouble finding elsewhere.

Lastly, you can still run a link back to your website, one that doesn’t come across as spam.

Credit: Pixabay

2. Write with Authority

Keep in mind that both publishers and consumers like reading articles with some meat to them. That said, always look to write with authority when providing guest posts to others. While guest posting for your marketing needs, you still need to consider the needs of those you are talking to.

What can your audience learn from each and every guest post you craft? Will they have a guest post to read that they simply can’t find anywhere else? Finally, will your post resonate with them months after it has gone live?

When you write with authority, you stand a much better chance of being recognized as authoritative and relevant, two keys to success oftentimes in the business world.

3. Promote your posts

When you guest post for other sites, you can’t fall down on the job in terms of promoting those efforts on social media. Be sure you promote those posts without any reminders from publishers, doing it on your own because you know about the benefits that will come from it.

As an example, if you tweet out a guest post on Twitter that you (or your company) have authored, it stands to reason that other folks on Twitter (some following you and those seeing the relevant hashtags) will retweet your post. With that occurring, your post (and your brand) now gets more attention.

4. Keep chugging along

Last but not least, guest posting takes time and effort. Yes, that also translates into being committed. It can be easy after doing a few guest posts to figure you made some inroads, so no need to write for a period of time.

Unfortunately, guest posting doesn’t work that way. In order to have a real impact with guest posting, you have to keep hammering away time and time again with the articles. Always do your best to not only keep the ideas and the posts coming, but also to know what your message should be to those consumers you haven’t reached just yet.

 

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes about marketing and business topics on the web.