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Posts Tagged ‘social media’

3 Ways to Engage Your Customers

December 27, 2011 1 comment

By Heidi Adams

CONTESTS:English: Peanut butter cookie with a chocolate...

Run a contest in-store or on Facebook or BOTH to promote a new item you’re going to carry.  Perhaps give consumers the chance to name it.  Name this new cookie flavor and win, a month’s supply.

If you’re not in the cookie business you could have them guess the amount of something or come up with the next promotion themselves.  It’s a great way to get feedback.   The prizes don’t have to be expensive, remember you’re catering to people who already like you.  Something like a gift card or even merchandise you were going to put on sale anyway works fine in this instance.

GIVEAWAYS:

If you’re like a lot of small businesses, you are trying to grow your online following.

Post from the Madison College Libraries page.

A fun thing to do on a Facebook Fan page is a give-away.  The giveaway would be randomly drawn from your list of fans once you reach a certain number.  For example, the Madison College Library wanted to reach at least 600 likes and they chose to give away a nook color once they reached that number.

Another tactic is to do smaller prizes but more of them – an example would be “help us gain 20 fans by the end of the week and we’ll give away a $15 gift card.”

If you’re a business that works with vendors frequently, you might be able to ask for some free product to help promote.  It’s always a great way for them to advertise, too.  “We got a set of widgets from our widget vendor, comment on this post and be entered to win them.”

THANK-YOU’s:

So you thanked the customer after they paid for their merchandise.  What about when they got home, or even the next month to see if they are still happy with their purchase? You might think it’s excessive, but if done the right way it will build your relationships.

Here is an example,  you up-sold the customer at your salon on a new shampoo that would work for them.  What about emailing them or better yet- Facebook messaging them to get their opinion?  You could word it like, “Thanks again for coming in last week!  What do you think about that new brand, is it working for you? Let me know what you think”

If you have the customer snail mail address, write them a letter, “Thanks for doing business with us. We hope that welder is getting some good use, let us know how it’s going and send us a pic of your work!”

In this rough economy a little goes a long way.  Be sincere and say thanks!

If you have ideas or thoughts on customer engagement comment below or write us an email: itrendmadison@gmail.com

2 local organizations for social media help

December 23, 2011 Leave a comment

by Heidi Adams

I think we’ve all heard the saying it’s not what you know it’s who you know?  I think that in the case of social media that is even more true.  Sometimes networking offline is just as important as sitting at your desk tweeting.

There are two organizations in the community that make a point to do offline networking to improve their members’ online influence. You aren’t required to be a marketing professional or even a social media professional to be a part of these organizations. If you’re a new comer to social media or a pro the meetings and events provided by these organizations is a are great opportunities to bounce ideas off of professionals and peers.  Social media tools, trends and tips are discussed and networking is inevitable.

Social Media Breakfast:

Linkedin.com : Social Media Breakfast – Madison

Twitter: @smbmad

Facebook: facebook.com/socialmediabreakfastmadison

Website: www.socialmediabreakfast.com

Email: smbad@gmail.com

Who are they?

Social Media Breakfast is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2007.  Originally it started in Boston and there are now over 40 cities around the world that have their own chapter.  The Madison Chapter was founded in 2009.

On the Madison Chapter’s website the mission statement is front and center, “Early morning meetings with a focus on education, networking and caffeine”.

What do they do?

Since one of the goals in their mission statement is education, events put on by this organization are a great forum for learning about social media. SMBMad has an early morning meeting every 3rd Wednesday of the month at varying locations. Events range from speakers, panels or work sessions. It is a great opportunity to network face to face.  Best practices are discussed and reviewed at these meetings.  Registration for these meetings is required and you sign up via Eventbrite.  (Search for Social Media Breakfast Madison) The events are typically free due to sponsorship for businesses in the community.

In addition to the face to face meet-ups SMBMad keep an updated Twitter, Facebook and Linked In feed.  Discussions on what to meet about next or job openings are just some of the things discussed. Blogs from some of the board members are posted to the Linked In group feed as well.

Social Media Club, Madison:

Linkedin.com : Social Media Club of Madison (MadisonSMC)

Twitter: @MadisonSMC

Facebook: facebook.com/MadisonSMC

Google+: Social Media Club of Madison

Website: madisonsmc.org

Email: MadisonSMC@gmail.com

Who are they?

The mission statement of the Social Media Club National Organization is, “to expand digital media literacy, promote standard technologies, encourage ethical behavior and share best practices.”  The local Madison branch states on its site that they “focus on networking within the group” and goes on to say “we like to include a social media tool focus.”

The national group was started in San Francisco in 2006. Membership in the local branch is free and there are varying degrees of membership for the national organization.

What do they do?

Monthly events are held after business hours from local sponsors.  The last event was at The Madison Club .  Prior to that there was a meet up at AJ Bombers to socialize and raise money for the local group.  Other past events have included panel discussions, speakers and even pub-crawls with Foursquare.

It is suggested to register for these events and registration is available via Eventbrite. (search for MadisonSMC)

They also have active Twitter and Facebook pages that focus on social media trends and local topics.

QR Codes Track Ad Effectiveness

December 13, 2011 3 comments
Written By: Steven Krause
Have you been noticing these coded squares popping up almost everywhere you look? They are on street posts, in magazines, newspapers, flyers, billboards, business cards, and web pages.  Pretty much everywhere I look these days I see one of these coded squares staring me in the face. Well, if you don’t know what this is, it is a quick response code or a qr code and you’d better get used to seeing them. It is one of the latest and more unique forms of advertising that’s sweeping the smart phone society we live in today.
If you own a smart phone, like the majority of society does today, you can download a mobile app called a qr code reader and use your smart phone to scan boxes like the one above. It will open a browser on your smart phone and take you to whatever company that produced the qr code website to view either products, promotions, or contact information the company or individual wants to provide to the public.
According to beqrious.com, there are estimated to be more than 53 million smart phone users in the United States that all have the capability to download qr code reader apps allowing users to scan qr codes.   Business owners have the ability to generate these qr codes for free and use them to link smart phone users to their blogs, web sites, social media pages, articles, product pages, or pretty much any information you want to communicate or advertise to the many people who own a smart phone. This unique new form of advertising is an emerging trend in the advertising world.  The best part about it for business owners is that it is free to generate these codes. This cheap new form of advertising is also easier to measure effectiveness as compared to traditional advertising strategies like magazine ads, newsletters, TV commercials, and radio ads, because it keeps track of the number of scans each code has undertaken. Also according to beqrious.com the amount of information a company can provide within the qr code is limitless in terms of length, size, and space, whereas with traditional media you would have to pay for additional airtime and advertising space.
With the mobile hand-held internet capabilities available today, qr codes allow for a more interactive experience for users to view advertisements. In the article, “QR Codes Track Ad Effectiveness” written by Libby Vertz, Vertz writes about how qr codes helped the Municipal Credit Union in New York wanted to make a more interactive experience for their members with their advertising creating to a more memorable message for the viewers. The article also stated that the qr codes created over 150 click-throughs on their web site showing that their members appreciated the ability to get information quickly through their smartphones. Credit Union Magazine QR Codes Track Ad Effectiveness.
This would be an effective and cheap way for small businesses to provide an interactive way to advertise to the masses. With the majority of the public owning a smartphone these days, this would be an effective way to jump start a small business, by providing smart phone users a way to view your products, web page, contact information, promotions, etc. Also, by being able to measure it effectively, by monitoring web traffic that is directed from the qr code scans, it makes it easy for business owners to tell if the campaign was a success or not. By not knowing where the qr code will take them until after they have scanned it also gives business owners the ability to capture or attain new customers simply by smart phone users being curious about where the code will lead them. With qr codes the possibilities are endless. With the large number of smart phone users today this form of advertising provides a large reach and high ad frequency potential that could be an effective way for small businesses to spread awareness and get their name out there.
If your business isn’t currently using this form of advertising I strongly recommend that you take advantage of this new medium before you get left in the dust.