Tag: Social Media Marketing

#DevelopStrategy – Relationship Life Cycle

This month we covered the differences in both relationship marketing and lead generation. While both of these have a place in your marketing strategy, in this article I want to focus more on relationship marketing and what I like to call the Relationship Life Cycle.
As a refresher, relationship marketing is essentially fancy terminology for the practice of developing a long-term connection with your customers, clients, vendors and power partners. Instead of focusing on gathering a lead or closing a sale, the aim is to provide a bond with the people you work with. The long-term benefits of relationship marketing tend to be more referrals, client enthusiasm and the development of brand advocates.
The course of the relationship life cycle is closely tied to the ole marketing adage of Know, Like, Trust.  If the new way to market a company is backed by the idea that people do business with other people (instead of companies) then the know, like, trust concept is absolutely essential. Here is how the relationship life cycle would apply to your marketing strategy using social media:
Know
The first step in any relationship is getting to know the other person. You simply can’t make a connection with someone you’ve never met and know nothing about. Think of it like dating – once you start to know a potential suitor then your curiosity will lead you to finding out as much about them as possible.
Whether it be an introduction at a networking event, a discovery call, or a visit to your website – getting to the Know step involves getting to know each other. When it comes to social media, this appears in the form and following your various social media channels. People can also get to know you by hearing about you from others, meeting you at events, reading your online content, or viewing any media you’ve been featured in. Once someone starts to know you, and gets a sample of what you are about, then they are more likely to sign-up for your newsletters, like you on Facebook or follow you on YouTube.
Like
Well, now that you’ve gotten a chance to spend some time with the individual – you have to decide whether or not you like them. In our dating scenario, are they worth going out on a date or two with to see what develops? Do you like them enough to begin to participate in their life?
Those who are paying attention to what you are doing will either begin to like you or they won’t. However, once you hit the Like stage you will find that they begin to initiate some true social media engagement with you. They like your posts, comment in your group, or participate in your polls.  This phase of the relationship life cycle involves interaction so be sure to participate in return!
Trust
Now you’ve gone on many dates and have been seeing each other for a while. At this point, they are becoming a partner and you have developed trust in them. You like them so much, that you want your friends and family to like them too! At this point, you are sharing their content.
This is the end game for the relationship life cycle…you want all the people you do business with to know, like and trust you. The goal should be that they trust you so much that they freely, and happily, share your content and business with the other people in their circles.
When you compare the relationship life cycle to how we operate with our personal relationships, the success behind relationship marketing becomes much more apparent. Our clients become more than an invoice. If you want loyal clients that will regularly provide free marketing for you, this level of connection is the way to go. Just another tool to add to your marketing strategy toolbox because everyone here at The Social Media Advisorwants you to #BeAwesome at what you do!
~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 
Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#Develop Strategy – Why Strategy in Your Marketing is Important

When you are running a small business it can be difficult to maintain all the different facets of running a successful company. Owners need to manage the work, the clients, the numbers, the team, and the marketing. It can be both daunting and overwhelming. Many entrepreneurs and business owners simply overlook marketing due to a lack of time, energy or experience. However, business growth is dependent on your marketing strategy. 
Business Plan
First, you need to have a plan. The more detailed your plan the easier it will be to set measurable and achievable goals. Your plan should incorporate what you intend to do during the year – the amount of work, the level of profit, staffing, expenses, purpose and messaging. Leave no rock uncovered when you sit down and develop your plan. This will include your marketing strategy for the year. 
Branding & Storytelling
What a lot of business owners don’t understand about their brand is that it exists whether you develop it or not. How the public views you, and your company, makes up the elements of your branding. Owners that ignore this fact will find that the public has 100% control over how their work is perceived. Smart companies understand the power of creating a business message – a method of storytelling for work – that projects the image that business owners want their staff, clients, competition and the general public to associate with their work. Understanding your own brand and company story is the first step in developing a marketing strategy.
Target Audience
We no longer live in an age where we market our services to everyone. Traditional advertising is slowly becoming a marketing tool of the past. Why? Because it is ineffective to sell to a wide group of people without narrowing down the demographics. Want an effective marketing strategy? You need to hone down exactly the type of people that make your ideal client. The time and effort involved in sales and marketing should be utilized only in areas where your target audience works, plays and relaxes. If you don’t have a picture of your ideal client, then you need one right away.
Types of Marketing
Now that you know your message and where your clients hang out, you need to determine the types of marketing that will be most effective for what you do. This will be different for every business. The variety of marketing options feels endless. This list alone will have your head swimming. 
In 2016, online marketing is the place to be. This means social media marketing and content marketing are huge right now. Building a mailing list (or funnel) is another area that many marketing experts say is essential for your business. Developing content and booking stages is a type of marketing as well, called influencer marketing, and can be quite effective for establishing expertise and presence. Relationship marketing is a great way to build a village of partners that are invested in you and what you do. 
This article showcases a study that proves the younger generation does utilize social media when it’s time to make purchasing decisions. Another reason that demonstrates how knowing your audience is vital. 
Marketing Plan
Having an editorial schedule with goals and focus for your content, messaging and social media is practically essential.  If you are not certain which direction to take, do some initial experimentation. For instance, you can concentrate on one type of content or platform each month, while maintaining your other marketing channels.  If you switch it up and continue focusing on different platforms over a 3-6 month period, you can see which platforms are doing the best for you and get a better understanding of each option. 

If you know one choice will work well for your business, focus your energies on developing that area first and then slowly begin incorporating other channels. Often it’s better to do one thing well than to do a variety of marketing tactics on a sub-par level.
Networking
Networking is another way to grow your circle of connections.  You can do this both on- and offline.  Recommendations back and forth are extremely beneficial.  You can also reach out to your network if you have questions about how to get the most out of your marketing, social media platforms, content and emails.  You might have a connection who is masterful in a certain aspect of marketing you are you’re interested in.  You and your connection might work in the same industry, but have different niches.  If you both have blogs, you can refer to each other in your content. This is a great way to develop both referral and power partners for your business, not just new clients!
The best advice is to have fun!  Think of your marketing strategy as an adventure.  You will learn so much about how you want your business to look, feel and present itself to the world. 

Having trouble creating your company’s story? Don’t have a clue how to put together an editorial calendar? Just don’t have time to deal with all the little tasks involved with staying on top of your marketing strategy? Give the team at The Social Media Advisor a call – we specialize in small business marketing strategy development!

~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 


Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#TeamBuilding – Finding the Right Social Media Team

A true sign that you have finally started making waves in your business is when you get to the point that you need to add people to your team. Being the CEO of every aspect of your business only works for so long. In order to grow professionally, you will need to bring people into the fold that can manage various areas of your work. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners find that they actually become more profitable once they begin to delegate certain time consuming aspects of their business to team members.

Why do you need a social media team?
Social media marketing is definitely an area that many companies, especially those without internal marketing staff, look to experts for assistance.  To be effective at social media, there are several factors that go into consideration:
  •        Must understand the different social media platforms, the best times to post, the demographics, the purpose, and the individual tactics and lingo.
  •        Need to remain consistent in social efforts since a lapse in content will cause a loss in followers.
  •        Knowledge of advantageous social media practices and concepts such as like/know/trust, 80/20 rule, prospecting, analytics and platform advertising is extremely helpful.
  •        Keeping on top of engagement such as thanking people who share content, responding to messages, and being reciprocal with favorites and likes is a necessary element of generating followers in social media.
  •        Understanding the various social media tools to help automate certain elements of social and save time.
  •        Responding quickly and appropriately to any bad review or other potential social media crisis. 

That is a lot to keep on top of for just one task. Unfortunately, to be truly efficient at social media, all of these elements need to be handled on a regular basis.
So, who do you want on your team?
You have some options. You can hire a full-time person in house just to handle social media. Most companies aren’t quite big enough yet to justify a full time staff member. This means outsourcing the work to a social media company who will give you a plan based on your business needs and who will be able to maintain most of this for you.
What you may find when you are seeking your own social media manageris that they tend to specialize in different areas. Some of them are experts in a specific field or niche. Others are great on content creation but may not tackle engagement. There are companies out there that offer all of the above. Make sure you know what type of assistance you are looking for before you begin interviewing potential social professionals.
The tasks can also be divided into different fields or specialties. It’s possible to hire a content creator to write, design and publish various content but then also bring a SEO expert on board to get the most bang out of that content. If you are attempting to build a tribe or community, hiring someone to manage your engagement should be the goal. There are other possible roles such as a public relations individual or expert at reputation marketing to manage your online presence, a data driven team member focused on analyzingresults, or a IT person well versed in web development and coding for blogging and website assistance.
Don’t hire a team member or company that can only provide pieces of what you are seeking. There are enough people out there in the field that finding one to meet your needs should not be too difficult.
Remember that your social media marketing is a part of your brand. The story you tell in social media is vital to how the public views you and what you do. If you think of social as anything other than elaborate storytelling in order to build relationships, then you don’t really understand what social media can accomplish.
Want to learn more about social media and storytelling? Contact The Social Media Advisor team. We’d love to chat with you about how you can #BeAwesome online!
~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagramand the tools to manage them.


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