Social media | Why use it?

Social media marketing for small businesses.

Using social media to spread the word.

Social media marketing is one of the most important type of internet promotion in which small business owners are generally promoting their particular products/services and brand names social media sites such as Zynga, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and so on.

Social media marketing has grown to be a crucial portion of internet promotion among small business owners because of its cost-effectiveness, capability to get to qualified people speedily and create more leads/sales. It is important for small business owners because of its inexpensiveness and capability to get to a large number of qualified people within a lesser amount of time and extremely little work. 

Social media marketing is the greatest instrument for small business owners to personalize their business. Socialmediatoday, 83% of buyers would prefer to get information from your business by using Zynga and 53% with Tweets. 

Together with more than half of the globe’s human population signed up having various social media platforms, the chances of finding buyers are generally pretty high when using social media. Just in 2013, 36% of those who involved marketing experts with their marketing plan found buyers by using Tweets, 52% by using Facebook and 43% by using LinkedIn.

Soon after knowing the main advantages of utilizing social media as a marketing tool, quite a few small business owners have got increased time and investment allocated to marketing via social media platforms. Social media marketing is a superb solution to assemble the little business’ manufacturer and increase the consumer bottom. For those who have not really commenced marketing with social media platforms for your corporation, get going and reap the benefits of it – coming from a organization view.

Networking Event – Success or Failure?

Success or Failure?

Last Wednesday I attended a Network After Work event in Providence, RI. It was my first networking event and I didn’t know what to expect. Now I am not sure if it was a success or failure.

It wasn’t really what I expected. The other attendees were not what I would call my “target market“. Small business owners were few and far between. I was hoping to increase the awareness of my business in my local area as I am trying to transfer from using Elance to attracting clients directly.

Here is the “But”, I did meet some key people who could compliment my services. Hopefully by developing this new connections I can build a mutually beneficial relationship with this other service providers as we share a similar target market.

Question is: Would that be a good idea? Hence my dilemma. These key decisions are so important to a business. There are both Pros and Cons to this. Trying to weigh them out will prove to be difficult.

Overall though, I feel my first event was a success. I got a chance to practice my networking skills and find my tactic to start conversations. I did meet some interesting people and heard how others are handling their various jobs and businesses. So the learning experience was worth it.

I have already started looking for other events in my area. But I will be a little more particular of which events I will attend. Networking is definitely an important part of building a successful business, but you have to pay attention to which events you are attending. If the event is not going to meet your overall goals, then the time spent there will not be productive. And unproductive time spent is a loss for your business.

Networking event…. this should be interesting.

Learning How To Network

For a long time I have known that I needed to actually leave the comfort of my computer chair and start interacting with live people. Over and over I have put it off, but the time has come…..the dreaded networking event.

I will be attending the Network After Work event in Providence, RI tomorrow night. I have my business cards ready to go. I’m fairly confident I know how to explain what I do (I hope). Part of prepping for this event was reading some articles on how to effectively network at an event, which was a REALLY good idea, as I came away with many things I never thought about.

The most difficult part of this for me is going to be remembering peoples names. I can remember passwords to a dozen different sites, but tell me your name and it will be gone from memory in minutes. Hopefully everyone will be wearing their name tags, cause I will be needing them.

I’m mostly looking at this as a learning experience. It will be interesting hearing from small business owners and what their concerns for the future are. Getting some much needed insight will help me better prepare for the pivot point I plan on making come the new year (more on that later).

Anyways, I would love to hear some stories (both good and bad) of how others have managed networking events. They say that misery loves company!

 

5 Amazing Stats of mobile usage

phone.jpg

More and more people are using this!

 

I was doing some research on the increasing usage of mobile smartphones and the numbers I found were staggering. Just American smartphone ownership has increased from 93.1 million in 2011 to 116 million in 2012. Imagine what the numbers will be for 2013?

Some other stats I found are:

  1. 4 out of 5 Americans use their smartphone to shop
  2. 70% of mobile searches lead to an action within 1 hour
  3. 75% of Americans admit to bringing their smartphone to the bathroom
  4. 40% of mobile users will choose another result if it is not mobile friendly
  5. 60% of all mobile searches are done on smartphones.

This is a market that cannot be ignored by any business owner. The potential of loss business is exponentially growing every year. It has reached a point of either get on board or get left behind. But this isn’t a market where you just want to go with the first solution you come across. Make sure to do your research of what is available to meet your specific business’s needs. Just cause something worked for someone else does not mean it is right for you.

Need more of a reason to start thinking about your  mobile marketing needs? Just watch this video:

If all this does not convince you to start getting your business ramped up for mobile maketing, I do not know what will.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have or just to discuss the future of the mobile market.

* Statistics can be found at:

The 5 Fundamental Pillars of Mobile Marketing For 2014

Retailers Carving Out Space in M-Commerce Market

Mobile Behavior Big Game Seating (a study with Surveymonkey)

 

Where I am at…..

So past couple of weeks have been hectic. Business has really been picking up (to where I even hired someone part-time), so apparently I am doing things right. I am now involved with marketing, call center support, and general assistant work. Most of my work comes through on Elance, which has gotten me thinking that I need to get more aggressive with my own personal marketing.

Which, to me, means really getting active with my social networking and starting to attend some local networking events. I’ve begun laying the plans for my growth going into the new year. Mostly setting goals of where I hope to be by the end of next year. From there I can develop plans to reach those goals (or even surpass them!).

So my question to everyone out there in the blog world….. where do you see yourself at the end of next year and how do YOU plan on reaching those goals? And of course…. do you need help with reaching those goals?

Email Campaign Results

Email

As those that follow me, I had been working on an email campaign for a client for the past few months (See Email1 & Email2). It took so long due to a time difference between Israel and I, but it has finally been sent out. We did a small campaign through InfoUSA of just 300 emails to see what kind of open and click through rates we would get. The results were on the lower end of what is average (6.42% open and 0.38% click through).

Looking over the results versus what I have learned I see a few errors I made, specifically with my subject line. It was too long and could have had a better catch. Going to redesign the email itself also. I need to add more social media content to it.

Overall, I am satisfied with the results. I know I can take what I have learned and apply it to the next round of emails. Looking to send 1000 this next round with the new changes applied. Hoping to reach a 10% open with a 1.5% click through rate this next time around.

It is a very time consuming process though. You really need to do your research about what works and what doesn’t. Pay attention to that subject line, as that is the big key to getting people to actually open the email. Also, most people view their email on their smartphones. So be sure to make sure your email will look good on a small screen (another lesson learned).

I’ll let you all know the results of round 2 in a few weeks.

Marketing To A Local Audience

Image

I have begun the task of marketing my computer repair business to my local community. I have a Google+, Facebook, and Pinterest account. I have a blog dedicated to computer repair. I’ve managed to get listed on Google Places, Yahoo Local, Yelp, SuperPages, and WhitePages. Amazing enough my pages rank on page 2 & 3 for my local keywords.

And for the first time I tried Facebook ads. Mostly because I started to create an ad and then changed my mind. But Facebook was kind enough to give me a coupon for $50 of free ads, so I went forward with it. Ad wording seems to be key here. My first day I got a lousy CTR, but changed up my ad copy and the past 2 days my CTR improved. I haven’t gained any new customers yet, but I am getting traffic through my website. That will at least help with my rankings on the search engines.

I have also done the old school ways of marketing……flyers. So far though…..no help whatsoever. I’m going to change up the flyer design to see if I can’t get a better response through that.

I’m also planning on running an ad in the local newspaper. That will be a story for another day. I’ll keep you all posted and if anybody has any tips for me, please share!

Differences in business culture…how does it affect you?

Sending an email campaign

Bombs Away!

As most of my followers should know, I have talked about putting together an email campaign for the company that I sell mobile marketing solutions for (see Launching An Email Campaign & Launching An Email Campaign 2). Well…after much debate and research it should finally go out this week.

Part of the problem with getting this email campaign off the ground was the differences between the main companies business culture and our culture here in the United States. When I first started offering virtual assistance services, I did not take into account how different cultures conduct business.

Especially when it comes to marketing a product or service. What may work here in the U.S. does not necessarily work in the U.K. Or in Asia. And not knowing that coming into this project made it that much more difficult to get this campaign off the ground. Neither of us understood the business culture of the other.

Now that we are on the same page, I think future marketing endeavors will go much smoother. But for those of you who are planning to move your product service to the global market, do your research. Cause the differences can be staggering.

Growth of the Mobile Market

Importance of a Mobile Marketing Strategy

Importance of a Mobile Marketing Strategy

T-Mobile’s 4G LTE Network Now Covers 154 U.S. Markets

 

A report by Mobile Marketing Watch says that T-Mobile, America‘s 4th largest carrier, is making strides in catching up in the mobile service provider industry. Their 4G LTE network now reaches 180 million people in 154 U.S. markets and are on target to expand that to 200 million people by the end of 2013. They currently have 17 devices that work on their LTE network and soon will be adding the Apple iPhone 5C & 5S to that lineup.

What does this mean for your business? It shows the growing importance of having an effective mobile marketing plan in place. As the speed of mobile networks increase, so will the number of people utilizing their mobile device for research and shopping. If your not in a position to take advantage of this shift, then you really should start working towards it. 

Their are several ways to manage your mobile marketing strategy. You can build custom apps for each phones operating system or go with a mobile optimized website. Their are also companies that combine the two aspects.

If you would like more information or some helpful hints on choosing a system that will work for you, please feel free to contact me at domenic.marchetti@cox.net.

5 Tips On Determining Your Target Market

Whether your planning on starting a small business or have already started, a crucial item is knowing who your target market is. Most likely you have already spent a lot of time planning your business (hopefully). A big part of that planning should include deciding who will be focus of your marketing efforts. Everybody wants as many people as possible to know about their product or service. But the more customers you want to reach, the more time and money it will take in order to reach them. Defining a target market might feel overwhelming to you, but just remember that it is a crucial part of your overall business plan. Selecting a target market will also help save you time and money in the long run. By focusing on a certain demographic of people who might be interested in your products or services will allow you to communicate with that segment more effectively.

Here’s how to get started:

1.) Review Your Business Plan –  Think about the needs that your products or services fulfill. Think about what makes your business different other companies providing similar products or services.  Now think about who might be interested and have a need for what you are offering. As you consult your business plan and decide who you want your audience to be, remember that it is ultimately about the customer. Don’t think about who you would like to sell to, think about who is looking for the products and services you offer.

2.) Conduct Research – You can begin by using secondary market research. Some sources you can use are:

US Economic Census

Encyclopedia Of Associations

ASAE

The best part of using secondary research is that someone has already done the work. Plus, most of the information is free. A shortfall of this information is that it may not be 100% useful for your business. No matter what, it is always a good idea to do some research. Trying to do marketing without the proper research is like throwing money out the window.

3.) Develop A Customer Profile –  This is an in-depth description of who your typical customer may be and includes demographic information that include age, gender, location, ethnic background, marital status, income, and more. It should also include psychographic information. Psychographic information goes beyond basic demographics and identifies more about a customer’s interests, hobbies, values, attitudes behaviors, lifestyle, buying patterns and more. Both of these types of information are crucial for developing your customer profile. Demographic information is used to identify who will buy your product or service and pychographic information will explain why they may buy your product or service.

4.) Find Out How To Connect – After you have identified who your target market is, you will need to find out how to connect to them. You will need to find out what kind of websites they visit and which social networks they use most often. Are they constantly on their mobile device? Do they use a lot of apps?  Do they read papers or magazines? If so, what papers or magazine do they read? By knowing this information and putting it into your customer profile will help you know how best to spend your marketing dollars.

5.) Monitor Your Marketing Efforts – The work doesn’t stop after you have determined your target market and have a plan in place to reach them. Marketing is a continuing evolving system that requires constant monitoring. You will want to know how your current marketing is working, what you can do to improve it, and how you plan to market into the future. Part of this is being aware of how your customers are evolving as people. Have ways of tracking your sales, quality assurance, requests for more information, and more.This is the information that will help you stay on top of trends, patterns, and areas that need improvement. All of which will change as your business grows.

%d bloggers like this: