The e-commerce market continues to grow at a healthy rate worldwide as customers take advantage of varied channels for online orders across product categories. In 2016, total retail sales across the globe will reach $22 trillion, up 6.0% from the previous year. eMarketer estimates sales will top $27 trillion in 2020, even as annual growth rates slow over the next few years.
If you’re engaging with your target audience on any level via social media, whether for business development or promoting your brand, that is social selling. If you thought you could use social media to interrupt people’s lives with cold and hard sells, think again. Social selling is all about providing opportunities for your ideal buyer to know, like, and trust you as an individual and get to know you over time. Social selling is not about selling at all. It’s about warming up your prospects, building relationships and establishing trust.
Once upon a time, a business had a story. Prospects and customers connected to it; they found it personal, telling, truthful and relevant. That’s what made it a good one. Just like every person has his own story, so does every business. You can use storytelling to get your target customers’ attention and resonate with them on an emotional level. It works in every niche because it relies on human psychology. Our brain is hardwired to respond to a story.
One of the trickiest things about social media is that there are multiple platforms you need to keep up with. Just about every business should have a presence on “the big four” (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn). And for certain businesses, additional platforms like SnapChat or Pinterest might make sense.
When you’re juggling customer information that’s coming in through your website, your email, your customer service numbers, and all of your social channels, if you don’t have a system to keep it all straight, you’ll want to pull your hair out!
That’s where a customer relationship management tool (AKA, CRM) with a social component comes in. A social-friendly CRM allows you to track all brand interactions in one place. This provides tremendous value to your business.
Let us walk you through the five biggest, but least talked-about, benefits to using a CRM system with a social component.
Your social media marketing can sometimes feel separate from your other marketing efforts. After all, social media is about engaging with fans and having a little bit of fun with your brand, is it really a place where you should be thinking about the customer journey?
The fact of the matter is that all of your marketing efforts should be shaped around your customer journey, and that includes social media. And yes, there is a way to fit social media into each stage of the customer journey without resorting to sales-y posts or spammy messages.
Here’s how you can incorporate social media at every stage of the customer journey, from know, like, and trust to try, buy, repeat, and refer.
Obtaining backlinks is an important part of building out your SEO strategy. When you have a fair number of backlinks from reputable sites, it signals to Google that your site is reputable, too. By establishing yourself as a trustworthy presence on the web, you’ll find your pages getting prioritized in Google’s rankings, ahead of your competitors that are relative unknowns in the Googleverse.
But the prospect of having to round up backlinks can be intimidating. How do you get people to link out to your content, anyway? Well, in many ways, it’s a lot like networking. Here, I’ll show you how to apply your existing networking skills to your backlink building efforts.
Every business has competitors. No business will ever be the only option available to a client or customer. So every brand has to do some work to differentiate themselves from the competition. Why would someone pick you over that other guy or gal down the street? What unique value are you bringing to the table that they just can’t get with anyone else?
This is where storytelling comes in. Sure, there are a number of businesses out there that could theoretically solve your prospect’s problem. But by crafting a compelling brand story, you can differentiate yourself as the brand that understands the problem the best and has the most thoughtful solution to the issue.
There are five key elements to any effective brand story. Here, we’ll share the tips you need to create a statement that sets your business apart.
A great SEO strategy has a lot of moving parts. For small business owners, it can be difficult to keep pace with the ever-changing elements that go into optimizing your content for search engines. After all, Google alone uses hundreds of metrics to rank pages for search results, and they keep those metrics (and how exactly they’re weighted and used) under tight wraps.
So if you’re already busy running a business and don’t have time to stay up to date on all the ins and outs of SEO, we have a shortcut for you. Focus on producing useful content, and in the process you’ll check off a lot of SEO boxes.
Video is an increasingly important marketing tactic. Consumers today have shorter attention spans and are often consuming content on the go. They don’t always have the time to sit and read through a thousand word blog post; they’d much rather catch a four minute video on the topic while they’re riding the train into work or eating a salad on their lunch break.
Some time ago, I posted a poll on my social media page asking business owners “Who is the hero of your business? You or your customer?” It surprised me that half of those who participated did not vouch for the latter.
For the longest time, we’ve been so accustomed to seeing “About Us” sections on websites reading things like “our company has been the industry’s pioneer,” or “we are committed to providing only the best,” or “our product solves problems and reduces costs.” Although there may be truth to all these, shining the spot light on your company instead of your customers is a huge mistake. You can tell these stories with as much zeal and confidence as you’d like, but it will not make customers like or trust you.