Social Media Marketing
Social media is the newest form of online marketing - and for many small business owners, the most intimidating.
Really, though, social media is just an amped-up form of word-of-mouth marketing, with some of the benefits of other forms of online marketing thrown in as a bonus.
Social media marketing offers businesses the opportunity to go to where consumers are already "hanging out" and speak directly to them in a low-key, low-pressure way that makes customers comfortable. When done properly, social media posts are a way to win the interest and trust of customers - and potential customers - by providing useful information and special offers in a relaxed environment. In this way, social media marketing is like word-of-mouth referrals from friends and neighbors. But unlike word-of-mouth referrals, where potential customers often hear about you in a situation where they are unable to pick up the phone and call you immediately, social media marketing offers consumers a direct, immediate link right to you.
Social media posts are also a terrific way to let your community know that you care - you can use your posts to share information about your community activities and local charity work.
In addition, social media marketing is vital to highly-successful SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Search engines give a significant advantage to websites that update their social media pages regularly.
The best part? Social media is 100% free.
To leverage the power of social media for your business, you simply start participating in the conversations on social media sites. To do this effectively, you need to increase the number of your social media friends, fans, and followers. You can use many of the same marketing techniques you use to collect email addresses for your eNewsletter - encouraging online social media signups and asking satisfied customers to "opt-in" to your messages.
Remember, too, social media doesn't only mean Facebook and Twitter. Your social media marketing strategy should also include online review sites such as Yelp, Google Local, and Angie's List. These online review sites are invaluable as a source of leads for contracting businesses.
Despite the many advantages of social media, the vast majority of small to mid-size businesses don't have a social media presence. They worry that they lack the knowledge, time, and resources to use this exciting new marketing channel effectively.
How can iMarket help you with social media?
- Our blog software automatically "pushes" your blog posts to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. You'll get the advantage of social media, without having to think about it!
- If you don't have the time or interest to get involved with social media, you can outsource it to us! iMarket's social media experts will set up your social media accounts and post to them regularly on your behalf.
Here are some suggestions for how you can start putting social media to work for your business right now:
- Set up a Facebook Fan page.
- Have each of your employees set up a business Facebook page and link your site to their Facebook page.
- Ask satisfied, loyal customers to become friends, fans, and followers of your business.
- Set up a Twitter account and "tweet" at least once a week. Even the busiest person has time to write 140 characters once a week!
- Encourage your loyal customers to visit online review sites (Yelp, Google Local, Angie's List, etc.) and post positive reviews.
- If there are negative online reviews about your company, ask us how our Reputation Management Service can help you overcome them!
Here's what people say:
I have been so impressed and pleased with our new website and the entire process of launching the new site. iMarket Solutions handled every detail with a complete thoroughness and a high degree professionalism. Change is usually never easy, but Wendy and Nadia really took the time answer any questions and solve every issue. The end result has been a new site that we love and more importantly, our customers love it too.
The new design and the attention to SEO has been paying off. We used to average 3 to 4 leads a month on our old site. The first month with our new site, we received 12 and that was during mild weather in our “off season.” Thanks to the detailed reports we receive from iMarket, we now have the information needed to improve our marketing and zero in on the consumers in our local area. Also our rankings for Google and other search engines keep climbing if they are not already in the first position.
Our social media is now working hard for us, improving our relationship with our customers and generating traffic to our site. iMarket handles all our Facebook, twitter, and blog posts. We still have the option to post something ourselves if we choose but its not necessary as there are 3 posts a week, like clockwork, on our social media accounts. Our social media used to be a chore, now it is trouble-free.
Overall, my entire experience with iMarket Solutions has been effortless and now we have a finished product that is proving results and driving sales.
Apple Heating & Cooling
Here's what's going on:
We love blogging for our clients - but we also love it when you take a little time to get involved to add personal touches to the blogs to make them even more share-worthy. One of our newly launched clients, Lee's Foodservice Parts & Repairs went the extra mile this week and wrote their own blog post that involved some history, a famous gangster, and a speakeasy... and the post still had to do with a service call to install a walk-in cooler in Chicago! Here's an excerpt from the post to grab your interest:
As a business owner serving a specific geographic area, you should have a listing on Yelp.com. Once that listing is claimed and verified by you or your SEO team here at iMarket Solutions, you have access to several tools in the back end of the site. Yelp announced a new tool available as of Monday March 25th to help business owners even more!