As a small business that is either in the startup phase or looking to ramp up and become competitive, it is important to integrate as much technology as possible in order to streamline your operational capability. One such tool that is important to all businesses is sales automation tool integrated into a customer relationship management system or CRM.
A CRM is simply a tool used to integrate all points of interaction with a customer, from initial enquiry to sale to post-sale follow-up. The capabilities of your CRM system without a fully integrated social media platform is limited in terms of what it can do to grow your aspirations as a business owner. Social media works to keep your business current and relevant with the needs of your customers.
Why CRM/Social Media Integration is Vital
According to the Small Business Social Media Engagement 2015 Digital Marketing Survey published by IT research consultancy Clutch and a survey by IT firm Sprout, the following came to light concerning the use of social media by small business:
63% of millennials use social media to stay up-to-date on the brands they are interested
46% use social media to accomplish their online purchases
53% of small businesses surveyed use social media (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.)
More than three-quarters of small businesses (76%) see the same or an increase in their social media investment
These numbers more than suggest that social media is a huge influencer on purchasing decisions, particularly for tech savvy millennials. This is an important to note as for example millennials in the USA alone – 80 million consumers – are expected to spend over $10 trillion over their lifetime.
A well integrated and managed CRM with social media will give you the tool to reach this group and effectively engage them as consumers, your business growth depends on you being able to manage and grow this, you can read more about our Sales Automation/CRM on our website here and get a free download that may help in your decision process.
Instagram is the perfect social media platform to inspire people with images that tell a business’ story. The visual aspect of Instagram uses the power of simple imagery to get the message out to current and potential customers, while humanizing and showcasing the company. With over 400 million active users that share 80 million photos every day, those photos garner more than 3.5 billion likes per day and awesome comments, lots of sharing and engagement as well. This is a community that is very passionate and upbeat; sharing content on Instagram spurs interaction between businesses and customers, establishes trust and solidly brands a business to allow them to magnify their message cost-effectively. And you thought Instagram was nothing but selfies!
Though that first post might be intimidating, you will quickly become a pro and look forward to posting on this fun and dynamic social media site. Here are a couple of ideas to inspire you:
Behind the scenes at your company: Funky and authentic, these really personalize your business. Describe what’s going on, and be sure to add relevant industry hashtags and funny ones, too. Hashtag ideas: #beforecoffee #meetingsarefun #hardatwork
Selfies: These are everywhere, but we don’t mean a picture of you in the bathroom mirror with your best pout. How about grabbing a selfie of the creative group at lunch, or brainstorming a new Instagram campaign? Hashtag ideas: #teamatwork #bondingtime
Quotes: Share inspirational or funny quotes for strong engagement and sharing. Even better if you pair it up with an image to match. Lots of apps are available to do this; some favorites are WordSwag, Phonto, Font Candy and Typic. Hashtag ideas: #quote #quotes
Memes: Funny and irreverent, but so memorable and shareable! Sprinkle memes throughout your account for a lighthearted feel. Use meme generators to create custom memes for your business in minutes. Hashtag ideas: #memes #funny #pleaseshare
Newsjacking: Positive posts about things going on in the world, but tread lightly so you don’t offend people. Donald Trump’s hair? Fair game. His ideas about immigration? Steer clear. Hashtag ideas: #newstoday #whatshappening
Content promotion: Use a great image and caption to promote your recent blog posts, and ask people to follow your bio link to read it. Hashtag ideas: #readthis #ourblog
Product or service promotion: Do this sparingly or you will turn off your audience; but showcase your company products or services occasionally using the 90/10 rule–90 percent of what you post should be valuable to your followers and 10 percent can be self-promotional. Of course, it is Instagram, so make your promo content fun and compelling for best results! Hashtag ideas: #ourproductinaction #checkoutournewest
Reposts from followers: There is no better way to get someone’s attention on Instagram than to curate and repost their images; this is the ultimate form of IG flattery. Be sure to @tag them, so they know you did it and gave them credit. Hashtags: #repost #coolstuffwefind
Action requests: Ask your followers to tag their friends when you post a funny meme, or request that they follow you on Twitter or Facebook. Broaden your reach with these requests. Hashtags: #tagyourbff #followusonFB #doyoutweet
Videos and GIFS: You can post short videos on Instagram and make them funny or functional. Either way, it is another way to increase engagement. Hint: people love babies and animals, so if you can somehow relate either to your business, you are golden! Hashtags: #howwedoit #playfulpuppies
Throwback Thursday: Save your vintage images for Thursday and give everyone a peek into your past. Hashtags: #TBT #throwbackThursday
Businesses of all sizes, from really small companies to major household names, are successfully using Instagram to drive ad recall, engagement and customers! These ideas will get you started, but you will quickly find lots more inspiration for posts. Remember, make people laugh and they will double tap and like your post, probably leave a nice comment and follow you. It takes time to build engagement and trust, but post on Instagram regularly and you will see much more of both.
Now the sales bit, we’ve been training businesses large and small how to get the best out of their social media activity for many years, indeed we run over 20 social media seminar with our sister business GrowMyCharity.com. If you think your business could do we help getting your social media engagement focused then please contact us through the website here for a no obligation chat or call us on 01392 241653.
A customer relationship management (CRM) system is a powerful business tool. It is as important an investment for small businesses as it is for larger business organizations. As you become more dependent on data and its use in your business through changing technology, you find yourself at a competitive disadvantage when you choose not to integrate a small business sales automation system or CRM into your everyday business.
CRMs systems have advanced beyond appointment scheduling tools into providing your business with total small business sales automation to be able to generate opportunities for new and additional leads for your business. If you have not considered the purchase of a CRM system, here is some information further defining CRMs and their role in transforming your business.
Delivering Superior Customer Service Seen as Key Challenge to Business
Delivering the highest quality customer service is the highest priority for any business. It is a differentiator that separates those businesses on the fast track to growth and profitability and those struggling to survive or in decline. Chief Information Officers are increasingly investing in CRMs as a way to delivery on their customer service promise. A 2012 Forrester’s fourth quarter survey found that although less than half (47%) of companies in North America and Europe have implemented a CRM solution, spending increased 12.5% between 2011 and 2012 ($18 billion versus $16 billion).Download your free brochure here
How CRMs Become Important to Your Business
The use of CRMs become an important tool needed by small business to best deliver top service to customers. The essential elements of a CRM system include the ability to direct online marketing campaigns to existing customers, process online orders, complete order fulfilment and provide ongoing customer support. Ancillary functions include procuring sales leads through an online referral program, administration of customer satisfaction surveys and similar data driven processes.
Your CRM system does not remove the human element from the sales cycle and customer retention process. It gives you a powerful tool to harness data and become more efficient at maintaining these important customer relationships, making sales and making more sales.
With the continual change of advanced phone technology, websites are in effect continually going from desktop browsers to tablets and mobile phones. This means that your website needs to change to suit the distinctive screen sizes and be cross browser perfect with the plethora of mobile gadgets now available in the business sector. The experience that a mobile client receives is so critical in your business and if you’re in any doubt then this article clarifies why you ought to make your site responsive / mobile friendly.
Higher Ranking in Google Search
Beginning April 2015, Google began offering giving preference to sites that are mobile friendly or have a mobile friendly version of their site, according to Google’s Webmaster Blog:
“When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns. In the past, we’ve made updates to ensure a site is configured properly and viewable on modern devices.”
Other internet search engines share a similar view with the inclination to favour mobile friendly websites. Yahoo and Bing for example have followed a similar path to Google requiring that you offer a mobile friendly / responsive website and if any any doubt then Google offer a free tool in which you can test your website mobile friendliness here https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.
Various Screen Sizes
The primary reason for any website ought to be to serve up what the user needs and how the user wishes to view your website on a device of their choice. The massive development of smart phones and tablet devices means that websites need to adjust to a variety of screen sizes accordingly. This is called Responsive Design and is utilized to get the website information used on any portable device by removing the irrelevant parts of the site and just concentrating on the essential viewpoints. Advanced website design must make conformities for various sorts of screens including mobile telephones, tablets, portable workstations, desktops, projectors and even window display and each screen needs the special components taking into account their use and in view of their usefulness to your business.
W3CSchools says that “RWD remains for Responsive Web Design; RWD can convey site pages in variable sizes; RWD is an absolute necessity for tablets and cell phones.”
Concentrate on essential features
Bigger buttons, bigger text dimension and a configuration upgraded for a portable screen are perfect in giving the best site experience to a mobile friendly client. Different components which are given need is component dispersing, particularly for things such as connections, popups, catches and even drop down records. The general purpose of this is to guarantee that the end client concentrates on precisely what they need and not the extravagant components of your site which are displayed to desktop clients.
Whatever your website need we can help identify and then help your business reach its customers on any device so that you can concentrate on managing and growing your business, to find out more please contact the team either through the website here or call us on 01392 241653.
In 2016 developing your business is greatly helped by building personal relationships and engaging with your customers and prospects as this will help your business develop brand loyalty and a greater sense of trust. It then follows that people are more likely to trust your business if they know that real people work there, so how do you do that, these are are top tips to put a human face on your business.
1. Use genuine pictures of your team with bios where appropriate.
2. Why not conduct an interview with the MD or a key member of staff.
3. Collate and share images of your products and services that customers have shared with you.
4. Positive feedback from customers and people you work with is always good to share.
5. Why not include a thank you for something that a customer has done for you – could this be a long standing award.
6. Include any charity work any staff member has done, run a marathon for example.
So there you have it just a few examples of how you could put a human face on your business and so develop the trust in how your business is seen by your customers and prospects. How you get this out in front of your customers can be by things like blog posts or email marketing or maybe your audience is of a different demographic so Tumblr or Shapchat is more appropriate?
Whatever this is we can help identify and help your business reach its customers so you can concentrate on managing and growing your increasing enquiry levels, to find out more please contact the team either through the website here or call us on 01392 241653.
For most Small Businesses the management of people is way down the list when compared to the other parts of the business operation, for example, revenue and sales which outweigh everything else. Notwithstanding, staff administration is a significant cost for small business as well as concentrating on different business functions as this is all important to drive business development.
There can be no doubt that any small business need good people to help them function correctly but what else is preventing Growth for Small Businesses?
As an entrepreneur you will be confronted with an awesome number of things to do to develop your business! It is likely that you will disregard a few while concentrating on others that maybe you might be more OK with performing, so what are the other areas that you need to be on top off? These are likely to include some of all of the following;
And now the sales message, if your small business needs help focusing its marketing activity and needs a clear defined plan then why not call us on 01392 241653 or contact us through the website here for a no obligation chat, what have you for to loose?
If your business does not have a digital strategy then how do you know where you’re heading and what you’re trying to achieve?
In this post we identify 5 problems that in our experience will effect the operation of your business if you do not have a clear Digital Plan.
Your business has no focus
We find that businesses with a digital plan do not also have a set of business goals for what they want to achieve in terms of customer development or business growth and if you do not have these business have goals you likely do not have enough resources to reach the goals and you then do not evaluate whether you’re achieving those goals.
Do you really know your customers at all?
There can be no doubt that digital is one of the most measurable marketing tools ever. However alot of the common statistical programs in use today will only tell you volume, not demographics and touchpoints – so how do you identify areas you can improve unless you know them?
Your business is not integrated
We often find if a business does have some kind of digital activity this is not focused on the business its run by ‘John who knows facebook’ at the same time as being a salesperson or the managers PA as she has a few spare hours a week. This should be integrated with your business so everyone buys into the digital plan and can play their part in identifying opportunities for the business to grow online.
You are loosing out to competitors who do have a clear digital plan
Pretty much every business we work with has some form of statistical monitoring of enquiry traffic and even just traffic – Facebook insights??. Unfortunately for alot of business this is as far as they go, they do not review and then act on the results of that review so they can decide where to implement the key aspects of the business marketing like email marketing and social media marketing.
Your marketing is not cost effective
Digital in 2016 has to be one of the most cost effective ways for any business to reach its target market, the only issue the growing business we work with come across is the lack of specific specialist digital skills which make it difficult for the business to respond effectively and this is where we come in as your outsourced digital partner.
So there you have it, five clear issued that will be effecting your business if you do not have a clear Digital Plan – if you are one of those businesses why not get in touch now, through the website here OR call us on 01392 241653 for a no obligation chat…
Optimizing for organic search and refining for SEO is something we’ve alot of experience with and something that as digital marketers we’re always working on to give our customers the best possible service, this is especially important when you consider how competitive and expensive paid search is getting.
In the UK we are pretty much focused on Google as the number one point of call as you dont want to pay Google for every click to your website. So doing the right thing by optimizing for organic search to drive traffic to your website has to be the way forward.
The central starting point has to be your website and ensuring that it is mobile-friendly this means that it is responsive. A responsive website scales to fit any device a user is accessing the site from, whether it be a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. Since Google launched its change to the mobile algorithm in an update in Spring 2015, this will list your site below a competitor in organic rankings if your competitor is better optimized for mobile search compared to your website.
Look at your content, Google’s algorithms and updates ensure that organic rankings are largely driven by the amount of quality content on your website or associated to your business, this can be by news feeds, blogs or even white papers. You need to ensure that the content is quality content and can help the searcher in being relevant and informative.
Dont neglect your local search presence on the Google Business database, you need to make sure that your address is correct and that you have it verified by Google—either via postcard or phone call—so that your business is eligible to be shown in map and local search results. Google, and other search engines, knowing exactly where your business is located can do wonders for your local search.
These are the very basics of SEO that can ensure your website is seen by the widest possible audience for a far more detailed consultation why not call us on 01392 241653 or contact us through the website here, we’d love to help your business perform better online.
For many businesses we speak with social media platforms like Twitter has already made a bad name for itself. So much so, that often the first path of resistance to joining this or for that matter any of the other social networks is generally something along the lines of, “All people do is talk about what they had for lunch so why should I be part of that?” If you couple this with the facts that lots of people use social media to post either very literal updates “Its very busy driving to work” or they just look to talk – me me me me me – with little success.
So what is the right way? Well sharing your own news and showing your human side are important parts of using social media but as with most aspects it’s important to strive for balance. This balance is what we call the rule of thirds and by putting this into practice then your social media can be a far more engaging and more satisfying experience. So here is how the basic formula behind the rule of thirds works:
For this first third post about you and/or your brand, and this should be relatively easy, as you know your business better than anyone. So make sure that this third covers everything from sharing your own blog posts and news updates, to posting updates about you and your company and peoples achievements within your company.
This third is often the most difficult as you need to update about your areas of expertise but from an outside source, so by this we mean maybe shows you’ve attended or where you’ve been quoted on other websites or publications. You can also add into this news about your industry or company from another publication, blog posts from other bloggers about things that you find interesting, or websites that interest you – it is simply a matter of showcasing your knowledge on the things about which you are passionate.
This final third is where you can be yourself and engage, ask questions, answer questions, retweet or repost interesting things people in your network have shared and that interest you,so be that location related or even sport related this is what makes social media SOCIAL and its up to you to take part!
So as a final point dont think about mundane stuff to post, think about what interests you and what grabs your attention and then how you will update this online, so dont be afraid to ask a question – ‘any good lunch recommendations for Exeter’ being a case in point, as apposed to a picture of your sandwich on Cathedral green.
And finally the sales bit, if you need help with your social media or just need to clarify the tweets from the status updates then why not contact our team we’d be delighted to help,either callus on 01392 241653 or contact us through the website here.
We’ve worked with Charities for as long as we’ve been GleaveMedia, we’ve seen small charities grow and bigger charities work better by having a clearer hold on the Charity Social Media activities, but why do we work with charities?
This is a question that we’re often asked, simple answer is that its in our DNA working with those organisations that ask for help to work better and make use of these new and emerging technologies that they may not have a handle on, this is why we co collaborate on GrowMyCharity.com and you can see from our ethics policy that we put our ethical behaviour at the heart of all we do and how we work.
During this time frame we’ve presented numerous Digital Marketing Seminars across the South West covering such topics as Social Media Planning to how to communicate your cause better – you can see our last nine events on our Eventbrite profile page here and the names of most of the charities that we’ve worked with can be found on the GrowMyCharity.com website here . Also we had our Social Media Award in 2013 that saw the British Hen Welfare Trust walk away with a cheque for £500 and you can read about this on their website here: http://www.bhwt.org.uk/british-hen-welfare-trust-scoops-south-west-social-media-award/
What does the future hold? Well when we started we were teaching charities how to open Twitter accounts and now its far more about engagement of the audience on the chosen social platform and the planning that goes on behind the scenes…
So if you’re a charity and want to make use of a great resource why not head over to the GrowMyCharity.com website and see how we can help your charity or social enterprise grow.