Tag Archives: social media

Are you Consuming Info like a Batch of Greasy French Fries?

14 Jun

by Erin Al-Mehairi, owner, Addison’s Compass Public Relations
*Article printed in May/June issue of North Central Ohio Events Magazine
http://www.ncoeventsmagazine.com/pdfs/EMAG2_WEB.pdf

There is no denying that we are a society of consumption. In America, we consume well over $100 billion of fast food each year, 156 pounds of added sugar, almost 600 cans of pop per person on average, and 375 million gallons of gas per day. We consume things quickly, leaving no second to spare.

Just as we consume fast food in our car on the way to our next scheduled appointment, we also consume information at what seems like the speed of light. We consume articles online via our smart phones and check out breaking news on Twitter before it even gets to the nightly news or before we can turn on CNN.

In a matter of minutes, we read breaking news, check our email, respond to a text message, scroll through our Facebook newsfeed, and schedule a meeting in our calendar.

As social networking and the use of social media has developed, our skills sometimes haven’t been able to catch up. We have more and more friends and followers, as well as fan pages, to view information on. We scroll and scroll through the feeds, consuming as much information as we can. We begin to read it as if it were a book, forgetting the entire human element that is so integrated into the success use of it.

That’s right, we forget that most of the feeds are written by people in our lives who have taken a minute out of their time to inform us about their lives, recommend a product, or share a link with great information. We forget it is not just a computer, and then we forget to respond.

The premise of social networking is just that — “being social with other people (social) in order to get to know them, their lives, their charities, their services and connect and support one another (networking).”

Keeping that in mind, that means that we shouldn’t just scroll and read without ever offering back a word of encouragement, recommendation, dialogue, or testimonial. We should take the time on product or business fan pages to say what we like and what we don’t like (just make sure it is constructive criticism) and use it as a platform to connect with brands and businesses we like. We should be an active player in the process, not just consumers who throw away information like we throw away Big Mac wrappers.

Here are a few tips to assist you with your interpersonal skills on social media:

1. Respond to people’s comments. Whether on your own personal page, a fan page or to a tweet, please respond to the comments that people take the time to make. For businesses, respond whether they are positive or negative. Responding to negative comments can turn the situation into a positive because it shows you care about your customer and finding solutions to their issues. Don’t ever delete their comments or block your wall so customers can’t write to you.

 2. Start conversations. Ask your friends or fans questions about themselves or about something that relates to your brand or product. Initiate dialogue with them and don’t be shy. Being open and aware makes you trustworthy. On Twitter, start chats and use a #hashtag to talk about subjects that interest you.

3. Ask a question or post a poll. Facebook just made it even more fun and engaging to do this. On a personal level, it is fun to ask your friend’s favorite 80’s movie and from a business perspective, you may be able to garner the interests of you clients to help you better sell your services or products. Either way, it engages your audience.

There are many more keys and skills to utilizing social media networking and marketing in a more successful manner. Seek out information and remember to not just consume it, but put it to use.

We’d love to have you initiate conversations with us: www.facebook.com/addisons.compass, http://www.twitter.com/ErinAlMehairi, http://www.twitter.com/tbusbey, www.linkedin.com/in/erinalmehairi, http://www.linkedin/in/timbusbey.

Beginning foursquare: Build a Village and Keep them Coming

24 May

by Erin Al-Mehairi, owner, Addison’s Compass Public Relations

A common joust in our household between Tim and I is this: “Darn it! You stole my ‘Mayorship’ again!” I just love getting an email in the morning that reads “Sorry, but Tim Busbey is now Mayor of (any given place), but a few more check-ins and you could be on top again!”

What is foursquare exactly?

Light-hearted fun or not at home, the application foursquare already has grown to more than 6.5 million users. Anyone with GPS-enabled mobile devices can “check-in” at venues by running an app on their phone and choosing from a list of venues that the application locates nearby (or add one in if it is not already in the list). Each check-in awards the user points, can make them a “Mayor,” and assist them in working toward “badges.” Users can choose to have their check-ins posted to their Twitter and Facebook accounts so their friends can see where they are, have been, what venues they like, and even get tips for certain locations. If a person frequents an establishment often enough they will become “Mayor” or oust someone who is a current “Mayor.”

Register Your Business and Offer Specials!

As a business owner, you want to make sure you register your business on foursquare. Users can “check-in” at your business, whether you are registered or not, giving you free advertising. However, having a registered business is more advantageous because it allows you to interact with your customer base.

For instance, you can monitor the reactions and tips posted about your business. You are able to offer coupons to anyone who checks-in and you can offer royal deals to those who frequent enough to be your “Mayor,” which we recommend doing since they are your best customers!

Examples of How to Offer Specials on foursquare

It doesn’t matter what size your business is, you can attract new customers or reward loyal ones by offering these foursquare specials – mobile coupons, prizes or discounts – to users when they check-in at or near your venue. Everyone likes a deal right? Why not reward your most loyal customers or get more traffic on a slow day?

1.) Offer 25 percent off a meal, a BOGO (buy one get one) coffee, or maybe even roll out the red carpet (literally) once your “Mayor” steps in the door. Specials can be tailored to fit the needs of your business.

2.) Just like reward programs offered across the nation utilizing a reward card, you can use the same concept for your loyal customers who use foursqare. For example, check-in 10 times, get a free product, gift, or prize at your 11th visit.

3.) Use it to increase traffic on a slow day by offering a buy one, get one half-off lunch special for one day only, or between certain hours. Offer happy hour or early dinner deals on certain days for those that check-in at certain times.

For instance, near where we live in Ashland, Ohio, where small business abounds, College Hills Honda in Wooster, Ohio gives a free Honda hat to you on your third check-in. Harry and David chain store at the Lodi Outlet Mall in Burbank, Ohio (near Lodi and Wooster) offers $10 off your purchase $50 with foursquare check-in (for which if you show retailer, they will put in a code at check-out). Also at the Lodi Outlet Mall they give a special exclusively for foursquare users: a free lunch at Steam Cafe for every 10th check-in and for the “Mayor,” a free Lodi Station Outlets hoodie and a FREE lunch at Steam Cafe.

What foursquare Customers Can Do for You with Social Media

They can offer much more in return to you as their check-ins post to their followers on Facebook and Twitter, as well as to their friends on foursqare, giving you a wealth of free advertising and testimonials. If they have their foursquare set-up to post to social media (they can post all or choose which), their check-ins, Mayorships, and badges will post each time to Facebook and Twitter alerting even more people to your business. If they leave a great tip about your business, even better! Monitor your Twitter stream for your brand or business, and send a tweet to those who have their foursquare use sent out into Twitterverse. I loved when I became Mayor of my local Drug Mart one day and the Drug Mart Twitter account thanked me for my patronage and started to follow me!

Free Venue Statistics

Having a registered business also allows you to also use the merchant tool called venue stats. foursquare offers these free of charge to registered businesses and the stats will give you a great deal of information on your visitors, including what time of day they most generally arrived, a break-down by gender, and even which portion of your visitors’ check-ins were posted to Facebook and Twitter! This is a great tool to use after launching a special to see what kind of activity and return you received.

Need Assistance?

There is a lot more to using this marketing tool than you may think that can be quite good for your business as the world turns more to online marketing, mobile use, and digital media. At Addison’s Compass Public Relations, we can offer assistance to any business needing consultation to get set-up on foursquare, or would like to have the set-up done for them and/or managed as well. If you are local to us in Ohio, we do house (business) calls too!

You can find both Tim and I on foursquare as avid users and would be happy to be your friend on foursquare and frequent your business!

5 tips for marketing on Facebook

10 May

By Tim Busbey, owner, Addison’s Compass Public Relations

Today, we presented a seminar on Social Media Marketing in conjunction with the Ashland Area Council on Economic Development. This was the third seminar in a series on digital marketing in the 21st Century. The first seminar served as an overview to digital marketing, offering a quick summary of the options available, including websites, blogs, email, QR codes and social media. The second seminar focused on websites and how to better use them in marketing. Today’s seminar focused on using Facebook and Twitter to market your business.

As part of today’s seminar, I presented 10 tips for building your fanbase in Facebook and converting those fans into customers. I’m going to share the first five with you. If you’d like to read the other five, you can email me at tim@addisonscompass.com and I’ll be happy to share them with you.

Facebook is closing in on 700 million members. In just 5 short years, the site has become a phenomenon that has totally changed our culture and how we share information and interact with people. It is up to us as marketers to tap into that energy, that power, and discover the best ways that we can use it to market our businesses.

Here are 5 of my 10 tips for building a fanbase and converting those fans into satisfied customers.

1) Spread the word – everywhere!
Every chance you get, let people know about your Facebook page. If your customers don’t know that your page exists, they don’t have the opportunity to “like” it. So put the word out about your page everywhere.

In newspaper ads. On radio ads. On flyers. In your store. On your website. In an e-mail to your mailing list. In your e-mail signature. On your business cards. In your blog. On your Twitter account.

Anywhere someone might read about your business, include the link to your Facebook page, too. And the best part – all these ways are free or very low cost.

This is a great way to let your existing customers know about your page. But it also gives them a way to share the news with their friends who aren’t customers.

In a fan survey by the DDB Worldwide, a global marketing firm, they found the No. 1 reason people become fans of a brand is because someone invited them to the page. Either the company told them about the page or one of their friends told them about it. If you invite them, they will come. But if you never let people know about your page, there is no point even being on Facebook.

2) Be consistent
Once you set up and start your Facebook page, don’t be a stranger. If your page becomes a ghost town, that is a major turn-off to any customers or potential customers. Posting something on your page once every three months is no way to build your fanbase and build relationships with those fans. Just like a face-to-face relationship, it takes time and effort to build online relationships and trust.

There is no magic answer to how many times you should post on your page. You want to make sure your message stands out and doesn’t get lost, but you don’t want to annoy people, either. So you have to work to find a balance.

Most experts suggest posting at least once a day, but no more than three times a day. If you don’t feel you have the time to keep up with that, at least be sure to post several times a week. Trial and error will help you determine what frequency of posts works best for you and your business.

But no matter how many times you end up deciding to post, be sure you keep up with it and be active with your fanpage.

3) Interact with your fans
If someone takes the time to leave a comment for you on your page, the least you can do is take the time to respond. If you don’t, it sends the message that you don’t care about your customers. You should consider your social media sites as an extension of your customer service efforts, as much as they are part of your advertising or marketing efforts.

As part of this effort, you must make sure to respond to negative comments as well as positive ones. Research shows that 64% of people have a more favorable opinion of a brand if they respond to both positive and negative comments.

Besides, most people who take the time to become a fan of your page probably are not going to blast you on your page. And if someone does, many of your true fans likely will jump to your defense.

When you interact with your fans, it’s important to find the right tone. With social media, you can write in a slightly more conversational tone than most of your business writing. Your fans want to feel that there is a human being on the other side of the computer.

4) Share valuable content
Content is king in social media. People love to devour information. Just this week, a study came out showing that Facebook is the second leading driver of traffic to news sites, following only Google. That means people are clicking on links in their Facebook news feed to get to major news sites.

As marketers, we have to take advantage of people’s desire to consume mass amounts of information. How do we do that? By sharing content on your Facebook page. Whether it’s a link to a blog or article you wrote, or a link to a blog or article you read on someone else’s page, these links will engage your fans and also help drive traffic to your blog or website.

Make sure the content is interesting, useful and relevant. Don’t damage your company’s online reputation by posting irrelevant spam.

5) Add photos and videos
People love to see other people’s photos. Nothing catches the eye when glancing through your newsfeed that a photo. But what people love even more than other people’s photos is pictures of themselves. Posting photos you have taken at an event is a great way to get people’s attention. Encourage your fans to look for themselves in the photos and tag themselves. This engages your fans, and also spreads the word about your business through their newsfeed. Each of their friends will see that they tagged themselves in a picture on your fanpage.

If you enjoyed these first 5 tips and thought they were useful, please email me at tim@addisoncompass.com and I’d be happy to share the whole presentation with you.

If you need some help with social media and using them to help your business, ask us how we can help.

Social media marketing – Let us guide you on your excursion

6 Apr

by Tim Busbey, owner, Addison’s Compass Public Relations

Social media is the fastest growing section of the Internet. In 2010, Facebook’s 600 million users spent more than 49 billion minutes on the social networking site. This was an increase of 80 percent, according to comScore’s “The 2010 Digital Year in Review” report. Experts are predicting a similar spike this year. Twitter has grown to an estimated 190 million users in less than five years. The latest social media trendsetter, Foursquare, boasts nearly 7 million users after less than two years.

In spite of this exponential growth in social media usage, many businesses have been slow to incorporate social media into their marketing plans. The reasons often have to do with lack of staff or budget issues, or concerns about how social media can benefit their business. However, using social media to effectively get the word out about your business and build relationships with potential customers doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive or take a whole team of marketers.

Social media marketing is about building relationships with your customers and potential customers. A professional writer can help you reach out to cyberspace and convey your company’s message in a clever, unique, memorable way that will keep people coming back for more, and help build a level of trust with them – a key factor in driving sales.

At Addison’s Compass, we offer 3 social media packages, tailored to fit the social media marketing needs of any business. We will help your business get moving in the right direction.

Our 3 packages are:

The Straight and Narrow 
The Scenic Route
The Super Highway

Call us or email us to find out how we can put our collective 25 years of writing and marketing experience to work for your business. You can reach Tim at tim@addisonscompass.com or 419-565-5823, and Erin at erin@addisonscompass.com or 419-651-7934.