B2B: Selling Social

 

Going “social” is important for any business. Social media sites are valuable tools for customer relationship management and are great for finding new customers. Take a look at the infographic below for a few statistics on how important social media is for  business to business companies.

Let us know how social media has helped your company, below!

 

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Hashtags: Revisited

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In honor of “Throwback Thursday” we are taking a look at a post previously featured on our blog! Take a look!

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A hashtag is a way to group conversations to see who is talking about your brand, product, event, etc. Think of it as an index at a library. You are indexing your conversations by using a specific title –or tag- which you can reference right away or months down the road.

By using a hashtag in your tweets and posts you are also inviting others to engage in the conversation. By doing so you allow your customers to voice their opinions about your product, post pictures from your event, or even participate in an online contest. Using hashtags also makes it easier to track customer complaints and respond to them in a more timely manner.

To construct a hashtag use the “#” sign at the front of the phrase; do not include any spaces or punctuation. For example, Indoff may use #IndoffCorporateSTL in our tweets to refer to something happening at Indoff’s headquarters. By others adding this hashtag to their tweets the corporate office, and anyone else, can click on the tag and follow the conversation in real-time! Be careful that you don’t overuse hashtags in your posts. Over doing it can make your post unattractive and can confuse your audience

Twitter is known for its use of hashtags, but lately many other social media platforms are starting to follow suit. Sites like Instagram and Tumblr have integrated the tags and rumor has it that Facebook will soon be hashtag compatible as well. This means that learning how to properly use a hashtag, as a company, may become more prominent in the very near future.

Still unsure about what a hashtag actually does? Take a look at these helpful articles below!

Hashtags: What are They and How Do You Use Them?

What Do You Need to Know About Hashtags?

10 Ways to Use Hashtags for Your Business

What are your thoughts on hashtags? Share with us below!

 

UPDATE: Facebook has since integrated the hashtag “system” into their site!

B2B: Going Social

B2B - Business to Business

With the majority of people interacting on social media daily, it is a no-brainer for companies to get involved and communicate with their customers socially. Sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a playground for many companies. Not only can they gain important customer data, but they can offer discounts, promotions and maybe even spark a word-of-mouth campaign. 

This works great for business-to-consumer companies, but what if your company is the business-to-business type?

If this is the case then you should be approaching the idea of being social a little differently. A recent article examines three things business-to-business companies should be focusing on in their social media strategy.

The first tip is to make sure you are doing more educating than reaching out. Offering helpful, relevant articles and video tutorials lets other companies and vendors learn more about what your company offers. It is a great way to show where you stand in your industry.

The next tip is to turn those promotions into value-saving tools. When you are working with other businesses, it is best to give them information on how they can better serve their customers. Use case studies or statistics to show how a company can effectively engage its customers.

The last tip is to simply keep it professional. Remember, you’re working with other, professional companies. While it’s okay to post light content from time to time, make sure the information you are providing is unbiased and efficient.

What other tips have worked in your business to business social strategy? Share with us below!

The Benefits of Promotional Products

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Using promotional products is one of the best marketing tools that both you and your company can use. It not only draws attention to your company, but it can open the lines of communication by giving the recipient a way to remember and contact you when they are in need of a certain product. In fact, according to a recent study, 52% of promotional product recipients ended up doing business with the company.

How can you say no to new and returning business?

When choosing a promotional product, make sure that the product not only fits your company’s image, but it is of good quality. While giving any item can be successful, giving a customer an item they can use recurrently – for a long period of time – can give your company a better image and continue to boost the possibility of that customer’s future business with you. Choosing the right market to promote to is essential as well. If you give every customer every promotional item you have, you will eventually see a dent in your pocketbook. Making sure you choose the most loyal and interested customers can help you keep your budget for “promo” in check.

There are many ways you can use promotional products to your advantage. Can you think of more? Let us know below!

Check out these articles for more facts and figures about promo!

9 Ways Promotional Products That WORK for Your Business

 How to Properly Use Promotional Products

How To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

 

 

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For many of us, sleep is a precious thing. With everything from long work hours to growing families, many of us treasure those seven or eight hours each night. For many more, those hours are ripped away with thoughts of deadlines, projects, and other tiresome issues.

So how can we make the most of a good night’s sleep while maintaining the important things in our lives?

A recent article explores a few good ideas on how you can lower your stress, resulting in better sleeping patterns. The article makes some very good points, one of which I particularly liked.

“Create a cutoff time…and make a plan for tomorrow. “

We tend to live our lives so fast that at times we may forget to enjoy ourselves. While closing that deal or completing that project is very important, chances are it can wait until the morning. The article explains, “If stopping makes you feel guilty, write down what you need to do first thing tomorrow. You’ll rest easier knowing you have a plan to take care of what you didn’t get done today.”

Not only will this get you ready to continue business as usual, but it will allow you to have a fresh perspective at tackling the job bright and early!

What do you think? Do you agree with this article?

Link: http://linkd.in/19LUHK4

Getting New and Loyal Customers

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Everyone says that one of the hardest things about running a business is developing long-lasting, loyal customers. They say that getting new ones is easy, but getting return business from someone can be a bit more work. While they are correct, it is essential to gain more and new customers as your business grows. Before you decide to use traditional methods of gaining customers, think of ways to turn them into repeat customers right off of the bat!

In a recent article from Inc.com, young entrepreneurs offer new – and forgotten- ways to attract new customers and clients that will turn a one-time buyer into a potentially loyal “fan” of yours. There are a few suggestions, like “making weekly calls”, that may not get you what you’re looking for, but others like “experimenting with the odds” may have some validity. For instance, if you’re current ad campaign isn’t producing the type of results you prefer, try mixing it up! Do something you normally wouldn’t (unless, of course, it would hurt more than help).  Creating new ideas and implementing them is a great way to test your strategy and potentially gain a whole new market.

What are other ideas that you can think of that pull in new customers? Share with us below!

The Next Big Trends

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The “business world” is constantly evolving. We try to find new ways of doing things that will not only help us sell more, but introduce ourselves to new audiences.  It seems that every year a new idea emerges from professionals throughout the marketing, advertising, and promotions industries. Many have the potential to become the next big thing while others dissolve as fast as they were produced.  Business professionals use these ideas to build their own innovations which have the potential to turn into the next big thing. Take a look at a recent article that highlights a few top professionals and their thoughts on what’s to come and what is important to incorporate into your company strategy in the coming months.

The article goes over everything from creative storytelling to mobile optimization and highlights some interesting points.

Here is a trend that caught my eye from business professional, Tara West !

“Key Trend: Link Building Strategy

Why? I think link building strategy will become more important as an online marketing skill. As Google’s algorithm becomes more and more attuned to identifying unnatural link profiles, it will become even more important to have a sound strategy behind your link building efforts to ensure they remain natural and you don’t get caught out by an algorithm update. Link strategy basically involves lots of analysis of your current and historical link profile, as well as the link profile of your competitors. This information is then used to build a detailed plan of the kinds of links, quantity of links, and frequency of links to be built over the future months.

 What do you think will be the next big trend? Do you agree with the article?

Sales Phrases To Avoid

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Sales can be a tough profession. It is not meant for everyone, but for those who thrive in the business, it can be extremely profitable. For the ones that are able to make it in the industry, there are many tactics and touch points that they employ to make them so successful. Whether it’s the marketing materials they use to reach out to their customer base or the number of relationships they build, they are continuously finding ways to stay involved with their customer’s buying habits.

One way sales people and organizations get in touch with us is through Interactive Marketing (email, direct mail, etc.). Many people, as customers, are used to the generic headlines and taglines that come along with these pieces. These include “Our Valued Customer” and “For More Information”.  Since we see these kind of greeting styles on an almost daily basis, they become dull and expected; exactly what you don’t want your customers to think they are.

What are some other taglines you think are over used or have the power of getting you “deleted”?

Here is a recent article from INC on 12 commonly used phrases that have the potential to cost you a sale. Do you agree with the listed phrases?

Become Social

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Social media, for many of us, has been a prevalent part of our lives. We are used to it and life without it is becoming a distant memory.  For others, though, being present socially is a foreign idea. They may not see the need for social media or simply don’t understand how it works. This can pose a problem if that person has the ability to benefit from a social media presence. (Salespeople, New Entrepreneurs, Business Professionals, etc.)

So how can you start your social journey when you don’t know where to start?

The simplest solution would be to do your research. By reading a little about each site, you can get a feel for the type of interaction they provide for their users.  The majority of the platforms you will be working with are free so take a few hours out of your week and create a profile. They don’t have to be completely put together right away. Once you get a feel for the content you can share and the people you can connect with on the variety of sites, you can decide which platform you would benefit from using.

Of course there are other ways to determine which social media site is right for you and your name or company. Take a look at an article from the editors of CRM Magazine for more great tips!