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!

Steps To Successfully Update Your Profile

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Do you have a personal or company profile on a site like Facebook or Twitter, but haven’t had the time to get involved with it or are new to the social media scene all together?

Think of your profile as if it were an actual person. From time to time, we all need to take a minute for ourselves. Whether it’s buying a new suit for work or setting a new goal to achieve, it is good to revamp – or update- your image and what you want for yourself.

There are a few simple steps, specifically, that will ease the transition from the “old” you on social media to the “new” you.

According to an article on 12most.com, the first three steps are as simple as updating your profile picture, cover picture and “about me” section. Being relevant will let your followers know you are constantly present on social media.

The next two steps are to evaluate which sites would best benefit you and your company and who you should be sharing your content with. Not all social media sites will best fit your company; it’s up to you to decide where your target audience lies and how to approach them. When it comes to deciding who to “share” with, think about the type of relationships you want to build. For example, Facebook is great for up close and personal relationships, whereas Twitter and LinkedIn are better for building a network.

Next is consistency. If you post a mere once a week, chances are that people may forget about you. By creating schedule, you can maintain your presence and have a better chance of staying on your audience’s mind.

These six steps are an easy way to jump-start your page. For the next six steps, check out the original article here: http://bit.ly/10fpWpg

Enjoy!

What is a Hashtag and Why is it Important?

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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!

Our Year in Social Media

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Over the last year, Indoff has revamped its social media strategy. We are now doing our best to engage not only the Sales Partners, but Vendors, customers, and many other people as well. We have worked hard to come up with inspiring content and highlights that feature our Sales Partners’ successes and happenings within the company. Indoff has developed a presence on sites like Twitter and YouTube and is excited to continue to grow these platforms in 2013!

Indoff’s Social Media Coordinator, Krista Fisher, is excited to see where the New Year will take Indoff in terms of social media.

“I have high hopes for 2013. I want each and every one of our Partners to challenge themselves to join just one platform they are not already a part of. With a little experimenting and practice they will realize the benefits and rewards that it
provides. Our Partners can start small and take a few pictures of projects with
a phone or go big and try to do a video of a masterpiece. Regardless, they won’t know what they’re capable of until they take a chance and just go for it. I love helping our Partners become ‘social’. It’s an even better feeling when they are successful at it!”

Indoff’s ease into the social media world continues to be an adventure for everyone involved. We are always looking for new and innovative ways to get in touch with our market.

What are your social media goals for 2013?

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You can “get social” with us too! Check out Indoff on all of these social media sites!

Facebook – Indoff Incorporated

Twitter – @Indoff_Inc

LinkedIn – Indoff, Inc

Pinterest – Indoff Incorporated

Instagram – Indoff

YouTube – Indoff Inc

How Much Is Too Much?

These days, social media is everywhere. There are hundreds of social media sites, all over the internet that keep all of us in touch. It is an amazing technology that has truly defined the way we live our lives.

Organizations love social media for all of its opportunity. It is a great way to connect with past, present and future customers and can act as a platform for any business. Although social media has been proven to be effective, some businesses may find themselves starting to become fragmented in regards to social media. This means that many businesses are finding themselves so saturated in social sites that it is not really benefitting them. The following are a few ways to help any business figure out which social media platform are really right for them.

The first thing any company should take into consideration is their demographics. For instance, if your target market is primarily 18-25 year old males, there may not be a need for your company to have a Pinterest account. Look for the networks that directly relate to your audience and explore those further.

Looking at what the social network can offer is also important. Different social media sites have different strengths and by playing off these strengths, a company can better connect with their targeted customers. Twitter, for example, is great for live events. It offers the user to produce up-to-the-minute statuses that are short and to the point.

A great quote from the article goes on to explain more about social network strengths.

Just because a network has an audience fit with your digital presence and you can see a key strength, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. If your team is small, or perhaps even non-existent, then scaling back to as few networks as you can justify is a wise idea. Figure one or two out first, rather than spreading yourself too thin. 

Using analytics to see your customer’s involvement on your chosen social networks is another great way to decide which social media site are best for your company. RSS feeds and Hootsuite make it easy to track the analytics, update multiple sites, and view site interaction.

The last tip that the article suggests is to find the social media platform that best complement one another. For instance, you can sort photos taken with Instagram on Pinterest.

Overall, don’t give in to the hype. Just because you continuously hear about sites like Instagram, doesn’t mean you need to drop everything and join. You have to take a step back and learn which sites not only best fit your company’s needs, but best engage your customers.

What do you think? Which social media sites do you prefer?

Tips For Growing Your Customer Base

Starting a business can actually be pretty easy. It’s making it take off and succeed that is the hard part. You can spend thousands on advertising and create a great business model, but without a customer base, you won’t get very far before running out of money. These days a person can get online or pick up the phone and do business with just about anyone they would like. New businesses pop up everyday offering new ideas and products that may actually be better than yours. There are ways, though, to make sure you don’t lose your customer base to your competitors.

An article from mashable.com offers a few good tips for growing and maintaining your customer base. It lists four tips that are easy to follow and can be integrated into any business plan and in any type of company. The tips include; Being Helpful, Guest Blogging, Traditional PR, and Excellent Customer Service.

When the author of the article talked about being helpful, she didn’t mean the “one-step checkout” kind of helpful. She means that you should be there when customers need you the most. Posting links to helpful tools or solutions on your website is a great place to start. Your goodwill will eventually be noticed. People will want to come to you to do business if they know you will be there if they have a question or problem. With the power of Word of Mouth on top of that, you may see an increase in your customer base as well.

The next tip is a favorite because it’s about blogging! We can’t stress how important a blog can be. Having your own company blog will introduce the reader to not only what is going on within your company, but it will introduce them to your writing style. Your voice can stand out in your writing allowing your customers know exactly what kind of company you are. According to the article, many people use guest blogging as a way of getting their name and company into the public rather than sending out the typical press release. One company in particular found that doing the writing themselves, and on topics that were interesting and helpful to the reader, actually boosted their exposure. The key was blogging on topics directly related to what the company does. Incorporating a catchy title helped too!

Creating traditional PR (Public Relations) can be key in communicating with your customer base. The article suggests that continuous updates about the company’s new features or even disasters will create a background for your company and will let the customer know your company doesn’t have anything to hide.

 Just like positive Word of Mouth, negative experiences can have an impact on your company’s image and customer base. Comments, good or bad, tend to be voiced on sites like Twitter and Facebook more often than not. A quick response and resolution to a customer’s issue makes them realize that you are not only listening to them, but you are taking the time to fix what went wrong and make them happy.

 Overall, maintaining and growing your customer base may be difficult from time to time, but there are ways to help keep them coming back for more. By being helpful, Guest blogging, maintaining traditional PR, and having great customer service, you and your company can get on the right track to where you need to be to have a successful future.

 

To read the full article, click here!

Social Madness!

With almost one billion users on Facebook, it would be wrong for a company to not have an active Facebook account. Just think, that is almost one billion people who could potentially become YOUR customer.

Social Madness is supporting the social media craze all over the United States. It is a competition divided into three categories; small, medium, and large sized companies. The company with the most votes at the end of the three rounds not only gets national exposure and big-time bragging rights, but will be able to designate the recipient of a $7,500 charitable donation.

If the company participates in Social Madness, it is their job to tell the World. “Likes”, “Shares”, and “Retweets” all count in getting the company’s social media presence a little stronger.

After hearing about the competition, we had to join! This would be the perfect opportunity for Indoff to not only increase our company exposure by entering a nationwide competition, but to intensify our social media presence not only on Facebook and Twitter, but other social media sites as well. “Our focus is currently centered on Facebook and Twitter,” said Krista Fisher, Social Media Coordinator at Indoff Inc. “But in the coming year, we plan to make Pinterest and Youtube a larger part of our social media plans. We believe these two platforms will help further our ultimate goal.”

So far, so good.

After holding a strong second place in round one, for two and a half weeks, Indoff made it to round two! We are currently still in second place and would love to stay there! (So please take a break from reading for a second and go VOTE!!!)

Thanks! And welcome back.

As sort of a “congratulations” and “good job” for making it as far as we have, The St. Louis Business Journal did a spotlight on Indoff. It goes into more detail about what we are really trying to accomplish by being a part of social media and is yet another great opportunity get Indoff’s name out in the open.

You can view the Social Madness Spotlight piece here!

To continue our efforts in becoming viral, we put together a “Where is Indoff” campaign. Our Sales Partners and corporate employees are emailed a sign and asked to simply take a picture with it. This proves to our followers that we are nationally diverse and that when you need one, there is a Sales Partner in your area.

It’s a fun, easy way to engage with everyone from our Sales Partners to our future clients. Social media is a craze that will probably only become bigger and better down the road and, hopefully, we will be right there with it.