Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Why your business should be social networking

Social Networking Strategies

Social networking gives your business the opportunity to achieve/communicate brand awareness and online sales by using social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and others. It also defines strategies useful for networking and communicating effectively with social customers.

Use social media to:

  • Increasing brand recognition
  • Improve brand loyalty
  • Generate followers and sales conversions
  • Create brand authority
  • Increase website traffic
  • Decrease marketing cost
  • Better search engine ranking

As a business, social networking allows for you to speak directly with your customers and allows your customers the opportunity to be heard and get a response.

To successfully communicate in social media your brand should:

  • Engage with consumers (not through auto canned-responses)
  • Share new company updates
  • Manage customer support
  • Remain active and responsive

Mobile Marketing – Why you need it

Case Study:

  • The goal of this marketing plan is to have potential and current clients subscribe to receive special discounts on products and services from CompanyEC via text messaging to their mobile devices.
  • Customers will be able to access the website either by clicking on a link within the text to go to CompanyEC’s website or they can access the website via another computer.
  • CompanyEC will create a mobile website where customers will be able to access from their mobile devices. This mobile website will have 3 buttons which consist of a portfolio, free quote, and button to dial CompanyEC’s phone number.
  • customers can subscribe to this marketing plan via the website where they will sign up by placing a checkmark in a box on the quote request form and the contact form.

 Why will customers care?

  • Customers will want to get involved with this marketing plan to find the best deals and upcoming events that that CompanyEC may be holding.
  • The idea of this marketing plan isn’t very original or unique from many competitors. However, it’s a marketing plan that works and currently doesn’t need a fix a better it.

 Contextual Relevance o Hard‐selling doesn’t work in digital channels. Bring to The time that these marketing messages will be sent to the subscribers phone will be approximately 3:00p.m. CST on selected Thursdays.

  • The reason for this timing is that customers of CompanyEC normally contact the company for their services at the beginning of the week and having this marketing plan later in the week will draw in customers at that time.

Using mobile marketing will allow CompanyEC to stay in contact with their customers and will allow customers to always consider CompanyEC when needing creative services as mobile marketing helps keep customers thinking of the company.

  • 100% of this marketing plan is focused on sales. The idea is to have subscribers receive a text message from CompanyEC and then either contact the company for more information or login to the website and gather further information on the company and then complete the “Free Quote Request” form.
  • All customers and potential customers who purchase the marketed product from CompanyEC will receive the discount with or without receiving a text message with the special.
  • The marketing text message is meant to be informative only and will also be posted on the home page of the website. The idea is to market to customers who haven’t been to the website on that particular date on which the special was started.

Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization for a Small Business

Marketing is necessary for any small business if they want to build a strong online presence. While bigger businesses are going to be successful because of their name and more money invested, small business owners can still compete in the growing Internet market. There are many different non-expensive ways to make an online business have a big presence. The keys to understanding how an online business works is by researching the industry and the target audience. “Once you know what you should be looking at, your online business will thrive with just a little effort. You’ll be less ‘in the dark’ about what is and isn’t working for you” (Hill, 2009, p. 4). There are many free and non-expensive tools to help any business within the online and offline market. Along with knowing the industry and the target audience, an online marketer must also know where to find marketing venues and an effective audience.

In a research done by writer Carrie Hill, she mentions that there are at least four important metrics when it comes to understanding the how to gain new online customers. The first of those metrics is understanding conversion rates. “By measuring your conversion rate, analyzing sticking points, and clearing the paths to and through your sales pages, you’re making sure your conversions are on their way to being the best in the industry” (Hill, 2009, p. 7). The next metric mentioned is referring sites & keywords. This consists of using popular relevant affiliate sources for marketing to new customers. It also consists of knowing what keywords to use in order to create an effective advertisement. Bounce rate is also mentioned as the third of the four metrics. Bounce rate is used to determine if a page is being effective. A great example to understanding bounce rate is someone going onto a website, not seeing anything they like and immediately leaving the site without clicking on any link within the site. The final metric mentioned is measuring the number of unique visitors. This “gives you a better idea of the ‘people visits’ to your Web site versus the number of pages they viewed on the site” (Hill, 2009, p. 18).

Writer Michel Martinez mentions search engine optimization tactics consisting of Visibility, which he mentions “is an intangible aspect of search engine optimization” (Martinez, 2006, p. 2). Another mention is organizing the websites content to help the visitors and searchengines better understand the site. Almost all websites have embedded keywords in them and Martinez mentions that keywords are relevant but that they are “meaningless until you know how they fit into the big picture” (Martinez, 2006, p. 4). He continues by stating that “keyword research is fundamental to understanding what potential visitors need to draw them into a site” (Martinez, 2006, P. 16). His study also shows that site links are most important and should be organized just as well as the site content. He mentions segue points as being incidental content that is not indexable. This includes images, tables and boxes, which can clutter a web site and drive potential customers away.

Michael Rappa has a great article on the topic of running a business on the web. His article discusses that “a business model is the method of doing business by which a company can sustain itself — that is, generate revenue. The business model spells-out how acompany makes money by specifying where it is positioned in the value chain” (Rappa, 2009, p. 2). His research further states that many web marketer’s work together to create a broader range of customers. This includes using affiliate programs and advertising on one another’s site. An example of this would be one site owner being a web design company and the other being a search engineoptimization company. They can both offer the others services to their customers.

According to writer Jon Rognerud, he believes that social media marketing is a great way to better market an online business. He mentions how getting out in the social network arena and interacting with potential customers is a great way to get a business name out on the market. “Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of internet marketing which seeks to achieve branding and marketingcommunication goals through the participation in various social media networks”. Rognerud believes that “you can convert traffic if you target appropriately (research needed), and do not spam” ( Rognerud, 2008, p 10). This method can be very time consuming and can ultimately be a fulltime job with the extensive maintenance and updates that need to be made.

A Writer from Thomas Reuters website says that “Business owners should carefully plan their marketing strategies and performance to keep their market presence strong” (Reuters, 2009, p. 1). Without planning, there could potentially be lots of time and money wasted targeting the wrong audience or not targeting effectively. “Marketing is based on the importance of customers to a businessand has two important principles.

1. All company policies and activities should be directed toward satisfying customer needs.

2. Profitable sales volume is more important than maximum sales volume” (Reuters, 2009, p. 2).

“Market research will also identify trends that affect sales and profitability. Population shifts, legal developments, and the local economic situation should be monitored to quickly identify problems and opportunities. It is also important to keep up with competitors’ market strategies” (Reuters, 2009, p. 4). Keeping up with competitors strategies can be very effective and can save from potentially wasting time and money. This can be affective, not only by studying what competitors are doing right, but also what they are doing wrong.

There are plenty of ways to better market any business online. Most programs that can help do this are free of charge and have a very reliable technique that can only help any business. These methods aren’t just used by small businesses, but they are used by anyone who is looking to better market their online business. Even with the amount of tools to help market these businesses, it is very time consuming. There is no one method to use to create a flawless online marketing plan. The most effective method that any business can use to better their business is to take the time by researching and staying updated on the market and the target customers.

 

Credits

Hill, C. (2009). Taking the fear out of web analytics for your small business. RetrievedNovember 8, 2009, from http://searchenginewatch.com/3634179/

Martinez, M. (2006). Four fundamental principles of seo. Retrieved November 15 2009, from http://www.seomoz.org/blog/four-fundamental-principles-of-seo

Rappa, M. (2009). Business models on the web. Retrieved November 8, 2009, from http://digitalenterprise.org/models/models.html

Rognerud, J. (2009). Social media marketing beginner’s guide. Retrieved November 14, 2008, from http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2008/04/social-media-marketing-beginners-guide.html

Thomson Reuters. (2009). Marketing basics. Retrieved November 8, 2009, from

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