Category Archives: Marketing

Sending The Right Message: Best Practices For Marketing Your Small Business Via Email

 
According to Statista, there were 233 million U.S. email users in the United States by the end of 2015, which will reach nearly 254.7 million by the end of 2020. Email marketing spending in the U.S. is expected to increase from 2.67 billion in 2016 to over 3 billion in 2019. In order to thrive in today’s economic landscape, it’s important for small businesses to get involved in digital marketing to help reach not only a broader audience, but to also communicate with existing customers. The stats show a prime opportunity to capitalize off a growing market with creative, thoughtful, and personalized email marketing campaigns that speak to the lives of customers. All of these tactics bring about better engagement. The goal is to send the right message to the right person at the right time. Here are some of the best practices for marketing your small business via email.
   
Get personal with your email messaging A personal touch in email messaging can go a long way in capturing your customers attention. According to a Cheetah Digital Q1 Email Benchmark Report in 2017, birthday email marketing campaigns have become highly successful and out-performed promotional mailings on opens, clicks, transactions and revenue. Not to mention, personalizing the email by including the subscriber’s name in birthday mailing subject lines boosted open rates by almost 18 percent. Don’t be generic with your email messaging, speak directly to your customer like they’re your friend. There’s an old saying, which states friends support each other.  
Your customers are mobile, and you should be too While desktop and laptop use will always essentially be a worthy way of communicating, your customers are mobile, and you should be as well. According to Email Client Market Share, as of May 2017, Apple iPhone leads email client market shares with 31 percent, followed by Gmail at 22 percent. Consumers are opening more emails on mobile devices than any other device. Creating strategies around mobile email marketing campaigns to engage with customers will help increase open rates of your email marketing campaigns. Convenience is the new way of email.  
Thoughtful persistence can help your customers follow through Often customers will attempt to make a purchase on your website and leave in a hurry, with items left in their shopping cart. What happened in the buying process? How do you encourage follow-through with their purchase? According to Experian’s 2016 report, e-commerce customers who received multiple abandoned shopping cart emails are 2.4 times more likely to complete the purchase than those who receive only one follow up email. It’s important to stay persistent with your customers throughout the entire buying process, even in hesitation within the buying process.  
Be creative and take the risk According to a Campaign Monitor article titled “7 Email Marketing Predictions for 2017,” Matthew Smith of Really Good Emails states, “There will be a revolution in email design.” The change in email design will be a key component in winning the email marketing game. When designers, coders, and content writers come together, it will enable fewer decisions and less time in the design of emails allowing focus to shift to creating more meaningful content. Mixed with great marketing automation, small businesses have the capability to stand out from their competitors with clear concise messaging that can deliver relevance at scale, and turn their email campaigns into revenue generating machines. Campaign Monitor Review reported in 2016, that for every dollar spent on email marketing, an average of a $44 in return on investment is realized. Expect that ROI to increase in the coming years.    
This article was written by Marlena Turner for CBS Small Business Pulse

Sending The Right Message: Best Practices For Marketing Your Small Business Via Email

 
According to Statista, there were 233 million U.S. email users in the United States by the end of 2015, which will reach nearly 254.7 million by the end of 2020. Email marketing spending in the U.S. is expected to increase from 2.67 billion in 2016 to over 3 billion in 2019. In order to thrive in today’s economic landscape, it’s important for small businesses to get involved in digital marketing to help reach not only a broader audience, but to also communicate with existing customers. The stats show a prime opportunity to capitalize off a growing market with creative, thoughtful, and personalized email marketing campaigns that speak to the lives of customers. All of these tactics bring about better engagement. The goal is to send the right message to the right person at the right time. Here are some of the best practices for marketing your small business via email.
   
Get personal with your email messaging A personal touch in email messaging can go a long way in capturing your customers attention. According to a Cheetah Digital Q1 Email Benchmark Report in 2017, birthday email marketing campaigns have become highly successful and out-performed promotional mailings on opens, clicks, transactions and revenue. Not to mention, personalizing the email by including the subscriber’s name in birthday mailing subject lines boosted open rates by almost 18 percent. Don’t be generic with your email messaging, speak directly to your customer like they’re your friend. There’s an old saying, which states friends support each other.  
Your customers are mobile, and you should be too While desktop and laptop use will always essentially be a worthy way of communicating, your customers are mobile, and you should be as well. According to Email Client Market Share, as of May 2017, Apple iPhone leads email client market shares with 31 percent, followed by Gmail at 22 percent. Consumers are opening more emails on mobile devices than any other device. Creating strategies around mobile email marketing campaigns to engage with customers will help increase open rates of your email marketing campaigns. Convenience is the new way of email.  
Thoughtful persistence can help your customers follow through Often customers will attempt to make a purchase on your website and leave in a hurry, with items left in their shopping cart. What happened in the buying process? How do you encourage follow-through with their purchase? According to Experian’s 2016 report, e-commerce customers who received multiple abandoned shopping cart emails are 2.4 times more likely to complete the purchase than those who receive only one follow up email. It’s important to stay persistent with your customers throughout the entire buying process, even in hesitation within the buying process.  
Be creative and take the risk According to a Campaign Monitor article titled “7 Email Marketing Predictions for 2017,” Matthew Smith of Really Good Emails states, “There will be a revolution in email design.” The change in email design will be a key component in winning the email marketing game. When designers, coders, and content writers come together, it will enable fewer decisions and less time in the design of emails allowing focus to shift to creating more meaningful content. Mixed with great marketing automation, small businesses have the capability to stand out from their competitors with clear concise messaging that can deliver relevance at scale, and turn their email campaigns into revenue generating machines. Campaign Monitor Review reported in 2016, that for every dollar spent on email marketing, an average of a $44 in return on investment is realized. Expect that ROI to increase in the coming years.    
This article was written by Marlena Turner for CBS Small Business Pulse

Best Basic Practices For Marketing Your Small Business On Facebook

 
Is your small business one of the 40 million actively using a Facebook page for marketing purposes? With currently more than 2 billion monthly active users, the social media platform has morphed into a massive advertising media channel. Facebook’s ability to highly target audiences, as well as to build a custom audience, are tools built into every business page. The site guides you through a process Facebook refers to as — get started, engage, maintain and measure. “The majority are non-tech businesses — the plumbers, the bakers, the local florists who are using technology to reach customers and sell their products and services,” said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in 2017. A Facebook page for business is free to create. However, gone are the days when those small businesses could reach all their business page Facebook friends with zero spend. This 6 step process will help your company actively attract and build engagement with customers.
   
1. Create a Facebook business page Visit Facebook on mobile or desktop to create a page for your small business, choosing from a category type that describes it best. Facebook will walk you through the steps as you invite others to like your page and begin building a Facebook community. Show off your brand personality, create a cover image, post a video and share links. Choose someone to manage your business page and provide managerial access.  
2. Create and promote posts Keep customers interested, engaged, and stay top-of-mind through activity on your Facebook page. You can grow reach using Facebook tools such as boosted posts, target audiences, custom audiences, and look-alike audiences. For example, you can choose to put budget behind showing a post in the news feed of people who like your page and their friends, or to reach similar users by demographic indicators. There’s a button for the option of promoting a post on every post you create. You can stop, pause, set a maximum budget, add to budget, and finally check on the results in order to determine engagement, click throughs, and return on investment.  
3. Generate more attention Extensive amounts of studies and research all over the internet points to the importance of compelling content, images, video, and mobile. Try Facebook Live to engage audiences in an update or event at the moment it’s happening. You can also schedule your posts to publish at a time that suits your audience.  
4. Get inspiration If you’re stuck or wondering what works best on Facebook, check out the gallery of business ads they love. You can see how they worked and why they were so successful. Then, by visiting Facebook’s success stories, you’ll find a gallery containing more than 200 examples of dynamic small business ads. Search further to focus on examples by business size, type, service, product, or location.  
5. Choose an objective for every ad When you’re ready to boost a post or promote an ad, decide on the objective first. Facebook offers several objectives which include getting website traffic, calling your store, getting more likes, taking a poll, entering a contest, buying something and an RSVP to an event. You can also choose another call to action.  
6. Turn on messaging A good tool for customer service and interface, Facebook Messenger is integrated with business pages. You can use it to communicate privately with customers who contact you or like your page.  
Ready for the next steps? Facebook has a free online education program aimed at small businesses that offers more than 80 e-courses in 15-minute chunks of time. Facebook Blueprint is a deeper dive into how to use Facebook marketing tools to build effective campaigns and lead to a Facebook expert certification.
 
   
This article was written by Laurie Jo Miller Farr for CBS Small Business Pulse
 

Best Basic Practices For Marketing Your Small Business On Facebook

 
Is your small business one of the 40 million actively using a Facebook page for marketing purposes? With currently more than 2 billion monthly active users, the social media platform has morphed into a massive advertising media channel. Facebook’s ability to highly target audiences, as well as to build a custom audience, are tools built into every business page. The site guides you through a process Facebook refers to as — get started, engage, maintain and measure. “The majority are non-tech businesses — the plumbers, the bakers, the local florists who are using technology to reach customers and sell their products and services,” said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in 2017. A Facebook page for business is free to create. However, gone are the days when those small businesses could reach all their business page Facebook friends with zero spend. This 6 step process will help your company actively attract and build engagement with customers.
   
1. Create a Facebook business page Visit Facebook on mobile or desktop to create a page for your small business, choosing from a category type that describes it best. Facebook will walk you through the steps as you invite others to like your page and begin building a Facebook community. Show off your brand personality, create a cover image, post a video and share links. Choose someone to manage your business page and provide managerial access.  
2. Create and promote posts Keep customers interested, engaged, and stay top-of-mind through activity on your Facebook page. You can grow reach using Facebook tools such as boosted posts, target audiences, custom audiences, and look-alike audiences. For example, you can choose to put budget behind showing a post in the news feed of people who like your page and their friends, or to reach similar users by demographic indicators. There’s a button for the option of promoting a post on every post you create. You can stop, pause, set a maximum budget, add to budget, and finally check on the results in order to determine engagement, click throughs, and return on investment.  
3. Generate more attention Extensive amounts of studies and research all over the internet points to the importance of compelling content, images, video, and mobile. Try Facebook Live to engage audiences in an update or event at the moment it’s happening. You can also schedule your posts to publish at a time that suits your audience.  
4. Get inspiration If you’re stuck or wondering what works best on Facebook, check out the gallery of business ads they love. You can see how they worked and why they were so successful. Then, by visiting Facebook’s success stories, you’ll find a gallery containing more than 200 examples of dynamic small business ads. Search further to focus on examples by business size, type, service, product, or location.  
5. Choose an objective for every ad When you’re ready to boost a post or promote an ad, decide on the objective first. Facebook offers several objectives which include getting website traffic, calling your store, getting more likes, taking a poll, entering a contest, buying something and an RSVP to an event. You can also choose another call to action.  
6. Turn on messaging A good tool for customer service and interface, Facebook Messenger is integrated with business pages. You can use it to communicate privately with customers who contact you or like your page.  
Ready for the next steps? Facebook has a free online education program aimed at small businesses that offers more than 80 e-courses in 15-minute chunks of time. Facebook Blueprint is a deeper dive into how to use Facebook marketing tools to build effective campaigns and lead to a Facebook expert certification.
 
   
This article was written by Laurie Jo Miller Farr for CBS Small Business Pulse
 

Nobody Knows What LaCroix “Essence” Is, Nobody Seems To Care

There’s no doubt that LaCroix — the comeback kid that transformed from the seltzer your mom drank to a ubiquitous libation treasured anew by the millennial gang — has amassed a dedicated following recently in the U.S. But that devotion doesn’t mean its fans know what the “essence” is in the carbonated drinks — and no one really seems to care. On every can of zero-calorie fizzy water, “natural flavor” is listed under ingredients, whether it’s tangerine or graprefuit. According to LaCroix’s website, those “natural flavors” are “derived from the natural essence oils extracted from the named fruit” used in each flavor. The Wall Street Journal embarked on a quest to find out what, exactly, “essence” is — and found it wasn’t easy to nail down.

Fizzy mysteries

First of all, “essence” is not a term defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, although the agency allows companies to plaster it on products when describing “flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof.” LaCroix wasn’t particularly helpful when the WSJ inquired after the true nature of “essence.” “Essence is our picture word,” a LaCroix spokesman told the WSJ, adding, ““Essence is—FEELINGS and Sensory Effects!” Okay then. Food industry executives and scientists, however, say that essence is a clear, concentrated natural chemical, and has been used in everything from gravy to shampoo over the years. It’s created by heating parts of fruits or vegetables — skins, rinds, what-have-you — at a high temperature. The resulting vapors are then captured, condensed, and sold in 55-gallon barrels, reports the WSJ.

No one cares

Despite this mystery, it seems like most people aren’t up in arms about the nature of “essence.” “I know what flavors I like but I have no idea what kinds of chemicals are in there and I don’t care,” one fan told the WSJ. “I know it tastes good.” “Essence is fairies in a warehouse somewhere dancing with fruits, and suddenly you have this amazing drink,” another said.

Best Practices For Marketing Your Small Business On Twitter

 
Twitter has come a long way since its 2006 launch, becoming a top player for business marketing, where even small business owners can grow their presence using Twitter’s comprehensive strategies. Twitter for Business explains how small business owners can seize the potential of Twitter to build business influence and growth. Be smart and gain savvy knowledge through the Best Practices for B2B Marketers on Twitter e-book, as even small businesses should look to foster relationships through social media beyond the consumer level. Try these five best practices to begin marketing your small business on Twitter.
   
Keep it short and simple It may seem distinctive to have a Twitter handle that stands out and is unique, but no one will remember an overly complicated handle with numbers or special characters, especially if it doesn’t define your business or location. A short Twitter handle that’s a logical right fit makes your business easy to find.  
Tweet often Due to the nature of being in real time, frequent tweets are a great benefit to small business customers. Tweets can provide consistent and relevant information, keeping followers informed and up-to-date. To give more content, add a link your website, and use one or two hashtags to broaden your audience, but no more. Research by Buddy Media has shown that using more than two hashtags actually lowers engagement.  
Tweet deals Customers want deals, discounts, and something of value to take away from following a business on social media, not just self-promotions. Tweets should include deals for discounts, special events, holiday promotions and community events that attract and keep followers engaged. Businesses can also point customers to promos that are linked to their website. Twitter deals, community news and updates, and promotions remind followers why they follow your business.  
Provide timely customer service Use Twitter’s customer service features to quickly respond and provide customer support. People are quick to share their complains and frustrations about a product or company. Responding to customers within five minutes helps grow strong customer relationships and develop a good business reputation.   Ask for feedback Ask for reader feedback so you know you are being heard and attracting followers. Have customers tweet back to give opinions or answers to your questions. Although through a third party provider and a limited feedback experience, Twitter additionally offers Customer Feedback Cards, which lets users share their opinions with businesses after a service interaction.    
This article was written by Melanie Graysmith for CBS Small Business Pulse
 

Best Practices For Marketing Your Small Business On Twitter

 
Twitter has come a long way since its 2006 launch, becoming a top player for business marketing, where even small business owners can grow their presence using Twitter’s comprehensive strategies. Twitter for Business explains how small business owners can seize the potential of Twitter to build business influence and growth. Be smart and gain savvy knowledge through the Best Practices for B2B Marketers on Twitter e-book, as even small businesses should look to foster relationships through social media beyond the consumer level. Try these five best practices to begin marketing your small business on Twitter.
   
Keep it short and simple It may seem distinctive to have a Twitter handle that stands out and is unique, but no one will remember an overly complicated handle with numbers or special characters, especially if it doesn’t define your business or location. A short Twitter handle that’s a logical right fit makes your business easy to find.  
Tweet often Due to the nature of being in real time, frequent tweets are a great benefit to small business customers. Tweets can provide consistent and relevant information, keeping followers informed and up-to-date. To give more content, add a link your website, and use one or two hashtags to broaden your audience, but no more. Research by Buddy Media has shown that using more than two hashtags actually lowers engagement.  
Tweet deals Customers want deals, discounts, and something of value to take away from following a business on social media, not just self-promotions. Tweets should include deals for discounts, special events, holiday promotions and community events that attract and keep followers engaged. Businesses can also point customers to promos that are linked to their website. Twitter deals, community news and updates, and promotions remind followers why they follow your business.  
Provide timely customer service Use Twitter’s customer service features to quickly respond and provide customer support. People are quick to share their complains and frustrations about a product or company. Responding to customers within five minutes helps grow strong customer relationships and develop a good business reputation.   Ask for feedback Ask for reader feedback so you know you are being heard and attracting followers. Have customers tweet back to give opinions or answers to your questions. Although through a third party provider and a limited feedback experience, Twitter additionally offers Customer Feedback Cards, which lets users share their opinions with businesses after a service interaction.    
This article was written by Melanie Graysmith for CBS Small Business Pulse
 

Guest post: content marketing for freelancers

This is a guest post by James Quilter. James is a digital consultant for the London-based content marketing agency FirstWord Media. James is an expert in content marketing: using informational content like blog posts, articles, infographics and videos to capture customers’ interest without directly advertising to them. James piqued my interest with a post on FirstWord’s website about the content marketing strategy used by the bike clothing company Rapha, and I asked if he could adapt some of his strategies to us as freelancers. Content marketing has been successfully used to boost sales and the brands of multinationals such as Coca-Cola, GE and Marriott. But, as this post will show, it can also be employed by small businesses and ‘solopreneurs’ to increase customer numbers and substantially raise revenue. As you are probably aware, you have a key advantage as a specialist in translation services. You understand language and copy. This cannot be overstated. Content marketing is about creating high-quality articles, multimedia or infographics. By contrast with straight sales copy, content marketing is designed to inform, engage, and/or entertain your potential customers. For some companies, this simply involves a blog. For others, like Marriott, it might be a short feature film: Marriott’s in-house content studio recently released Two Bellmen Three, a film that follows a Korean couple the day before and the day of their wedding. Regardless of the form that content marketing takes, the mission is the same: generate interest and engagement among potential and existing customers. The selling is a side-benefit of content marketing. This is important, because it’s a key difference between content marketing and advertising. How can translators use content marketing?
There is an argument that the technicalities and nuances surrounding translation make it a perfect fit with content marketing. Your customers might be intrigued by the differences between European and Latin American Spanish, or how to handle the differences between different legal systems: how do you translate the words “felony” and “misdemeanor” into French? In fact, they may be Googling those questions right now.  Answer these questions and you will position yourself as an expert. Yet it has to be done correctly. The web is littered with moribund blogs that were pumped out without thought or strategy. The “publish and pray” approach worked 10 years ago, but now that so many companies and freelancers have their own blogs, your content must  inform or entertain your target customers or it will be ignored. If you are a solopreneur, here are some pointers to help you with your content marketing.

  1. Content is about ideas
Identify your clients’ problems. Scan your old e-mails and look for the questions that customers ask you over and over again, or the problems that they need you to solve. If you are writing a blog post, try to make it longer than 600 words. Ideally, something like 1,000 words is even better.  For an SEO bump, include bullet points, relevant videos from YouTube, and lists. From an SEO perspective, these are all effective. Additionally, don’t rely just on text-driven blogs. Videos or infographics can work equally well, and will stand out in a sea of text-heavy articles. Videos and infographics are getting easier and cheaper to create all the time; even a 30-second video on a topic like “How to decide what needs to be translated,” or “Translating marketing slogans into Spanish” could be effective.
  1. Pay someone else
Of course, running a business requires time; translators are almost always excellent writers, but you already have a full-time job running your translation business. You may need content marketing, but not have the time to create it. And, as with translation, good content demands both time and diligence. So, bring in outside help. Ask a professional content marketing writer to create blog posts or articles for you; this removes the “I don’t have time” barrier, and because you’re a quality writer, you can edit these materials and recreate them in your own voice if needed.
  1. Reformat and diversify
No one has an endless supply of new and fresh ideas for content. In such a scenario, build on what you already have – in other words, repurpose it. Use different formats for your content: combine several related posts into a white paper, or make a blog post into a tip sheet that you can send to clients, or make an article into a video. When there is a lot of information to be conveyed, you might opt for attractive infographics, too. For example, you could create (or hire someone to create) an infographic about SEO keyword translation tips that could be kept and used by your customers.  Additionally, diversifying your content will let you share these materials on a variety of social platforms, thus increasing your exposure. One blog post could spawn a series of Tweets, a LinkedIn Pulse article, an infographic, and a video, all generated from one idea.
  1. Update your work
Some pieces of content might be better than others in converting prospects to sales. Every industry has its “evergreen” topics: your target clients might wonder how much translation costs, or how to create a multilingual social media presence, or what languages they should be translating into. Even so, make sure to update your existing evergreen content regularly. All industries change. New trends come and go. Your blog might rank high on Google, but that 2015 publication date will put people off as time drags on. And Google hates a high bounce rate. Make sure to: -Analyze what’s your most popular content and schedule an update every few months. Make it clear you have revamped it. -Go through your popular content and include the latest developments in the sector. And although cutting can be hard, make sure you remove outdated references.
  1. Costs and time
You may be producing the campaign yourself. But that does not mean it is cheap. Keep an eye on the time spent, because a campaign that is free in terms of cost is not free in terms of time that you could be spending on paid work rather than creating content. Real costs can arise when you begin to include high-quality images or graphics, if you need to purchase the rights to these or hire someone to create them for you. You have to be sensible and aware of what is visually appealing. Quality images are essential to any content, but try not to rely too heavily on stock photos. Always keep your costs in check and stop immediately when you find yourself at the point of diminishing returns. Set a budget for your campaign (in terms of both direct costs and time spent) before you start.
  1. Distribution
You have an idea for an informative blog post based on a recurring problem for clients? Great. But first off, think about who is going to read it. Where are you likely to reach this audience? Where do they hang out? Quora, Twitter, or the Financial Times message board? If they are always on your site or reading your newsletters, great: you already know how to get your content to them. But even Coca-Cola has to reach out to new markets. In fact, many large companies rate the success of a piece of content by how many times it has been shared. So, while creation is an important aspect of conducting business, proper distribution is equally essential. Some believe it is even more important. Why? Because if your work never reaches your customer, then it is wasted. Let’s be clear. Your aim is to have people read your content. If it remains unread, your time would have been better spent watching Game of Thrones with the laptop switched off. But you should be picky when it comes to the platform where you post your content. Unless your own blog or website gets a steady flow of traffic, you should opt for the most popular platforms, from where your content can be shared extensively. A brand–including your personal brand as a freelancer–that has received personal recommendations from people who are perceived as trustworthy and as influencers finds it easier to gain trust from readers and customers. When an industry leader promotes you, it sends a message that she or he believes in your work –which consequentially makes you more popular. Moreover, don’t be afraid to promote your posts–content marketing is not a time to be shy. Facebook and Twitter are relatively cheap in terms of their advertising rates, and allow you to focus on very narrow market segments if you choose to advertise. Also, you should have a newsletter and a subscription list. If you already have a list, make sure that you’re actively asking people to sign up for it. This is your key to contacting your potential customers directly. If you don’t have a list, set one up right away. 7. It’s not all about page impressions Don’t get hung up on traffic numbers and the number of views that your content gets. Sure, they are important. But you need to aim for good prospects and high-quality leads. Better to have 100 of these than 1,000 people who do not need your services. The most important thing is to create relevant and engaging content, and distribute it on platforms where your potential clients spend time. Conclusion There is one final point to make. Your bigger competitors may be churning out copy faster than you’ll ever be able to. But you have one key advantage over the ‘marketing expert’ producing the obligatory five blog posts a week. Being at the center of the business, you know what your work is about, what problems you solve, and what your customers want. You might not be able to beat the big boys on quantity, but quality is another thing entirely. Even if you produce just one high-quality blog post a month, that is enough. Just make sure it is what people want and the rest will take care of itself. The post Guest post: content marketing for freelancers appeared first on Thoughts On Translation.

3 Ways Social Media Marketing Can Help Grow Your Small Business

 
Since the beginning of this decade, social media has grown from a fringe marketing strategy to a core component of marketing in businesses of all sizes. This cost-effective marketing tool is perfect for small businesses. The financial investment is minimal, and if executed correctly, a social media campaign can help you grow your business. You will have to contribute some time to the process, but the results can make it well worth your while.
 

 
Social media can help you build your brand

One of the most effective and successful marketing tools is your brand. Having a clearly defined brand will help you build the rest of your marketing strategy, as it will help you build your message and communicate it to customers. According to a blog post titled, “Creating a Brand Strategy for Business Growth,” published by Southern Cross University, “The impact your brand strategy can have on your entire business is immense; a poorly-planned or confused brand strategy can have damaging flow-on effects across the larger business strategy.” Social media can help you communicate your brand consistently through many channels.

 
Social media can help create loyal customers

A popular component of social media is that it allows business owners to communicate with customers in real time. If an angry customer blasts your company on social media, you typically know about it instantly, and you can begin repairing the relationship. Conversely, social media also serves as an excellent tool for happy customers to share your business with their own social network. Forbes advises, “Brand loyalty is incredibly important, and social media plays a key role in the success of your ability to build and sustain that brand loyalty. Staying engaged on social media can truly make all the difference.”

 
Social media builds relationships

Since social media allows you to interact with your customers, it can help you identify potential problems with your business. This honest feedback can help your business improve, thus growing its customer base. Much like suggestion boxes and customer comment cards, social media gives customers a tool to communicate features of your product or service that they would like you to improve. People may be more likely to speak up when they have a complaint, and the method by which you approach these complaints can help build a positive image in the minds of potential customers.

 
Social media marketing channels are now a key component of most businesses, and they can serve as a cost-effective method of growing your company. Using these tools to build your brand and foster customer relationships can help you create more customers long term.

 

 
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger for CBS Small Business Pulse