Doing It Right On Social Media

I have 1700+ ‘friends’ on Facebook and 3300+ connections on LinkedIn (and 600+ on my Twitter account), and the worst thing I can do is promote myself or my company! My posts and content on my Blog or other social media accounts must never be salesy and talk about ‘what I do.’ Nobody wants a commercial or promo about “what you do.”

NOT LIKES

Often, well-intentioned marketers start using social platforms with the goal of reaching a certain number of Likes, Retweets, or Shares, but just as often, they begin the trip of social media strategies by experiencing a disconnect between the Content they post on their Blog or in Tweets. Even more frustrating is the methodology they use to measure their success. It isn’t about how many Likes on the Facebook business page!

TELL STORIES

People love stories and especially stories that make the client or customer the hero! Find ways to tell stories about how an agent or a plumber got more recognition and credibility by succeeding with you.

We have said this over a thousand times – RELATIONSHIPS matter even when the contact is engaging with you on some form of social media. When you finally get to the point – or decision that Social Media is not working for you, look back at the posts that you made and see if they are relevant, or are they salesy and pushy – and too concerned with promoting your own company.

RELATIONSHIPS

Just as it is appropriate to build rapport with clients and prospects about their business and their needs and wants – it is correct to learn about them and their business and then talk about their business. NOBODY cares about ‘what you do or anything about your company. One restoration company is the same as another one – in their eyes. The companies that get the work are those that make the relationship:

  • Fun
  • Exciting
  • Unusual
  • Make the prospect the hero.

PUT IT IN WRITING

Being successful in the world of social media means you have to create a detailed roadmap, listing out on paper exactly what you are trying to achieve and then break it down into small steps – then implement that plan. A well-planned, well-thought-out, well-implemented Content strategy is not only a vital component of any social media strategy; it’s the key to driving the results your business wants.

It’s OK to stir things up a bit and post something slightly controversial – just not about religion or politics. Your audience members enjoy your valuable or interesting social content when you deliver social content that rewards them for sharing your content, engaging with your business, and, ideally, helping to promote your reputation as a thought leader in your business or industry. Providing informative, helpful, educational, creative, and even humorous content makes it far more likely that you will have meaningful interactions.

The right strategy identified on paper allows you to track your success (or failure).

 

Author: Dick Wagner – nationally renowned expert on Social Media for Service Businesses   419-202-6745 cell

https://thecrestnetwork.com/   or  https://crestlibrary.com/

 

Social Media Promo Hacks to Try

2021 or this new decade are the years of social media, at least from a business promotion standpoint. Don’t let this opportunity to build your brand and your following pass you by; try out these hacks this year to grow your business and promote your excellent services on social media now!

Include Video Content

Even if it’s a quick, 30-second video of common ways to use your product, video content is quickly becoming the king of content. People watch a ton of videos online, and that number has been increasing year over year for quite some time. Don’t skip videos on your social media pages!

Optimize for Mobile

If you have to choose to spend resources on mobile vs. computer, opt for mobile. Mobile devices and social media sites are peanut butter and jelly, and if your website isn’t set up to be user-friendly on a mobile device, people will quickly go elsewhere. Part of that includes reducing load times; if people have to wait longer than a couple of seconds to load your website on their phone, they’re likely to head to a competitor’s site.

Build Your Brand

Social media is a place to let your personality shine through, and that includes your brand’s personality. Keep your messaging consistent but have some fun with your followers. People love to see funny or relevant information on their favorite brands’ profiles. That, of course, starts with a great logo, which you can design for free here if you don’t already have one.

Engage With Your Followers… But Not Too Much

When you start out, you might try to respond to every single person who comments on one of your social media posts. You probably don’t have a considerable following, after all. Although that may seem like a good idea, it’s not entirely necessary. You can reply to the first few comments, but don’t spend too much time on engagement. If you have to choose, spend that time posting new content regularly.

Use a Template for Posts

If you’re using Instagram or Snapchat for your promotions, head over to Canva to use their templates. You can design posts and pictures to fit in perfectly with those platforms, and it’s straightforward and intuitive to do. Spend a few minutes and create great graphics with Canva.

Consider a Social Media Management App

If you’re trying to post on multiple platforms, you’ll quickly find your time running out fast. You can try to keep up, or you can check out a social media management app like Hootsuite, which allows you to manage multiple platforms from a straightforward dashboard. You can schedule posts, listen for mentions of your company, and engage with followers easily. Hootsuite isn’t the only option, but it’s one of the top-rated on the web.

Try Using Emojis

They might seem a bit unprofessional, but emojis allow your brand to appear more fun and noticeable, and they can help you increase conversion rates too. Don’t overdo it but do pepper a few of them into your posts or replies to comments. They can help your brand seem more down-to-earth and fun.

Use Hashtags Effectively

Head over to Twitter to find relevant hashtags for your brand and use them in your own social media promotions. A good hashtag can really expand your audience. Just don’t overdo it, please; nobody likes to see 20 hashtags after a post in a desperate attempt to find one that sticks.

Your time as a business owner is precious, so you don’t have time to waste chasing ineffective social media strategies. Try these hacks out to promote your brand quickly and efficiently and get back to building your business.

Guest Post

Marketing Success Using Blog Articles

The explosion of online social media has revolutionized the way people interact in the world, and even more significantly, it is reinventing the way businesses reach their customers. The frequency, tone, style, and engagement of business marketing is so dramatically changed that it has required a completely new mindset.

During my years of coaching marketing people, I am often told by a marketer that they are “old school” and prefer to stay that way because that has always worked for them.  (They were probably high-pressure salespeople back then). They don’t want to hear the world has changed. They don’t want to be told the way they used to sell won’t work very well today. They’ve spent 20 – 30  years selling a certain way, and quite likely during that time in the ’70s through the ’90s, they did OK or even very well. “Old school” is all they know, and they aren’t motivated to change. Little do they know that isn’t going to fly today.

Doesn’t Work Today

I’ve gone on sales visits with many of these old-timers in the past few years and was appalled at their approach and their interaction with prospects. One of them told a dirty joke (of sexual nature) to a group of ladies in an insurance office. Another tried the “Carnegie” approach of forcing his high-pressure style on several 20 and 30-something men. You could tell by the looks on their faces they were disgusted by the brazen, in-your-face, pushy style.

Salespeople looking to enter the marketplace today need to understand that much of what they do will utilize online platforms. It is critical for them to understand how to effectively exploit numerous social media platforms because these platforms are what the world prefers and is using to engage. Developing prospects, finding good leads, creating credibility, and building your personal brand have now become a major part of the sales and marketing activity using social media. The simple social media tips below will help you better identify and connect with customers, build your personal brand, enhance your credibility, and generate interest in your products and services.

Build Personal Brand Identity in Blogs: Personal brand awareness is essential for every high-performing salesperson, regardless of the type of sales. You want your customers to know who you are and associate you and your business with the solutions they seek. Blogs are fantastic at creating that image for your customers. It’s been said many times, “people buy from people they like and people they trust.” Writing blog articles provides readers not only with great info about your products and services but about a range of topics and activities related to your business. With the billions of different searches that happen every day, it means that your well-written blog article will likely be found and read. Blogs are the perfect way to showcase your expertise and trustworthiness and offer content that your prospects will seek out. Most importantly, this must be an ongoing process, requiring you to update your blog posts often and keep content fresh.

Dick Wagner   419-202-6745         Dick@AskDickWagner.com

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Co-Founder of the CREST Network, LLC

Co-creator of the Restoration Marketing Specialist™  (RMS®) certification course

Copyright© 2021-2022     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

 

No Part Of This Document May Be Reproduced In Any Form

Written Permission required to share this article.

Marketing With Social Media

3 minute read

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Consumers give more attention to images than words. It’s been shown over and over that including a good picture or two with your blog post (or even Facebook post) increases the viewership and response by more than ten times! Pinterest is an excellent platform where you can capture your customers’ interest with quality pictures. Post pins (on Pinterest) with clear titles and unique, interesting, and entertaining images to stand out. This may require brushing up on your photography and web design skills, but the visibility is worth the effort, as Pinterest is one of the most visited websites each day. Buying pictures from online sources is a great way to get good quality, intense pictures. I have a Pinterest account and consistently post good pictures (with a weblink) about a variety of topics.  One of the most popular boards on my Pinterest account is my board about Sales and Marketing!

Tweet with a Purpose: Twitter is a great resource for businesses because brief updates and links are sent to hundreds of followers’ phones with a click. Twitter is like a simple do-it-yourself “news release” and affords you a fast and easy way to enhance your credibility and expertise. Make sure your Twitter biography is current, and share links of interest to your followers, including posts from other relevant blogs. Your followers will appreciate this and think of you as a source of great info. Also, try to keep up with hashtag trending in your industry. Using these tags increases your credibility. Lastly, interact with followers by replying, re-tweeting, and favoriting tweets. Although it takes time to get people to follow you, there are great tools within Twitter to follow others, and many of them will follow you back!

Your Personal Online Resume’: If you are not already using LinkedIn to strengthen your personal visibility and credibility, you must begin this immediately! LinkedIn is an underutilized networking site, perfectly designed for keeping track of business contacts, finding new prospect opportunities, and managing your business client portfolio.  Also, you should be asking your LinkedIn connections for written recommendations, (those that know you well), since their comments improve your reputation and profile immensely.

LinkedIn also has superb search capabilities, and more than 80% of major decision-makers are on this platform! For networking, advice, and searching out future customers, LinkedIn has a ‘groups’ feature which is a valuable resource for business owners. Join groups that are of interest to your customers to learn from them. Posting great articles on LinkedIn can significantly enhance your credibility and creates a positive image of your expertise. (And don’t forget to THANK everyone that does connect with you).

Become a Big Fish in the Big Pond: Facebook is the world’s largest and busiest social media platform. As of late, it has created a lot of controversy with how they are deciding what posts are OK and which ones don’t meet “their criteria.”

Be prepared to either accept this kind of censorship or use MeWe instead. With its growth, Facebook has added many features that businesspeople can use to network, interact, and advertise. With this growth, businesses must now compete to be in followers’ newsfeeds. To stand out and increase visibility, complete every section of your business profile or page, respond to customers as quickly as possible (ideally within an hour), and post about more than just your business or blog.

Almost every post you make on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Parler, or MeWe must be accompanied by a picture.  Those pictures should be funny, thought-provoking, inspiring, and eye-catching. Educational and entertainment also play well. This will create an environment that feels useful and personable and will draw more followers to your FB page, thereby adding to your credibility and exposure.

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for businesses and salespeople. These strategies can help you make the most of your social media campaigns.

 

Dick Wagner   419-202-6745         Dick@AskDickWagner.com

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Co-Founder of the CREST Network, LLC

 

Copyright© 2020-2022     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

 

No Part Of This Document May Be Reproduced In Any Form

Written Permission is required to share this article.

Social Media Sucks

4 minute read

Only twenty years ago we used to say that about the Yellow Pages! In our case, the business was in a small (20,000 pop) mid-western community with the bigger cities 45 minutes east and west of us. We had to buy YP ads in 7 different phone books to get exposure to all the markets we wanted. That YP invoice was a lot of dollars – it sucked.

Even more aggravating… when we asked the callers how they heard about us, they would say “the radio,” or sometimes “the TV.” They also would claim they learned about us from the newspaper or Penny Saver booklet.  Very annoying, and wrong. We only put ads on the yellow pages!

THE INTERNET

We certainly don’t have phone books (or yellow pages) anymore, but we do have to be savvy and thoughtful about how we promote our services on Social Media. It continues to change almost daily, but right now we are expected to be present and active on:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Yelp
  • You Tube
  • Vimeo
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Google My Business
  • Yellow Pages – internet-based
  • Manta
  • Medium
  • Trip Advisor (food & travel)
New in 2020:

 

NIGHTMARE

Today there are dozens of Social Media “platforms” that we need to seriously consider. If you are in the disaster restoration or roofing business (or other home services industry), it’s almost imperative that you consider actively participating on several of the above-listed platforms. According to Pew Research, 69% of American adults use Facebook.  On Twitter, there are 36 million daily U.S. users that are monetized!

So, when I say, “social media sucks,” it’s purely from a cost and time perspective. To adequately have the visibility, exposure, and engagement you need for your business, it takes hundreds (thousands) of dollars and for larger restoration companies, it almost requires a full-time dedicated social media expert on staff. (Yes, you can contract with a so-called “guru” company – but rarely do those people have a clue about your business or your industry!)

IT GETS WORSE (SORT OF)

Since Google, and other search platforms have refined their search engines, being on the first page (or even the second or third page) takes a LOT of SEO skills. I’m certainly not suggesting you spend a lot of money hiring an SEO company because most of them charge hundreds (and most of them thousands) monthly to get you on the top of the first search page.

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get good organic exposure (free) for your website is to publish a Blog article (in a blog section of your website) about relevant topics that your customers and prospects are interested in.

BLOGS ARE VITAL

Blog articles drive traffic to your website. More than any other thing you can do for your website, blogging will dramatically improve your SEO and SERP. Further, it also goes the extra step of positioning your brand – and you – as an expert and thought leader. Even better, it can significantly improve customer relationships.

A quality blog post can attract new clients and create a feeling of trust amongst your prospects. Using the right format, with the right blog title, and blog articles (even those of only 400 -500 words) enables Google, Bing, Edge, Yahoo, AOL, Ask.com, Excite, DuckDuckGo, and Lycos to find and offer your website to the public.

So, we all agree, Social Media Sucks, but has become a necessary evil for our business, just like the Yellow Pages did 20 years ago!

Want to talk about it?    Call me now:   Dick Wagner   419-202-6745

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright© 2020-2022    AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

Social Media For Restoration Marketing

4 minute read

Yes, our world has changed. It’s no longer just face-to-face or in-person networking events. The good news is we really don’t need the yellow pages anymore! Newspaper and magazine ads are almost a thing of the past. Even TV and radio ads are only purchased by major franchises and the big boys in their local market. If you ask them, they can’t tell you if the money was well spent.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Enter – the new world of social media as it is in 2020 and the foreseeable future! It’s been in place for about 12 – 15 years, but only in the past year or two has it dominated virtually every aspect of our lives.  From political posts and tweets to testimonials, to simple bragging by marketers, it has taken over our business and personal lives.

YOUR CHOICES

Today, you can narrowly target certain audiences, partly through social media ads and partly by the platforms you choose to use (Facebook, Twitter, Parler, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.). Facebook has 2 billion users worldwide, but very few marketers realize that their Facebook post on their business page only reaches about 2% (yes that’s 2 percent) of their followers. This is because Facebook shows so much junk to your followers, they can only present your post to just a handful of your page followers! (If you have 1000 FB page followers, that means on any given post only 20 or fewer see the post!)

Twitter is similar, but your tweet can be seen by whoever follows you if they choose to scan the feed.  From a purely business approach, LinkedIn delivers the most direct exposure of your posts to your followers.

SPENDING MONEY

Our clients ask us all the time if they should spend money on targeted ads on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn. Yes, but. Don’t pay to boost a FB post. That’s throwing away money! It’s far more effective to spend FB money on a targeted ad to get more business page likes because you can narrow your reach to almost exactly those you want to follow you! (Not as simple if you are trying to reach a national audience, but great for your local community).

NO CHOICE

You really don’t have a choice but to be intelligently active on social media for restoration marketing! It’s as important today for visibility and exposure as it was 20 years ago buying yellow page ads for the phone books.

Twenty or more years ago, the company I managed, was buying yellow page ads in all the surrounding phone books – paying YP about $2,000 a month! Oddly, today, that same company balks at paying $500 to promote their company on social media.

BE WISE

I can’t begin to cover even 1% of the info you really need to know to properly run a social media campaign for your restoration company. I can suggest you read “social media” books such as “One Million Followers in 30 Days” and “Social Boom,” both of which give you a good perspective on ways you can be effective and affordable in your social media marketing.

Still need questions answered?   

Call me now:   Dick Wagner   419-202-6745

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright© 2020 – 2022    AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

 

Contractors Take Advantage Of Social Media

4 minute read

RAPIDLY CHANGING

The world of social media is changing so fast that it’s more than a full-time job trying to stay up to date on just the five or six top social media platforms! You probably have already experienced almost daily changes and rules on Facebook, and Google continues to revise its rules for search engine optimization (SEO).

I’m going to address the single most valuable part of your own social media presence and exposure first (because most of you won’t read much further)!

BLOGGING

First, we are assuming at this stage of your business world, you have a website. Second, we hope your web designer included a menu item for Blogging, and you have a few blog posts on there. And, most important: you must be blogging regularly (weekly or more often). Google and the other search engines want to see new, fresh, and relevant content (posts). This helps them be able to deliver the latest and most useful search results to that typing in search phrases or questions.

We could write ten chapters on how to write a blog article or post, but to be brief, it should never be plagiarized (copied or stolen) from another website! It must always be original content, even if you must hire an “off-shore” writer. Companies like UpWork will write an original, 500-word article for you for about $25. You may need to make minor edits, but if you aren’t a writer, (we think you are), this gets it done at a reasonable cost. And the good news: one article a week means you are only investing about $100/month and that’s way cheaper than pay-per-click ads.

CAUTION

Too many people think their articles, Facebook posts, and Tweets should be ‘selling something!’ Don’t be SALESY! And, be sure that any soft-sell type post is never more than once for every 5 – 7 non-selling posts. When I am hired to help companies evaluate and improve their Social Media exposure and create a simple, inexpensive program or plan, the biggest argument we have is getting them to understand – people hate advertising – people hate self-promotion. Just don’t fall victim to salesy posts.

OTHER PLATFORMS

This blog post is primarily about Blogging, (and I know you are already bored with reading), so I’m only going to touch on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Everything you write and post should be of interest to the audience you want to reach. Posting on Facebook and Twitter should see something from you daily. Posting on Pinterest is typically more of a weekly post, and LinkedIn is your personal resume’ online and you should be on it every day! Including posting something (even one of your blog articles at least every 2 – 3 weeks minimum.

YouTube is the way 75% of viewers want to see content and good info, and we encourage you to create simple short videos (you can do this yourself), and it does not have to be production quality. People today – especially the millennials – prefer videos 89% over text. Simple how-to videos are extremely popular – and even more so if they are done in a humorous way.

THEY DON’T WANT

Since this article is for the disaster recovery industry and is about how “Contractors Take Advantage Of Social Media,” I want to state what I hope is the obvious today: YOUR PROSPECTS AND CLIENTS DON’T CARE ABOUT WATER, FIRE, SMOKE, OR MOLD. Only one in 10,000 will read your posts at the same time they are having a disaster. It’s about consistency, visibility, top-of-mind, and exposure, and it is best received and consumed when it is Edu-tainment (education and entertainment).

It’s important that you know, and you require your marketers and sales staff to actively engage in their own, as well as your company’s social media efforts!

Want to learn more?  Want to have your Social Media program evaluated and reviewed?  Want to step up your branding game? We can help.

Call me: Dick Wagner   419-202-6745

 

Dick Wagner, Nationally recognized Sales Coach, Consultant, Trainer, and Speaker

Co-Founder – The CREST Network, LLC 

 

Copyright© 2020     AskDickWagner, LLC     All Rights Reserved

 

Marketing To Commercial Clients Using Social Media

Social Media Perfect For Reaching Commercial Prospects

If you are the owner or director of marketing in a business-to-business company, (commercial prospects such as Hotels, Nursing Homes, Property Management Companies, Hospitals, etc), this social media strategy is critical to your business success!

You can readily reach out to your hundreds (or thousands) of business/commercial customers more often and effectively with Social Media info they WANT to hear than using any other tool currently available. It won’t work if you try to approach B2B social media just like a business-to-consumer company does. They are an entirely different type of customer than a retail consumer and require a completely different action plan.

For a Business-to-Consumer (B2C) company, it’s all about how many followers (friends, circles, connections) you have and how much activity you get. For a B2B company, it’s not about quantity; it’s about quality – does your social media directly drive business results?

Business-to-Business (B2B) companies will often use social media to give potential customers an idea of “who, what, when, why, where and even the how” of doing business with them. Commercial prospects and clients like this interaction and information, especially when it’s presented in a non-selling format.

The difference with social media is that it’s more about the conversations and the community. B2B companies have to balance both buildings a community and directing it toward a sale. To do this, you should consider this rule of thumb:
Typically, you will divide the info you post into three general categories about equally (33% each).

•    Advertising  –  Marketing – Promos – Deals

•    News – Events – Happenings (in your business or industry)

•    Relevant Content about legitimate topics for your audience. (Interactive Conversations) You can certainly “steer” the conversation toward your products and services, but it needs to be very subtle and limited.  Your conversations should involve and engage your “community.”   The instant it appears to be a commercial, you’ve gone too far in the conversation.

Blogs are a great place to post  “white papers” and other technical notices and articles. They will draw the attention of those that are truly interested, and you’ll be surprised at how many views you get. The more you post that is relevant and useful, and the more you interact with those that do read and comment on your posts, the stronger the following and the more trust you build with your readers and followers.  If they aren’t reading it, either you aren’t posting info that is interesting, helpful, or useful. If your company does not have a Blog yet, then you are already seriously behind in marketing B2B in our new world of SM.

According to ComScore, social networking has reached 94.7 percent of users age 55 and older, representing a 12 percent jump between July 2010 and October 2011. During that same period, the use of email among this group rose merely 1 percent, while email usage among every other age category fell by more than 30 percent, peaking with a 42 percent drop among users aged 15-24 (who spend the most amount of time on social networks, at an average of 8.6 hours per month).

The quality of the relationships you create is far more important than the number of followers or likes that you have.   It’s rarely about how many followers you have; it’s almost always about interacting with interested participants that can affect your business positively while bringing value in advance to them. It’s been said many times in many different ways, but make no mistake about it: Companies that don’t participate in the conversation are not stopping the conversation.

The conversation is happening and if you choose not to be a part of it, you’re making sure that your viewpoint or response is not represented. If you’re not part of the conversation, you can’t protect your reputation.  You have to know what’s being said about your industry and your company.

Dick Wagner is a Marketing Coach and Commercial Marketing Consultant.  419-202-6745

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