Category Archives: Social Media

How Negative Online Reviews Can Kill Your Business

In marketing, part of a good social media strategy would include getting your business listed in local search and actively asking customers for reviews.  I recently posted an article on why your local business benefits from online reviews. Think about the times you have had poor service or great service.  You may have complained or shared accolades directly to the business but in addition you probably picked up your mobile device and wrote a review on Google, Yelp, Bing, Yahoo,  Facebook or travel sites such as Trip Advisor.

Angry commenters have inundated the Yelp and Google Review pages for Palmer’s dental practice, and he has been vilified across social media, as #CecilTheLion became a top worldwide trending topic on Twitter.Washington Post

Negative-Online-Reviews -Can- Kill- Your-Business
Google Reviews

As consumers we now have the power to influence a business positively or negatively. The majority of reviews are positive, but if you receive many negative reviews it can have a damaging affect on any business.

This week in my home town of Minneapolis, MN there was a big story of a local practicing dentist whose hobby is big game hunting.  He killed a favorite lion on a game reserve in Africa.  The story has made the news globally as people became angered at the kill which has been reported by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune Newspaper that the “lion was illegally lured out of Hwange National Park, where it had protected status.”

Here in Minneapolis people showed their anger by showing up at the dental office and protesting in addition,  thousands of people have left comments on the dentists Google page, Facebook page and Yelp Page.

Negative-Online-Reviews -Can- Kill- Your-Business-Yelp
Reviews on YELP

This is an extreme example of how quickly the public can affect your online reputation, but the point is simply that the public does react and often takes swift action.  How you manage your online reputation including reviews is critical to your success.

An opposite example is the Oprah affect.  Remember when Oprah endorsed products by claiming them as her favorite things every year?  By her huge public endorsement many businesses reaped the profits which were compounded by great customer reviews.

Here are 4 tips for managing your online reputation:

1.  Monitor your reviews frequently (services such as restaurants should monitor daily)

2.  Always respond to all comments.  Thank people for positive comments and always address negative reviews & resolve issues immediately.

3.  Respond to any general comments people leave on your social media sites letting them know you care and engage in conversation with them. Building rapport and good will ensures customers will come back and refer others.

4.  Actively encourage your customers to leave a review. Positive reviews build your credibility and that social proof is gold when it comes to potential customers making a decision to buy from you.

I don’t know how the dentist in Minnesota will regain trust with his patients after such disastrous press, and this is an extreme example but the point is that people have the power to make and break businesses by writing reviews and publicly declaring their favor or disdain. In this case, people have spoken loudly.

3 Productivity Tips For Social Media Marketing

One of the biggest challenges I hear from small business owners is getting overwhelmed by all the social media options and how to stay consistent with social media marketing.   It is important to understand that social media is a function of your overall marketing.  Social media should amplify your business objectives, so being clear on your business objectives and having a marketing strategy is key to staying focused on what to post on social media.  I think this is why people are overwhelmed – no plan and thus you throw up your hands saying you don’t have time or it doesn’t work.

Here are 3 steps to be more focused and productive with social media marketing

1.  Only choose 1-3 social media platforms and stick with them until you are really good.
Don’t get sucked into being on every social media platform!  Start with the 1-3 that you know from doing some research are where your ideal clients are spending their time.  People often ask well how do I know where my clients are spending their time?  Easy – ask them.  Do a free poll using a platform such as Survey Monkey and write a couple of probing questions such as;

 – What social media platforms do you frequent most
    (then write out the options and tell them to select all that apply)
–  What time of day do you most often access social media
    7-9am, 12-1pm, 5pm, or 7pm and later
– Do you access your social media sites via mobile?
   yes or no

These 3 simple questions will tell you the what, when and how people use social media.

2. Stay consistent and relevant with your content.
This includes any original content you produce such as a blog as well as any content you curate from other sources.
(for more info on sharing content, check out 7 Great Tools For Finding Relevant Content to Share)

Always be asking yourself, what do people most want to learn from me?  This is the content you share.
Showing up with consistency is the real key to getting people to notice and I don’t mean in a spammy way. If you don’t show up daily people will forget – that is simply the noisy world in which we live.  Also remember that the news feed on all sites move and so if you post something at 9am on a Monday people who log on in the evening are not likely to see your post unless they are specifically looking for you.

3.  Engagement is critical

No longer can you sit by the sidelines and lurk.  If you want to be noticed, build your credibility and exposure than you need to make the effort to actually write comments that are meaningful to a post.  Simply clicking a LIKE button is not enough anymore.  A more strategic play would be to focus on following and engaging with 10 people who you most want to increase your awareness with and comment on their posts, ask them questions and bottom line engage just as you would if you were in person.  Social media is SOCIAL so get out and socialize!

Last word…

When you are focused on your business objectives then posting and engaging on social media becomes hyper-focused and thus takes less time than if you are throwing all kinds of jibber jabber out online hoping someone is listening and might give you a thumbs up.

–>> You might be interested in reading article 1 of this productivity series:
3 Steps to Being More Productive with Marketing

Facebook Now Adds Video Options

Facebook now adds video options to your business page.  This is a dream from a marketing perspective because as you know Facebook is a visual platform and video is a powerful way to tell your brand story.  On the navigation tab under your image you will now see a tab for video’s which you can add from the MORE tab as shown in the illustration below.

If you have your videos on your You Tube channel than you will want to download the video to your hard drive and then upload it into the Facebook page because there is no option at this time to simply add the You Tube link.

Manage Facebook video tab

Ideas to build more engagement:

Add a brand or company video and set it as your pages “Featured Video” so this shows up on the left side of your page and the first video visitors see

Facebook featured video

Educate by posting “How to” or “Informational” style videos that help you followers learn something

One of my favorite pages is from Food Network where they are creating short video’s of  food ideas as show below as well as clips from upcoming shows.  Note this is a 15 second video so the idea is not to create a full feature but a mini clip of something.  In fact I would keep video clips short in all cases, the idea is not to bore people but to add interest and engagement to your page.

Sample of video styles
Create a Playlist of Your Videos

You can organize your videos into playlists just as you do with your music, this way you your followers can easily access the topics that most interest them.

Create a playlist on your Facebook page with your videos

Change Your Pages Call To Action Button

I wrote about the new call to action button on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. This option let’s you change the navigation tab under your main header image to a variety of things you want your audience to take action on such as subscribing to your email list.  You can change that call to action button to “Watch Video” – again another powerful way to engage with your audience.  I recommend editing your call to action buttons from week to week as you have content that might tie into what action you want your audience to take.

Facebook call to action button results

If you want to view a sample, please click over to my page and let me know what you think of this simple into video.

New Facebook Call To Action Button

Facebook now has added to option of adding a call-to-action button on business pages to help drive leads and engagement with your page.

What is a call-to-action or (CTA)

A call-to-action (CTA) is your text copy or an image such as a button that encourages your visitors to take some type of action, such as subscribe to a newsletter, get a free report, or call you for more information.

What is an effective call-to-action?

CTAs should direct people to a landing page where you can collect visitors’ contact information in exchange for a valuable marketing offer. In that sense, an effective CTA results in more leads and conversions for your website. Another CTA on your social media profiles could be drawing people to your website or a phone number to call.  Believe it or not telling people what you want them to do next works that’s why you see so much of it in advertising.

Facebook just made it easy for business page owners to add a call to action button to their page.

Facebook call to action button

You have the option of adding: Shop Now, Book Now, Contact Us, Use APP, Play Game, Sign Up or Watch Video

You will need to provide a URL link to the item such as your email list, shopping page or whatever you want people to do more.

Facebook prompts you through each step, and once you have finalized your button you see the following screen:

Facebook call to action button results

You will be able to click on your call-to-action button and get stats as well as edit your button and test which call-to-action your audience responds to.   What I see as the downside is that most people once they LIKE your page never return to the page itself because they see your content in the newsfeed, however I encourage you to give it a try!

Social Media Marketing Drives Holiday Sales

Want to find bargains during the holiday season than head to social media. Want to market your product or service this holiday, then head to social media marketing and buy some advertising NOW!

No longer are we sitting around waiting for the newspaper circular ads to come out on Thanksgiving Day to see what bargains are out there black Friday and beyond.

4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop

There are more people than ever who are savvy and using their mobile devices along with social media to find the best deals.  In fact, according to ComScore, “With nearly 86 million Americans now shopping on their smartphones, this pronounced shift in consumer behavior is simply too large for retailers to ignore, with the future of their business depending on how well they adapt to the new environment,” said Mark Donovan,  SVP of mobile. “

What are shoppers looking for? 

  • Comparison pricing
  • Coupons
  • Special offers
  • Limited time deals
  • Location of inventory

What you can learn from big brands

If you are a small business you can learn from what big brands are doing to attract customers and model your own campaign after them.  For example, here is an ad I saw on Twitter from Macy’s.  Notice the use of the hashtag #blackfriday or #blackfridaydeals, Yes you can use the same hashtag and play with the big dogs!  You will also notice the clean image sized correctly for posting on Twitter, so lesson here is to get your image sizing correct for each social platform.
You will also notice the fun text that goes along with the images.  What can you learn from this for your business?

macys twitter ad

medi gourmet

Here is an example of the type of ad you will see on Facebook.  Does it give you ideas on ho you can advertise?

Sears FB ad


Now, what about Mobile phone APPS?  They are also dominating how we shop.

According to PC Magazine, When out shopping, 86 percent of shoppers consult their smartphones, according to Shopatron’s Retailer eCommerce Study. Over half of them are looking to compare prices, but they also want some extras, like product reviews.

Poachit (APP) – an product bar codes when you are out shopping & Poachit will let you know if they product is available at a better price somewhere else.
Red Laser (APP) – Search for anything you want to buy and Red Laser will compare prices show you where to buy it in your area
ShopSavvy (APP) Shop Savvy will also compare prices on their website or mobile app
Raise – Buy and sell gift cards
Take some time and browse the App store.  You will find hundreds of shopping style apps.  E-commerce has changed and mobile apps have contributed to the huge change in how we shop.
 –>> Want the perfect image sizes every time?  Download my free cheat sheet – this will save you so much time and you will create amazing images every time.  CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

7 Simple Steps to Creating a Social Media Strategy That Works!

JoAnne Funch speaker, WeMN Conference 2014I was invited to present the topic “What you need to know about creating a social media strategy” at the Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota Fall Conference last week.  The topic was so well received that I wanted to share it with my readers.  I find when I talk with business owners that social media strategy is still not implemented well within the overall marketing plan so I created the presentation around the basic steps to creating an effective strategy.

What is a social media plan?

A social media strategy is nothing more than planning out how you intend to use social media tools to achieve your business goal. Before you begin, commit to worrying about the tools lastYou will need to be clear on the following questions first.

1.)  What’s your pitch? Can you describe what your company does in 140 characters or less? Social media is a world of sound bites – here is an example:

I help growth oriented businesses gain more exposure to effectively build their business and brand

2.) What’s the point?  What type of program are you going to initiate based on your business goals?  Awareness, sales, loyalty?

3.) What’s your relationship with your audience? (pick one)

  • Nothing
  • Aware of you, but never acted
  • Acted once
  • Repeat actions/enthusiasts
  • Advocates

4.) What does your audience know about you today?

5.)  How does your audience use social media now?

6.)  What’s the soul of your brand. What’s that one thing that defines you?
        Example:  Volvo = Safety. Apple = Innovation. Disney = Magic

7.) What is your goal for a social media campaign?

Creating a social media strategy by JoAnne Funch5 essential elements of a useful social media plan should include

  1. Collect – listen and collect useful market information
  2. Curate –  curate important industry information as a way to inform clients and internal stakeholders
  3. Create – produce content objectives
  4. Share –   This does include sharing your own content and ideas but it also includes intentionally networking with and sharing content and ideas from others.
  5. Engage -engage customers and prospects

Bottom line: Every aspect of your social media optimization strategy should focus on solutions that you can provide to your customers via social networking

How can you become involved with your customers online?
2015 predictions are for focus on posts with more meaning, become empathetic – a good listener and then engage with your people.

How will you prove to your customers that you know what you are talking about?

How can you improve your customer’s thoughts or feelings about your brand?

Answer these questions and you will well be on your way to an effective strategy that meets your business goals!

— > > Download the free Content creation & curation guide with links to free tools: