Archive | April 2017

Social Media in Business

Social media is here to stay. No one can argue with that. Literally billions of people are engaged on social media on a daily basis. But as a business owner, it’s ever changing and can be difficult to manage and hard to control, especially when it comes to employee engagement.

Where do you draw the line of what’s appropriate and what’s not. How can you leverage your employees to gain more visibility?

Below we’ve provided some tips on how to manage your brand and employees on social media.

  1. Social media policy. From internal and external social media managers to your employees, it’s important to establish rules and regulations for what is appropriate and inappropriate for both business and personal social media accounts. These don’t have to be too detailed, but need to give enough guidance on what is allowed and encouraged and what could be grounds for dismissal.
  2. Social media manager. This is a position that could be internal or hired out, but it’s important that someone is keeping an eye and engaging on social media. Nothing looks worse than a company who seems to be ignoring their customers and prospects on social media when expectations for response are much higher than traditional media sources. This person should be responsible for daily review of company sites, answering messages and also keeping an eye on any company tags and discussions that could be happening.
  3. Be active. People expect close to real-time response on social media. Not posting consistently shows you don’t really care and also doesn’t provide content for people to share, like your employees, who could help grow audience reach easily.
  4. Encourage employees to engage. Your employees are great assets that have reach beyond your walls. Encourage them to share content from your business pages on their personal pages. Many companies offer an incentive program for employees that share and engage rewarding with small gift cards, a small gift or extra time off!

For more ideas and tips on social media management contact us!

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When is Advertising Not the Answer?

Every business hits a stagnant time or even a decline. When that happens, oftentimes, our first instinct is to up our marketing budget to get in front of more people and increase leads. This might be a good solution. However, the answer may be that our advertising budget is fine, but you have an operational disconnect.

So where is this disconnect? Many times, it’s in the conversion process (a.k.a. your internal sales process). You can put a lot of money towards marketing and lead generation, but if you can’t convert and close, those are wasted marketing dollars. Or you can have an excellent close rate, but you aren’t servicing them well or your product isn’t what they need so they are walking right out your back door.

Follow these tips to identify if you have a disconnect and, if so, how to close the gap.

  1. Track the process. You can’t improve what you don’t know. This is the most important thing you can do to determine where there may be a disconnect. Depending on your business and goals, you should be tracking your key performance indicators (KPIs), which could include: total inquiries, appointments/registrations/enrollments, new customers, customers that left and any other pertinent information to your goals and revenue. This should be done at least monthly.
  2. Analyze the numbers. Once you have a few months of tracking, it’s time to review the numbers. Do you have a lot of leads, but hardly any conversions to new customers? If so, then your disconnect is in your internal sales process. Do you have a high closing rate but just not enough leads? If so, then your disconnect is marketing related.
  3. Process improvement. If your disconnect is in your internal sales process, it’s time to review your internal processes and improve. Who is responsible for follow-up? What is that follow-up? A phone call, email? How far apart? Arm your sales team with a process for nurturing and converting leads. If your disconnect is not enough leads, but high conversion, then it’s time to look at your marketing dollars and expand reach.

Once you’ve completed the above three steps, it’s important to have a quarterly review to see if those process improvements are helping you head in the right direction.

To learn more about our services and how we can help you close the gap, contact us today.

The Dangers of Silo Thinking in Business

SilosThink about each of the product or service lines your company offers. When a company expands beyond one, confusion tends to set in on how to market the business. Should you market each product/service line, or the company as a whole? Most often, one or two product/service lines are marketed, while the others don’t receive any attention and the company marketing as a whole falls by the wayside. Suddenly, prospects think the company only has one product/service line and there is little to no cross-selling happening.

This predicament can be dangerous for a company. Not only is the client not being serviced to their full potential, as there is likely more value that your company can provide them from other departments, but you are also losing potential revenue to your easiest target audience – your current clients. Even worse – what if the other departments actively prospect your current clients without knowing they are already current customers? Looks pretty bad, huh?

These scenarios are happening every day. Below are three things you can do to break down this “silo thinking” that could be happening in your business:

  1. Hire a consultant to meet with each department head and identify their top three goals.
  2. Host a strategic meeting with the department heads to review everyone’s goals. Identify commonalities among the goals and see where departments can help each other to reach their goals. One department may be looking to grow in a market already tapped by another department.
  3. Assign goals to the company as well as the departments. Each of the department heads has a responsibility to think beyond their department. Consider how the company as a whole should be presented. Is the company brand presented before the departments or is the company secondary to the department offerings?

If you have questions on this process, then please reach out to us at 515-868-0240.