Back for more? Thanks!

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Back for more? Thanks!

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Now that I’ve finally convinced you that Social Media is essential, I want to explain to you why it needs to be mobile. Yep, I’m creating more work for YOU, but it’s worth it I swear. This one takes some time, especially if you have a large inventory. “Oh great… what is she going to make me do now? I’ve done everything she’s asked and she still wants more? She is needy…” Did I forget to mention I was psychic? It will eventually help you grow revenue, so bear with me!

Bar code scanning is an older mobile application that has been progressing more and more with time (don’t you wish everything could do that? Come on economy… catch on to this magnificent trend!).  It has leveled the playing feel and created free publicity for all businesses with low prices.

Okay that’s great and everything but what does bar code scanning actually do? What kind of information can you pull up? By scanning product bar codes with a mobile device’s camera you can pull up not only the price of the item in the store, but also the price of the item at stores near you , as well as online prices. Guaranteeing that you are getting the lowest price for your item!! HOW COOL IS THAT? I just drove an extra 5 miles and saved $20!!! WOHOO! Okay I may be frugal.. but it’s got to be somewhat exciting for you too.. right?

Just in case I’m wrong.. I’ve got more convincing coming your way! With Imagebar code scanners, not only are you getting the lowest price but you are also pulling up reviews. For example, say you are trying to decide between a Samsung 51” LED television and a
Panasonic 51” LED… both have all the features you want… but which one is better? SCAN THE BAR CODE.. this pulls up customer reviews and some apps will even prioritize your friends’ reviews so you can get the utmost personal opinions.

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I hope you haven’t left me for your nearest mall, because now we need to talk about how it will grow your business. I promise after you can sprint to the mall with your new bar code application.

STAY WITH ME PEOPLE!

First here are some stats:

  • 44 million people have a scanner app on their cell phone (AT&T) (your target market has got to be somewhere in there….)
  • 44% use UPC bar codes (AT&T)
  • Between January 2011 and October 2011  more than 10.4million scans passed through the AT&T Code Management Platform (AT&T) (Hint: That’s only ONE cell phone company!)
  • Are you an online company? A global company? Scans come from over 125 different countries every single day! (ScanLife)

So, when you upload your inventory and prices into a mobile bar code scanner application, and a scanner is at another store scanning a bar code/UPC connected to one of your products – there are a few things that will happen.Your store’s product price will pop-up for the customer to compare. Additionally, your company information will show up so consumers can familiarize themselves with the company.

Are your company’s prices higher? It’s okay, it will still give that consumer interaction with your brand. Additionally, if the consumer’s friends have shopped at your store and left reviews, then they may be more willing to shop with you. Personal reviews place a higher value than pricing to some… (not me). Are you adding additional services to your price (installation, free delivery, etc.)? Show this in your description, it may be something other stores aren’t offering.

Lastly, if a consumer scans a UPC of an item stock item at one store, you could reap the benefits of stealing the customer. YESSS! Once they take one walk into your store they will never return to that awful competitor…right?? LET’S HOPE!

So get your inventory uploaded! BUILD … GET CUSTOMERS!

I told you I would convince you…

More people to believe!

AT&T. (n.d.). Scanning: The news. Retrieved from http://www.socialsearchmobile.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mobile_mkt_solutions_quarterly_newsletter_12-22-11.pdf

ScanLife. (n.d.). Test your mobile bar code iq. Retrieved from http://www.scanlife.com/blog/br/tag/upc/

Listen to Me!

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Listen to Me!

LISTEN TO ME!!!!

Okay, so last week I gave you the basics on exactly which social media networks are important for business, and how to use them. But you are still not listening to me… you still haven’t exactly made a 100% full effort stab at social media. Why? Maybe you don’t think it’s important for your industry? WELL IT IS.

You are a B2B industry with zero focus on consumers. Yep you’re right.. social media is not for you then. It would be a waste to create new business partnerships, improve search rankings, create loyal relationships, and all that horrible stuff. I mean come on, that’s not important. Do I sound crazy yet? Am I making you sound crazy? YES? Great!

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  • More than 56% of B2B acquired new business partnerships
  • Nearly 60% of B2B marketers saw improved search rankings
  • About 53% of B2B marketers found social media helped them develop loyal fans.

(Joohnson, 2012)

ImageLet’s take a specific industry for example, to make it 100% clear. The medical imaging industry, kind of boring for consumers right? These companies create machines such Fluoroscopy machines, ultrasound machines, scintigraphy machines, SPECT machines, etc. Anyway, now that I sound really smart lets go on. These companies then sell these machines to doctors and hospitals. Something consumers use, yes, but directly buy? No.

Why would they need to use social media?

Many doctors and hospitals use social media to keep up to date with the latest medical news. It’s an Imageeasy way to get a lot of information, in real time, all at once. Carl Miller, MD, radiologist at Johns Hopkins Medical Center used social media to learn about a new type of diabetes (Kaplan, 2012). Diabetes was not in this doctor’s specialty range, but it’s still essential to know it. Therefore, medical imaging companies could use social media to update doctors on how their machines could help and exactly how they work. They could take the time to quickly educate multiple doctors and hospitals all at once. No news release needed. You’re welcome for making your job easier.

ImageIt may be worthwhile for other business to find your company. Right? To do this it’s important to increase your company’s search engine ranking. Any likes from Facebook or LinkedIn, and any retweets from Twitter will increase your search engine rating on all major search engines (Patel, 2012). That’s why you
need to engage even consumers, although they may not be your target market. By creating “share worthy” content you could essentially become Google/Bing/others FAMOUS! No more karaoke needed… just social media!

Also the more followers or the bigger your fan base the higher you are on the search engine ranking

Image(Patel, 2012). So call grandma, set her all her friends and their family’s up a social media account and get followers! Lastly, follow those most notable doctors, the best hospitals, and anyone who is considered a
BIG DEAL in your industry. Getting those people to share your information by likes, shares, or retweets will be HUGE in getting your search engine ranking up (Patel, 2012). The bigger deal they are the bigger deal you will be. Time to impress.

Overall, when doctors and hospitals are looking for a certain product you sell.. you want your name to be the first to pop up on the search engine. Think about it…how many people really go past the first two pages. Honestly, I rarely even go past the first page.

ImageThe last social media site I want to talk about is YouTube. It can be huge when marketing for B2B. Here you can create commercials for other businesses or just informational ads about how your products work. Back to the medical imaging example: GE Healthcare has a number of commercials on their products, information on how their medical imaging machines work, and testimonials from users (GE Healthcare). This will be the best way for doctors to really see what the machine can do, and how it will help them without having to make a trip to see the machine itself. Before even initiating a meeting, doctors and hospitals can ensure is worthwhile.

These are only a handful of ways B2B can use social media. But I hope I’ve convinced it’s worth your time and effort!

You don’t have to believe me… but believe these guys! My references:

Joohnson, S. (2012, April 26). How b2b marketers are succeeding with social media marketing. Retrieved from http://www.business2community.com/social-media/how-b2b-marketers-are-succeeding-with-social-media-marketing-0170024

Kaplan, D. (2012, July 12). 6 ways for radiologist to use social media. Retrieved from http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/practice-management/content/article/113619/2089886

Patel, S. (2012, March 26). 3 steps to social media to improve your seo. Retrieved from http://www.searchenginejournal.com/3-steps-to-using-social-media-to-improve-your-seo/41672/

GE Healthcare. (n.d.). Youtube: Ge healthcare channel. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/user/gehealthcare?feature=results_main

Does Social Media Scare You?

Does Social Media Scare You?

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Don’t worry I’ll be an expert soon. Reading this book soon so I can be quoted by others “Well like the expert Allyson said…”. Now that would be pretty cool.

You’ve been avoiding that moment, by changing the subject, trying to convince your boss that it’s just not right for your specific company, or by simply pretending you have an extra loud cough that suddenly made you deaf to anything that’s being said. But that dreadful day has come, you must enter that nerve-racking business of social media. Your boss has asked you to rise to the challenge, and why shouldn’t he? You’re smart I bet.. I mean you knew enough to read this awesome blog, so already I think you are doing great.  So, don’t worry, I’m here to tell you – YOU CAN DO IT!

So before we get started, I should warn you… I’m not an expert. But I will pretend to be for this purpose of this blog, and I will let you know whenever I figure out I’ve misspoken. I’m just here to guide you through my experiences of what’s worked for me and what has not. Hopefully you’ll learn all my “whoops guess I shouldn’t have done that” mistakes and you can avoid those altogether.

So to get started these are what I call the Introduction sites to Social Media. As they are the basic and probably going to be your most successful sites.

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Facebook

Why is this so great for business? What’s the point?

  • The Facebook wall or timeline (I hate this update by the way) is the most useful element of Facebook. Learn it, use it, love it.Image

Not only is this the easiest way to reach all your fans at once, but it also sits on your page for days! How many times have you wished you could tell a story once and it goes out to everyone without even typing a single name? “Well my deep sea swim with 20 hungry great white sharks was okay, eh no big deal. If you asked me about twenty people ago I would have probably explained how many times I almost died, and how 100% freaked out I was… but 60 people later.. it was just..eh okay.” So you have a company update? You have new products coming in the door?Image You have something completely random that you want to share just because? PUT IT ON YOUR WALL!

Instantly your post will go to every fans timeline, and then if they hit that little thumbs up button, it will show on all their friends timelines, and if they “like” it will go to their friends timeline, and boom you’re only three degree away from Kevin Bacon. PERFECT.

Now for consumers your wall is the place they are going to complain, admire, or just want someone to talk to. Either way, RESPOND! Do not hide negative feedback left on your wall, as those who did see it will notice that it was hidden and that looks bad. Instead write the nicest response back and direct them to a different channel to solve this issue, example “Hello Joe, I apologize you were not satisfied with your product, we would like to take this opportunity to turn this experience around and make it a positive one. Please feel free to email me at a*****@gmail.com so we can work to resolve this issue.” Now this issue has been redirected, and fans will see that your customer service is responsive. If they have left positive feedback or just want to talk, answer back. Always answer back. The key here is engagement, which we will talk more about in a future post.

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They even have a cool sticker to help remind consumers to check in!

FourSquare

It’s kind of like a game, the consumer competes with their friends to earn badges and check-in points at different locations. As a business you want to make sure you own your location of FourSquare. Meaning make sure those visiting can check in to your company. As they do so it will automatically update their friends where they are (Exposure 1), and it will also link back to their Facebook (Exposure 2). Also, on FourSquare you can browse what’s near you, so if you are on Foursquare your company and company description will show up (Exposure 3).  That’s three ways a consumer can be exposed to your brand by just registering your business to foursquare! CRAZY!

BlogsImage

Aren’t they just the best? You get to read people’s stories and advice whom aren’t really experts but think they are interesting anyway… like me! This is a great way to share company news, and updates. It allows the company to express how they came to the conclusion they did, and how the company plans to grow. It helps explain everything in detail, while also being creative.  It can also be a place to give advice, for example, if you are a company that sells TV’s you may give advice on how to fix a dead pixel. AND PEOPLE WILL FIND YOU INTERESTING! Blows my mind that people actually read my posts! Wohoo! THANKS!

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LinkedIn is super professional, my least favorite but still considered very important. It’s a great way to share company news and industry information with your suppliers, partners, vendors, and other companies. This will be your “Facebook” for professional businesses. There is a “wall” just like with Facebook and this is where you can post all updates, and it will also allow anyone who’s “connected” to you to view it. It’s also where you can find your future employees. You can post jobs online, and look through applicant’s electronic resumes. You can also look through potential interest and contact them based on their public resume before they even apply. It’s a great way to find new employees and business opportunities! Remember to always appear professional on LinkedIn, you are not reaching consumers on the website!

YouTube

 

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One of my favorite YouTube channels.. Jenna Marbles. She is 100% nuts

This is where you can be the most creative! Any commercial you launch throw it on here! Not launching commercials? Make one for fun, and put it up here! Or just sit in front of the camera and do a video blog post instead of writing one for a little change.  YouTube is a great way to just have fun with your business. The business I work for decided to randomly have their version of the Highland Games. Although electronics were used, it really had little to do with the business itself. It was just a way to attract people to our site, and get our name out there. The consumers give quick feedback of what they thing of your video, so it’s a great way to try out an ad before it airs.

I hope you found this interesting! Another blog to come next week! Please feel free to post about any other social networks you believe are essential for beginners!

Thank you!