How to use those darn Hashtags!!!

October 10, 2013

Using Hashtags to make Facebook Marketing more powerful!

It’s Marketing, Horn Tooting is Allowed!

November 14, 2011

How often do you remind your customers of all the little extras you provide that they most likely take for granted as just a routine part of doing business with you? If you’re like most of us, probably not often enough. Marketing is as much about reminding our existing customers of our value as it is attracting new customers. So how do you gently remind your customers of all the value you bring to them every day?

Here are a couple of ways I saw businesses do it this week that I  think we can all learn from:

Marketing is horn tootingAt the Vet

My vet’s office has a notice on their counter, nicely printed and in a decorative frame that reads,

Dear Customers, We realize that times are tough for many these days and your pets are very  important parts of your lives. That’s why we haven’t raised our rates in over 3 years. We want to make sure your best friend stays a happy healthy part of your family for years to come.”

This is brilliant on so many levels – I stood there just staring and re-reading in some kind of marketing-envy trance while my dog Capone tugged on the leash wanting to get the heck out of harm’s way.

Why is this so brilliant? What marketing purpose does this simple notice serve? For one, it tells their customers they care and they are looking out for our needs and interests – every customer wants to know a business cares, right?

And secondly, this simple little sign actually sets the stage for their next rate hike. Yup – this notice is preparing their customers to justify a rate hike for them!!!  Think about it, businesses usually wait until we’re increasing our prices to remind customers that we haven’t done so in a while – and that always seems self serving. But reminding customers consistently without asking for anything now, allows us to send a message of care, concern, and understanding. So when it’s time for a rate hike customers will justify it for us! They’ll remember the notice and come to the conclusion themselves, “Well they haven’t raised them in 3 years, it’s only fair…”  Absolutely Brilliant!
At the Grocery Store
The second example of “horn tooting” I saw was in the checkout line at Raley’s Grocery Store.  “We unload your cart for you; it’s our job, not yours!” 

WOW… again, brilliant!  Really? Your job, not mine?  These days I feel guilty  just standing at the cash register staring at the cashier if there’s no bagger  and these guys are telling me I don’t even have to unload my groceries , much less feel guilty about bagging my own? Ok, that’s worth the extra 5 cents for a box of cheerios!

With this simple sign Raley’s is marketing to existing customers; setting themselves apart from the other grocery stores and reminding me of why I shop there. It’s an excellent testimonial to the value they bring their customers every day.  What this sign really says is, “Other grocery stores make you do their work for them… not here!   We’re different. You’re the customer – relax and let us do our job, that’s what you pay us (a little extra) for! “

Do You Toot Your Own Horn?

So, what sets you apart and what are you doing to remind your customers?   Do you offer free delivery? Do you perform complimentary audits or inspections? Do you offer longer payment terms than your competition? Have you not raised rates?  What are the little – or not so little – things that you – and your customers take for granted?

Or did you win an award, donate, volunteer, fund-raise, or get mentioned in the news? Did a customer rant and rave about you? All of these things are toot-worthy!  Put a notice on your invoices, website, or your next ad. Or include it in a Thank You, Birthday, or Holiday cards. Don’t be afraid to announce these things on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, your newsletter, – or even a special email to clients!  It’s Marketing, horn-tooting is allowed!

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Are More Facebook Likes Better?

October 23, 2011

Recently a client asked what I thought about the businesses on Facebook who seem to be obsessed with boosting the number of “likes” of their business page… and here’s my two-cents:

Boosting your numbers and trying to prove how popular you are is just like old-school “blast and pray” advertising. You blast as much “stuff” into the universe as possible and pray something sticks and someone will buy. And we all know where old-school tactics got us; broke and customer-less, right?  Popular on Facebook good marketing

So here’s the thing: like ANY marketing, our goal is to attract the right people – people who are potential clients or can refer them, right? We don’t market to just anybody any more, we’re way beyond that. We’re smarter and have better tools. Do you want a million ‘anybodies’ to “like”, “follow”, “add” or “friend” you? Or fewer  people who are genuine prospects who might actually buy from you?

Think about it: If you’re a company that sells Social Media Services to small business owners do you really want grandmas, teenagers and die-hard 9-5ers as your “fans”? Sure, a few of them may know “someone”… but is that really where you want to spend your time and resources? And do these people really want to read what you have to post? Probably not – and 99% of the will end up blocking or ignoring you. So why in the world would you want to campaign to attract a gazillion of the “wrong” people?

My thing is this: as with most things in life – and especially marketing – I’ll take quality over quantity any day. I want fans, friends, and followers who are actually interested in the content I post, and will engage with me – and maybe even buy something or refer someone to me some day – not block or ignore me.

So instead of measuring your success by the number of “likes” your page has, I’d measure engagement. How often do people comment on your posts? How many different people comment? Are they the types of people you’d like to do business with?  If not, then it might be worthwhile to focus on attracting and recruiting those you want to do business with, rather than just anybody. (AnybodyWho is NOT a Target Market!)

Do you have a FaceBook story or tip you’d like to share?  We’d love to hear them!

 

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By the way, if you liked this post, I’d really appreciate your Retweet!!! Thank you. :-)

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