How to Leverage Social Media For Retail Brands 

By Steve Hoag

social media for retail brands

Social media is one of the most powerful marketing platforms today for any brand. As a retailer, you need to leverage social media channels to generate buzz, and increase brand awareness. So how do you go about doing that?

Get active on every social media channel that your target market is active on.

The first step is to know who your target market is. Once you know that you can easily figure out what channels you need to be active on. Are you a small restaurant? Go where the foodies are. Instagram, Facebook, Yelp, Twitter etc. This goes the same for any business. Being active where your target consumers are means you will quickly gain brand exposure. Also, STAY active. Post daily on channels like Twitter or bi-weekly on Facebook. You need to keep your brand top of mind among consumers.

Create a unique online brand persona.

As a retailer, you have a unique advantage over B2B companies by appealing directly to consumers. You can employ much more creative social media strategies since you don’t have to be as strictly professional as B2B marketers. Creating a unique brand persona is critical. What do your customers like? Are they snarky? Then by all means create a snarky persona. Some of the top performing brands have great personalities like Old Spice and Taco Bell. Again, knowing your target customers’ profile is critical to finding which brand persona will work for you.

Encourage brand engagement with a word of mouth strategy.

One of the best ways to market your retail brand online is to use a word of mouth strategy. Social media is all about posting things that go viral. Strategies like offering special deals if you Like/Re-tweet/Share/ brand posts are great at generating buzz. Also, be sure to not just promote selling your products. You can also post other types of engaging content like humorous musings, or pictures/videos of your offerings. As long as your content relates to your customers they will share it. Mix it up, don’t spam your followers, and you will be in great shape.

 

 

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Wednesday, November 6, 2013 7:09:00 PM Categories: B2C retail marketing SMB social media social media marketing

How Increasing Your Service Offerings Can Increase Your Web Design Sales 

By Sherry Kinavey

sales tactics

More business equals more profits. There are many ways to increase sales, but a lot of these can be quite troublesome. One of the easiest methods available is to increase your service offerings. By becoming a one stop shop, you can capture every single dimension of a client’s project, and not lose any revenue to other businesses.

Here are three ways to accomplish just that:

Add on-going service offerings to retain business

Cash flow is extremely important for business. Building consistent revenue is crucial to ensuring business survival. Adding ongoing service options such as SEO, content optimization or design alterations can go a long way to stabilizing cash flow. This is even more important if you see that your competitors are employing similar methods. Monthly subscription packages also allow you to maintain close relationships with companies. Eventually, they will have another large project to do and you’ll already be top of mind.

Become proficient in multiple web platforms

WordPress designers are a dime a dozen. The problem is that not every business wants a WordPress site.

And this doesn’t only apply to WordPress. There are quite a number of designers that specialize in only one platform.  They fail to realize that they are potentially limiting their business by doing this. Larger enterprises may want something based on .NET or another platform. Becoming proficient in multiple platforms will open up more doors, meaning more sales.

Outsource development to increase profits and secure more contracts

This ties in to the idea of becoming a one-stop shop for clients. While offering great design services can lead to business success, tying in good development services to the mix is essential. Offering to do both design and development for clients will streamline their processes and minimize costs, while creating more profit for you.

Outsourcing development is cheaper than it has ever been before. There are tons of companies both local and abroad that are looking for work and are willing to provide great deals.

Also, outsourcing development work goes both ways. As your business relationships grow, you development partners may approach you with potential design opportunities.

Definitely a win-win for all parties involved.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Monday, October 21, 2013 7:22:00 PM Categories: B2B SEO social media social media marketing web design web development web trends website

3 Ways to Improve Your Site Evaluator Social Media Score 

By Steve Hoag

ways to improve social media score

Social media is becoming more and more important in business. It allows you to engage your target audience directly, as well as serving as a valuable SEO and lead generation tool. Site Evaluator analyzes your use of social media using a variety of metrics. Here’s three ways on how to improve both your social media, and overall site score.

Place social media links/buttons on your website pages

This has quickly become a must-have on any website. If you are using social networks to reach out to consumers you absolutely need to have buttons linking to your accounts on every page. Make it easy for users to see how to connect with you. Oftentimes, social media is the place where people get to see a different, more personable side of the company. If this means more sales leads, you need to make sure to link to these accounts every chance you get.

Actively engage your target audience on social networks to improve Klout score

Engaging your audience does mean sharing content you have generated with your networks. It does not mean force feeding them your content. Don’t spam your followers, and be sure your content is actually interesting to them. If they start sharing or re-tweeting your posts you are in good shape. Also, take any opportunity you get to share their content, as long as it is relevant to your business. People love attention on social media. Klout is a service that measure how people interact with your posts and you with theirs. The more back and forth there is, the higher your influence score will be.

Actively share your website and any content you have on your website with links pointing back to your site

Inbound links from social media networks are becoming increasingly important. This is a huge part of inbound marketing. Make sure these links are connected to great content that will help retain user traffic. Once you have a good content generation system in place, people will take notice, and actively search for your content on social networks. Great content means more followers, which means more traffic, and that means more sales opportunities.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Wednesday, October 9, 2013 7:15:00 PM Categories: B2B enterprise SEO Site Evaluator SMB social media social media marketing website

The Ultimate Website: 3 Web Design Trends You Need To Know About 

By Steve Hoag

web design trends

We are in the last third of 2013, and web design is still evolving at an incredible pace. If you don’t believe me, go use the Internet time machine and see for yourself! Websites are constantly changing to adapt to changing norms and new trends. Check out these three web design trends that you need to know about!

A Minimalist Approach and Lots of White Space

The idea of having white space has been around for a while, however it has morphed recently.  White space is used to draw attention to your primary content, but a lot of people have the misconception that this space HAS to be white. It doesn’t. As long as it contrasts well with your font color scheme you will be ok. Black or 'empty space' is the new white space for a lot of companies. Also, white space goes hand in hand with a minimalist approach. Lots of big companies have championed this, most notably Apple and Google. Minimalism makes your website look clean, crisp and uncluttered. Basically the opposite of a Japanese subway train during rush hour.

Huge Photography Backgrounds

This has been an up and coming trend that seems to be staying here for the long run. It tends to be more popular among creative/artsy type businesses like marketing, fashion, and other design firms. Here are some examples. Much like Communism, this style of design is not for everyone. You need to make sure your content meshes well with the background. On the other hand, if you are using a lot of landing pages, this can be an awesome option!

Infinite Scrolling

Infinite scrolling is a truly unique feature that is becoming very popular on social media sites like Pinterest and Twitter. It is used best for sites with dynamic content and constantly changing information. It doesn’t work well for blog sites that need to have individual pages for navigation. Another cool feature of infinite scrolling is that it does a nice job of eliminating page loads, which can create a more seamless user experience. Here are some examples to check out!

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Wednesday, September 18, 2013 6:27:00 PM Categories: B2B enterprise SMB social media web design web trends website

Three Reasons Why Social Media Is Crucial To Business Success 

By Steve Hoag

social media is crucial to business success

Social media has been all the rage lately. Celebrities, politicians, and even grandparents are getting in on the game. While social media is great for connecting with old pals, it is even better for connecting with customers. Here's why:

Consumers use social media to make purchasing decisions

I remember my parents scouring through Consumer Digest magazines when making a decision on what to buy. Ten years later, and they are choosing to take to social media to get recommendations from friends. Facebook and Twitter have become a hub for product purchasing advice and information. People will search for companies to see what people are saying about them, or their products. Twitter is slowly becoming an e-Bay of sorts. Lots of users are posting projects or jobs they need done and ask other users to bid on them. So far this has been mostly limited to web design/development, but it is becoming more widespread. A social media presence will make the consumer buying process much more simple, and they will be thankful for that.

An active social media presence bolsters search rankings

Social media is becoming more and more important when it comes to SEO. Creating engaging content on your website, and then linking to it from social media posts is an incredible marketing tool. Link building is still important in search engine rankings, and combining that with dynamic content can improve rankings by leaps and bounds. More social media activity means more website traffic.

Social media allows you to selectively target decision makers in other businesses

Cold calling is usually not very fun. Blindly cold calling without having a clear individual target can be even more frustrating. I have good news for all those cold callers out there! You don't have to do it anymore. Social media has demonstrated that it can help raise awareness, and nurture potential customers throughout the buying process. It allows you to identify key decision makers like the CEO, CMO, CTO etc, and reach out to them individually. You can avoid having to go through all the traditional hoops to reach the person you want to talk to. Combine that with advanced online marketing analytic tools like ActOn and you will realize social media has truly revolutionized online business.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Thursday, September 12, 2013 7:27:00 PM Categories: B2B enterprise SEO SMB social media social media marketing web trends website
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