Social Media Marketing Is Real and It Works

In the ever evolving landscape of social networks, you might be wondering if you are obtaining the most from your business’s social media marketing campaign.

In this document, I’d like to cultivate upon that list and talk about some substantial changes in social networks, as well as offer some extra tips that anyone can apply to your social media strategy coupled with social networking sites.

Common Social Media Strategies

First, we will begin with the back to fundamentals tips that pertain to any sort of social network your company is using. They are the methods that even advanced social media folks frequently overlook sometimes.

Be sure that your social profiles are extensive and up to date. Use Google to find your company name and also your own name. See which social networking sites are ranked both on the first couple of pages. Jot them down, and then take a look at each profile to verify your complete facts are completed and up to date. This can include replacing your website details if you have added anything different, such as a blog or an online shop.

Cross advertise your social profiles. Try to find opportunities to add links collected from one social profile to others. Google+, for example, allows you to link to as many of your alternative social profiles as you pick out. Your YouTube channel delivers a spot for Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ links. Furthermore, you should never forget to feature your social profiles within your email signature with applications such as WiseStamp or straight forward text links to your social media sites.

Examine your email address book for additional people to connect with on social networks, and try this periodically. If it has been a couple of months (or a few years) since you last checked your email contacts for first time people to come in contact with on social networking sites, now is a great time to do so. Give it a try Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Refrain from purchasing followers and fans. It is a fairly easy mistake to get caught in whenever your aim is to basically magnify your number of social fans. However, networks like Facebook are actually working to eliminate fake likes from pages. Additionally, tools for Twitter are unveiling accounts with a high amount of fake followers. So keep in mind that it’s not worthwhile. Fake followers and fans will do absolutely nothing for your captivation or your revenue.

Work with Google Analytics to calculate your social media efforts. Firstly, create goals in Google Analytics. Then make use of the new social reporting attributes of Google Analytics to ensure that you are getting results from your social media advertising campaign. You might not be capable to evaluate some primary advantages of social networking like engagement and the developing consumer loyalty with your social network followers, but the truth is can gauge simply how much targeted traffic social media marketing brings to your site and how much of that targeted traffic results in conversions.

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Marketing Mix – Top 4 Promotion Mix Tactics

Marketing mix is part of your marketing plan. It defines product, place, price and promotion. The promotion mix targets raising product or brand awareness, communicating the unique value proposition of your product and gaining acceptance of your products. The primary purpose and focus of promotional mix is to get the desired result: the sale of your product. There are more than seven common promotion mix tactics and while most businesses do not use all of these tactics to promote and sell their products, they do use a mix of these tactics.

The Top 4 Promotion Mix Tactics:

  1. Personal selling is one of the most common of the promotion tactics. Most companies will hire people to do the selling: sales representatives, account managers, inside sales representatives, retail sales, sales agents, or telemarketers. Face-to-face selling is one of the most common methods of selling, although sales by phone, and more recently, sales by email, are becoming well used. These are not necessarily as effective, but they are low cost sales tactics.
  2. Advertising is another common promotion tactic. Advertising focuses on brand recognition and identity; not on the product alone. Advertising can be a costly tactic that only the big businesses can invest in; particularly advertising on television which can cost anywhere from $100,000 to over $1 million for a national broadcast in prime time (for a 30-second spot!). This cost is in addition to the cost of producing the commercial. Advertising in industry or consumer magazines is less expensive and typically you can target your advertisement to a specific industry or region. Other advertising can include car or bus ‘wraps’, events (such as sports, music, art), and billboards. The Internet is becoming a very popular place to advertise, and on a relative basis, it is more affordable.
  3. In the retail marketplace, consumer promotion is very common. Buy one, get one free. Coupons for discounted or free product. Free trial packages. Cash discounts or refunds. Contests that give back cash, prizes, or products. The commitment by marketers to consumer promotion is that this form of promotion can be designed to be very measurable. Coupons, contests, and packaging can be coded to report redemptions and to report sales increases and/or decreases related to consumer promotion. Additionally, packaging new products as a trial, with a mature or declining product, can often provide an opportunity to up-sell and extend the declining product’s life-cycle.
  4. Public relations (PR) is another common promotion tactic. Public relations includes writing and distributing press releases (to the local newspaper, the national newspapers, to online PR sites, to radio and television, to magazines, and more). The key for effective PR is to identify and understand your target audience, the key message or messages you want to deliver, the credibility of your organization, and the recognition that PR is not a sales tactic but an identity (whether corporate, brand or product) building tactic.

The most effective promotional program is usually one that uses a variety of tactics and techniques. It is important to measure the effectiveness of the program you engage in, and adjust your promotional program to increase effectiveness and outcome (sales).

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Format and Function – Tips on How to Write a Sales Letter

At one time during your marketing career, you may have been tasked to write a sales letter. You might have thought it unnecessary, even useless. After all, a little email will usually do the trick in convincing potential buyers to get your goods, right? And if you can’t write to them, you can always run over to their houses and offices, bring in the oh-so-presentable you, and blab away about why your service is the best in the West, right?

Sadly, letter writing is never out of fashion, and your instinct are just plain wrong. You will need to write a sales letter to get to ask many people as possible. You will need to write a sales letter to get that housewife to buy your set of plastic cutlery, or that football coach to buy custom-made towels for his team, or that CEO to grab that hotel membership to his favorite five-star resort. Respect and formality are still in.

A good sales letter needs to be terse, brief, succinct, but full of information about the product or service that you are selling. Many good sales letters take no more than a page or a page and a half to tell their story: within the first few words, they grab the reader; in the next few paragraphs, they can convince the most miserly recipients to shell out cash for a product or service. A good sales letter is also eager without being overbearing, and respectful without being stiff.

A good sales letter is admittedly, very difficult to write. It can be hard to tone down a hard selling tune, but likewise hard to keep oneself from being boring. If you are tasked to write a sales letter, you might want to take note of the following tips as you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard.

– Format is important. As with any other letter, a sales letter begins with the name and address of the sender, then the name and address of the recipient. After a formal address, the letter has a body, which contains, in order, an opening salutation, creation of a need, a sales pitch, information on how the product or service can be purchased, and a closing salutation. The letter is then signed by the sender.

Follow this format, as it can give your recipients an easier time understanding the letter and your goals. An organized letter, moreover, speaks well about your own sense of organization, and even the integrity of your company.

– Always start on a personal note, and avoid using the generic address “To whom it may concern,” or “To Mr. or Ms.” but without a name. Your potential buyers need to know that you care about them, and this knowledge begins by recognizing that you addressed them by name. In sales letter-writing, small details are key.

– Make your pitch in two hundred words or less. If you make a short pitch, you may appear as though you do not believe in your product. If you make a very long one, you might not be believable at all. Strike the balance with a medium-sized pitch that resonates with readers. Remember, you have to create a need for your product or service first before you can begin selling it.

– Do not compare your product or service with those of other companies’. This can be tempting, especially when a free market encourages stiff competition amongst competitors with like products and services. However, this can also speak ill of your company, especially if you do not have a name yet. Make your product’s or service’s qualities speak for themselves.

– Watch your grammar and spelling! Nothing can turn off readers more than a poorly constructed, badly written letter. If you cannot take care of your own writing style, you might not appear qualified to take care of potential buyers either. Always have a book of style next to you when you compose the letter. If you have time, show the sales letter to your writer or editor friends. They can give you tips on how to improve your writing, and you can practice your sales pitches on them as well!

– Sign the letter personally. A personal touch always makes you look good, and can soften your potential buyers’ hearts toward you.

If you want to write a sales letter, then you need to practice often, and believe in your product or service. As in any letter, or any product of the written word, passion shows clearly.

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Why Are Customers Important? – 5 Sources of Value From Customer Relationships

We all know the famous line that says keeping customers is less expensive than getting them. It is and, at least intellectually, we understand how painful attrition is to profitability, even if we can’t effectively measure it. Well worn, well accepted truisms. So, why doesn’t your marketing plan include a CRM strategy? It should. Customer Relationship Marketing is one of the most important and least exploited opportunities for business success.

Why are customers important? Here are five reasons why loyal customers are your most important profit drivers:

  1. Keeping customers, and especially best customers, allows you to recoup your acquisition cost and generate a positive ROI. The longer you keep them the more positive your ROI.
  2. Loyal customers are more likely to buy more things from you. They don’t have to be sold as hard because they understand your value proposition and, since they have a relationship with you, they are more likely to see your marketing, which increases revenue and profit, and reduces acquisition cost.
  3. Loyal customers will pay a higher price. They understand your product and see its value. You don’t have to bribe them to buy again. This further improves the profitability of loyal customers.
  4. Experienced customers cost less to service. Because they know how your product or service works they need less hand holding, make fewer calls to customer service, and require fewer visits from the sales rep. All this reduces your cost, which improves profitability.
  5. Now here comes the kicker, loyal customers are much more likely to be advocates. They will happily tell their friends and associates about your product. This brings in more great customers with limited to no acquisition cost.

I first learned about this concept, I call it the profit fan, from Fred Reichheldd’s excellent book, The Loyalty Effect. If you haven’t read it I strongly recommend you do. If you have read it, you should read it again.

To take advantage of the multiplying affect of customers your first step is to identify your best customers. Understand what they see in your product and how they view the category you compete in. Find out what your best customers are worth.

Then develop a CRM strategy, your customer marketing objectives and strategies, designed to increase your business’ value to them and their value to your business.

With an understanding of your best customers and having identified the CRM strategy that will create mutual value you can determine the best CRM tactics and set a budget based on customer lifetime value.

The final step is test, measure, and then test some more. Customer Relationship Marketing isn’t easy. Getting good at it is an iterative process that will, like all worthwhile pursuits, take time. But with patience, the ROI can be spectacular.

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5 Marketing Axioms to Increase Sales and Achieve Sustainable Business Results

What comes first marketing or selling? This is the chicken in the egg quandary faced by small business owners, SOHO, sales professionals to even C-Level executives. However, the answer is marketing even though some may resist this simplistic response because marketing is not their strong suit or because the current organizational structure removes the sales department from marketing efforts.

So why is marketing so critical to business and sales success? These 5 Axioms may help answer that question.

Axiom #1

You can have the best product or service, incredible customer loyalty and the greatest ROI, but unless someone sees and more importantly wants to learn more about you, it truly does not matter about your products or services.

By remembering this axiom, you may be less likely to talk about your products or services, prices or even provide a proposal

Axiom #2

Products or services only sell themselves only after these 4 actions have been taken, leading to an established relationship.

  • Attract Attention
  • Incite Interest
  • Develop Desire
  • Include call to Action

People buy from people they know and trust. Until you accomplish these four actions, the likelihood that you have the beginnings of an mutually agreeable relationship has been greatly diminished.

Axiom #3

Business is at least 75% about effective marketing and 25% about actually selling.

Unfortunately, for many the opposite is true with 25% or less time being devoted to effective marketing. Then when the business becomes busy delivering its products or services there is even less time for marketing. When you think you do not need to market because business is good to great, then look to your nearest McDonald’s. Has this business with impressive branding stopped its marketing?

Axiom #4

These four elements must be present to deliver a powerful marketing message.

  1. Powerful Story
  2. Cohesive Message
  3. Emotional Exploitation
  4. Targeted Audience

Your message is the first and most crucial step within the overall sales process. A weak message delivers equally weak results. However, a strong message that fails to emotionally connect with your potential customers (a.k.a. prospects) will also deliver poor results.

Axiom #5

Time invested in improving effective marketing skills has an exponential factor to realizing the goal to increase sales.

When you hone your marketing skills, you will invest less time in selling your products or services and increase your earned sales ratio (close ratio).

When you understand and implement these 5 Marketing Axioms, you will begin to increase sales and truly enjoy the fruits of all your labors.

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The Difference Between an Inconvenience and a Problem

Webster defines an inconvenience like this:

Inconvenience -Trouble or difficulty caused to one’s personal requirements or comfort: “the inconvenience of having to change trains”.

It defines the word problem like this:

Problem – A matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome.

In our microwave world, we have gotten used to having everything right when we need it. We can have a turkey dinner with cranberry sauce stuffing and gravy (a delicacy that used to take hours of time and preparation) in less than 7 minutes. We can use technology to buy a book or a song and have it delivered within mere seconds, when a trip to a bookstore or the mall would of taken an hour. In the time, it used to take to put the stamp on a letter, we can send an e-mail message to someone in another city, state or country. Before we can even reach the post office the message could have been read and replied to, all in a matter of minutes. Things have changed, and attitudes have changed, as well. As a matter of a fact, things have become so quick and expedient we get frustrated or angry when we actually have to wait for something. We are constantly looking for new ways to get things faster, better, new and improved.

This has lead to people identifying everything as a problem that has to be fixed or solved when that is not necessarily the case. There is a difference between an inconvenience and a problem. An inconvenience is when you go to the store and can’t find what you need and then you have to go somewhere else to look for it. Where a problem would be not even having the money to buy what you need. An example of an inconvenience is going into your refrigerator and not being able to find something you want to eat, where a problem is not having anything at all in the refrigerator. It is inconvenient to have a job you don’t like, and a problem is not having a job, and not being able to find one, even when you keep looking. When we allow inconveniences to look more like problems we begin to overwhelm ourselves with things that really don’t matter. We also begin to allow ourselves to get so tied up with “problems”, that we stop ourselves from seeing all of the blessings and opportunities around us. Inconveniences are part of life, and they can frustrate you and bother you as much as your problems, if you let them. Inside of inconveniences are the realities that things really aren’t that bad. Yes, I would love to find a parking space right next to the store, but if I need to find a parking space guess what, I have a car. If I am driving, it probably means that I have the ability to walk, so even though I may not want to walk, the fact is, I can. So couched inside of that inconvenience is praise and a thanks. Life is full of opportunities.

We can look for the silver lining, or we can complain about the obvious. Some of our problems are full of surprises and gifts. When you got laid off from work, guess what, you have some extra time to spend with the people in your life you love. You have time to explore those things in life that you couldn’t quite find the time to explore before. Yes, you may have to realign the way you think about spending money, but things are rarely all that bad. I don’t know how many times, I have heard someone say, now that I look back on it, that was the best thing that every happened to me! Be open every day to a new way of looking at both your inconveniences and your problems. If you are have a hard time celebrating the challenges in your life, ask someone who has just been told they have months to live. Ask someone who is fight for another day of life, if they would exchange one more problem filled day with you, just to open their eyes one more time. I would imagine there answer would be an expedient yes, even without a second thought. I am not making light of problems or inconveniences. I am just encouraging you not to waste your time, and energy complaining over things that really could be much worse. Life, really is all about perspective. Every day is a gift treasure it, you never know when it will be your last!

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A Summary of New Strategic Selling by Stephen Heiman and Diane Sanchez

If you have been involved in selling in a corporate environment, then you have probably had someone recommend that you read New Strategic Selling by Stephen Heiman and Diane Sanchez. If you haven’t taken their advice, see if you can’t find time in your schedule to give it a try. More than just a group of tips on finding new business, it’s one of those rare sales books that offers a new way of thinking about your profession, and sales strategy in general.

These days, it’s common to hear all kinds of people, from executives to politicians, talking about “win-win solutions.” But what many salespeople don’t recognize is that the term and concept largely originated with the release of New Strategic Selling.

Where New Strategic Selling really shines, however, isn’t in the specific buzzwords it has, but in the concept of mastering complex sales within organizations that have lots of layers… and lots of personalities. It says much about the politics of the sale as it does the selling process itself.

Simply put, New Strategic Selling teaches that, in any large sale to a big company, it’s crucial to identify exactly who the key contacts are, and then find out what their major motivations and buying styles are. Much of the work in my own books comes from these same principles, and that isn’t just because great minds think alike: If you are going to close the kinds of sales that will transform your career, you have to get good at identifying and mastering all of the relevant relationships.

That’s because the reasons your prospects have for choosing to buy from you, or not to buy from you, don’t always have to do with the benefits of your product or service. They may have their own agenda, which involves relationships with other vendors, the desire to see a certain project or department succeed, or even personal feelings they have about someone else involved in the buying decision. Learning to spot and deal with these types of situations – both as opportunities and obstacles to the sale – is an important skill for any modern salesperson, and especially one who wants to be a selling superstar.

New Strategic Selling is one of those few sales books that actually lives up to its name. It might not be heavy on individual tactics that you can use to close sales one at a time, but it can change the way you look at a complex sale and ultimately make you more successful when dealing with big companies.

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Why Online Magazines Are Becoming More Popular

We have seen an enormous growth in the capabilities and opportunities of the online world. The everyday online magazine, blog, listing or website has now become the best accessible, most effective way of advertising anything; whether it is a roll of toilet paper, or the latest addition to the gadget world.

The average person today would much rather quickly read an article or news report on the internet, where it is immediately accessible and available, than going out to buy a specific newspaper or magazine that includes the specific article or news bulletin. Think about it; you hear that one of your favourite soapy stars has been nominated for an award. You are sitting in front of your laptop. Would you rather quickly log onto the internet and search the story in a search engine, or would you waste ten minutes going to the shop and searching for a magazine or newspaper that includes the story? Easy answer, isn’t it?

Well, one of the best ideas of portraying valuable information and adding to the online world is the online magazine. Somebody give the person who thought of that an award! Not only are online magazines more easily accessible than print magazines; they are usually free as well; which is an added bonus! And, what’s more, online magazines are generally a lot more laid back and fun that print magazines. They may contain anything from short stories submitted by readers, to fun, informative articles and advertisements! So, people tend to enjoy them a lot more than print magazines.

Should you start an online magazine to be the online version of a print magazine, you will benefit in regards to exposure. This is because you can ‘piggy-back’ on the print magazine’s established brand and fame and so build a greater online community, because of popularity. More and more brands are taking this route nowadays. Fashion houses and retailers, grocery stores and supermarkets and pharmacies are just some of the types of companies that are relying on their already established business and brand to build a new one and reach more people via the internet.

Brand visibility is extremely important to any business, because that is where the market is going: online and digital. There has been an enormous growth in the popularity in social networks like Facebook and Twitter being used as marketing tools. So, when you do decide to start an online magazine, remember that it is important to back it up with some kind of marketing; even if it is free marketing, like Facebook and Twitter. Use what is out there to build a brand, and then look at spending money on marketing, if it is necessary at all!

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Understanding the Importance of Your Restaurant Menu

If you run a restaurant, you need to make sure that you have the best menu that you can afford. Of course, “best” does not mean expensive. It means effective. Indeed, your menu is one of your marketing and sales tools. You have to make sure that when your customer sees it, it will influence them to buy. It should be design to entice customers. This is to ensure maximum profits for you and your restaurant. If you really want to sell everything in your menu, you have to make sure that your menu present every product favorably and enticingly.

Your Restaurant’s Menu and Your Profits

The first thing that you have to understand is this – every item on your restaurant menu is distinct in its saleability, so do not expect Product A to sell like Product B. If Product A is selling like pancakes, wouldn’t it be wise to emphasize the product? If Product A is selling for $20 dollars and Product B is selling for $10, wouldn’t you earn more if more people buy Product A? As you can see, placing emphasis on a product that you would like to sell can make a lot of difference on your profit.

Of course, you can draw your customers’ attention to Product A, if you would use your menu well. This is why your menu plays a very crucial role in selling your items. It also pays if your staff understands this as well. This way they can encourage customers to avail of Product A, if a customer seeks for their opinion.

Creating a Wonderful Restaurant Menu

They say, do not judge a book by its cover. Perhaps, that is true – for books. This is not the case, however, when it comes to menu. People will judge your products by your menu and its cover. You have to make sure that your graphics and images can entice your customers to buy. Your menu should get your customers to think, “Oh, this looks delicious!”

If you have to spend a significant amount of money on your menu, then do so. Your menu is an investment. It speaks to your customers and tells them whether or not a particular dish is worth ordering or not. You have to plan your menu carefully. You have to devote time on choosing the right colors, images, materials and designs. Do not take your menu for granted and never commit the mistake of presenting a haphazardly created restaurant menu.

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Read the Nicolas Darvas Books and Learn the Success Secrets of Stock Trading

Nicholas Darvas was a renowned dancer and investor who made heads turn after he made a profit of 2000000$ from the stock market. He jotted down his trading secrets in his best selling books, selling millions of copies all around the world.

His first book “How I made 2000000$ in the Stock Market”, published first in 1964, reveals how he made a fortune from the stock market starting with a very negligible capital investment. The book basically discusses the various trades the author tried his hands on in a span of about 6 years. He discusses how he went on to become the multi millionaire from just a newbie in the stock market trading. He reveals his trading secrets while in parallel telling the development process of his stock trading business.

In his book “You Can still Make it In the Market” Nicholas Darvas stated about a system that could help in charting of the stock market known as the DAR CARD, an amazing technique for the stock market dealings. This book advice on what points should one keep in mind before buying the stocks. He also provides five effective ways to make the odds in favor of one and teaches how one could correctly detect a “must sell” stock. He also advices on till what time it is correct to hold the stocks, the pros and cons of switching and what point to keeps in mind before taking an action.

Nicholas Darvas’ book “Darvas System for over the Counter Profits” provides a thorough study on the “over the counter” market. This book consists of various profitable methods and strategies aided by graphs that could help one make maximum profit in the field of stock market. He also states how he finally learnt about the differentiating character of a rising stock through a series of trial and error. He even mentions the psychological aspects of a mind that is into stock marketing, the emotional struggle it goes through during the stock holding period.

Nicholas Darvas’ book “The Anatomy of Success” is an inspiring and motivating book where the author puts down a detailed analysis on how he went on to achieve success. He also exposes the myths associated with the stock trading. He states that the key to success is positive selfishness, and lays down stories and examples from his own life.

The Nicholas Darvas books, with its unique stock market trading secrets have changed millions of lives. You could be the next too. Grab your copy, next time you see it available.

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