7 Benefits of B2B Social Media Marketing

To be competitive in the marketplace today your company needs an online strategy and presence. Social Media, if implemented correctly, can offer customers immediacy and can drive customer engagement, increase quality leads and result in higher ROI. B2B marketers need to realize that even top business leaders socialize with their family and friends online. While demographics still apply to social media, they are far less rigid. Generally speaking, everyone is using social media, using it for business, socializing, shopping, research and much more.

Below are the 7 B2B social media marketing benefits

1. Engagement

Be the B2B business that engages with people. If they get to know you, they may want to do business with you. You can achieve this by creating video demos, company news and customer stories. Building trust can help increase interest and, ultimately, engagement.

2. Interest

Social media provides lots of data that can give B2B companies insight into buyer personalities and motivations. Analytical tools, data and interest can help you target specific communities and create content that drives interest.

3. Traffic and Leads  

Creating and implementing high-quality strategy will allow you to create content that will attract leads. Consistent strategy should also drive traffic that converts leads into actionable sales. With the ability to segment audiences you should be able to extend your reach and your number of leads. 

4. Thought Leadership

This buzz word represents the ability to create B2B content that creates a positive impression on your potential (and existing) clients. Examples can include articles, webinars, documents, tools, etc., which demonstrates your credibility and expertise.  

5. Networking 

While social media interactions may not directly land your next client, it can build your network of valuable contacts. This online network may help expose you to new opportunities, attract a new employee or provide a quality referral.

6. Savings 

Every B2B company likes savings money, especially when it comes to marketing. Using the right tools, businesses can launch, measure and modify your social marketing campaigns immediately. Now compare this to your experience with expensive, traditional marketing. Analyzing data and results will help you gain feedback quickly allowing you to adjust your campaigns to make them more impactful.

7. Relevance 

As more companies embrace an active online presence and implement social media marketing your company needs to stay relevant. Failing to participate can make your company seem less credible and that you’re behind the times. Both companies and consumers research and measure brand profiles through their online visibility and activity. Don’t let your company become a brand that is irrelevant or out of touch.

Start your social media marketing today. For assistance, feel free to engage with me online.

10 Small Business Apps

The world has gone mobile and so should small businesses. Embrace it.  Small business owners can benefit greatly from many apps that are available today. Just to let you know I swear by the 1st two apps.

Below are 10 apps that will help make your small business grow:

1.       Dropbox

The best way to store and backup your files. You place your most important files in a directory on your computer and can then directly access them with your laptop, tablet and phone. The file is actually located in your device, so you don’t need an Internet connection to work on it.

You can upload files to the cloud and edit them from any device (Mac, PCs, tablets and smartphones). You can control access to the uploaded documents and can undelete files you’ve removed accidentally. Users can view, download and upload your files securely from any web browser as well as dragging, dropping and sharing items directly from your computer. Free Dropbox comes with 2 GB, but you can earn additional storage (up to 18 GB) through Dropbox’s referral program or upgrade to 100GB ($9.99/month) or 500 GB ($49.99/month).

2.       Evernote

You can save all the information you want on Evernote. This includes webpages (text, images and links), written documents, photos, voice instructions, audio and much more. You can also organize and access it on all your devices (both Windows and Mac iOS).

Like Dropbox, Evernote is free to users, but you can upgrade to a Premium account for $5 a month. Multi-person businesses can also use Evernote ($10/month for each user), which allows co-workers to share and access information easily across the company, while maintaining ownership over who has access to what. Personally, I use Evernote for both personal and business use and will easily become part of your everyday syncing life.

3.       Kingsoft Office

Users can open, edit and save your Word, Excel and PowerPoint files all for the best price – FREE. It also integrates with your email and provides access to Google Drive and Dropbox. 

4.       Mint.com

Need access to all your accounting files on your smartphone? Mint has you covered. It also allows you to enter your expenses after you make your purchase. 

5.       Cisco WebEx Go-To-Meeting

Enjoy meetings from the comfort of anywhere. You can discuss, draw diagrams, exchange documents and screen share with participants anywhere (internet exists).

6.       Bump

Bumping is fun and convenient. You simple open Bump, select a file and then lightly bump your phone against your or friend/colleague’s phone. Automatic file transfer is definitely helpful when transferring business cards, contacts, documents, photos, etc. 

7.       Square Register

Need to accept payments on the go? Use Square Register to accept credit card payments at only 2.75% per transaction. This means you don’t need to have an account with a credit card provider (VISA, MasterCard, etc.) and you will always have your cash register with you.

8.       FreshBooks 

FreshBooks allows entrepreneurs to spend less time billing and more time working. The app offers mobile and online accounting software where users can track their time, send invoices, receive payments and create accounting reports. Also, you can brand your reports, see when invoices have been viewed by clients and set recurring invoices and automatic payments. After the 30 day free trial users can upgrade to a variety of accounts and features (ranging from $19.95-$39.95/month and 25-unlimited clients).

Happy App-ing!

4 Tips to Building Successful Business Relationships

Building strong client relationships is vital to business success. It also drives sales, traffic and overall sustainability. Companies that build and maintain excellent client relationships will undoubtedly become fierce industry competitors. Clients and customers are a company’s greatest asset and it is important to remember that it costs significantly less to retain a current customer than it does to acquire a new one.

Relationship 101

A definitive correlation exists between the length and quality of client relationships. The stronger the relationship, the longer you can retain the client – it’s that simple. Companies need to be aware that client satisfaction does not always create loyalty. A satisfied client has received the intended service or product, to the level that they expected—that’s it. Strong customer relationships demonstrate providing additional value to the client. Be sure to go the extra mile and don’t treat them as only a paycheck.

Below are 4 tips to help build successful business relationships:

1. Engage

Successful relationships both give and take. Loyal clients and customers come from a relationship that keeps them invested and engaged. If a client is reducing their involvement or engagement you may need to conduct damage control. To increase engagement, plan a brainstorming session. During this meeting encourage your clients to become more involved with you and your company and in the decision making process. Be sure to ask and incorporate their opinions and short/long-term goals.

2. Ask for feedback

In most cases, regular feedback improves relationships as it brings to light any problems that may have developed throughout the course of the business relationship. Communication and feedback may also help you to determine new ways to increase your product and/or service offerings. Implementing a regular feedback system is recommended to help streamline the process. Remember that after you gather feedback, you will need to act on it and implement changes. If not you may damage the relationship instead.

3. One size doesn’t fit all

This shouldn’t be too surprising; all clients are not the same and have their own unique needs and preferences. Don’t use generalized, aggregate feedback; tailor your relationship-building strategy to each client. If you treat each client like they’re your only one, you will build a long lasting relationship.

4. Be their first call

If you build a successful and mutually beneficial relationship, your client should consider you to be a trusted advisor and ultimately their first call. Hopefully they will call you first when they want to consider a new line of business, launch a new project/service, or for assistance. Offering support to your client before they ask is a great way to demonstrate, interest, engagement and commitment to the business relationship. Hoping you can provide additional value that will help your clients’ sales, profitability or bottom line. Being an expert who provides them with industry news and updates can also help position yourself as the first call.

Ultimately, healthy and successful relationships thrive on communication. Remember to touch base regularly with clients and ask about their progress and learn how you can exceed their expectations and achieve the best results for all teams involved.