Archive for Sault Ste. Marie

Is your online presence ready for 2018?

Social Media Trends for 2018

It can be tough to keep up with the changing platforms and trends of social media marketing. For this reason, CC Communications has researched the following trends in order to help you continue to grow your brand online – here is a rundown of what to expect in the early onset of 2018.

Video Content Dominates

Customers recall imagery and videos better than text. Video content is therefore on the rise. If you only post text updates to your Facebook page, get ready to change your social media strategy.

Live features on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat have popularized video options from covering live events to announcing new products. We predict that next year, your social timeline will include even more visuals, including GIFs, videos, photos and animations.

Chatbots become Essential

Social media is where many customers go to get answers to their product questions and inquiries. Consumers demand quick answers  and chatbots help facilitate this. Chatbots allow you the opportunity to reply to customers instantly through social media messaging if you are not online or when a message is received outside of business hours.

A well-maintained conversation with your customer after a “cold chatbox introduction” is made should become a number one priority in order to #ConnectMORE with your target audience. A social media manager should follow up with all leads and inquires received to ensure that customers questions have been properly answered.

Mobile Use Continues to Skyrocket

Most social media sessions are accessed through mobile devices. Facebook reported 1.23 billion daily active users as of December 2016, with 1.15 billion of those coming from mobile devices. Taking the time to ensure that your ad is well-designed is important, however, a great ad design will not help if customers are directed to a website with slow load times and a difficult navigation structure. Prevent this by making your website mobile-friendly, user-friendly, and accessible.

Stay ahead of the curve by building a strong online presence now. Build an effective social media strategy before the ball drops in 2018 by booking your FREE 30 minute consultation with CC Communications today!

Online Branding and YOUR Business

As consumers are less frequently using traditional forms of advertising, it is important to start building your online presence now.

Google searches have replaced the need for a phone book and social media marketing has become an effective way to virally-expand your brand’s exposure on an epic scale. Compared to signage, social media marketing allows you the opportunity to record data regarding those who have seen and interacted with your advertisement.

Taking the time to build your brand’s presence online is a worthwhile investment. You will gain access to valuable analytics while opening a door for communication to your customers.
 
This opportunity to #ConnectMORE with your target audience will help you build trust with your customer and help your brand build a loyal following. Taking an online approach for your future marketing pursuits can also result in the following:

An opportunity to Build a Following – People are searching for you…
 

The sooner your business is online; the sooner people can find you. People are searching for your brand on social media channels and Google. It might start with just a few friends liking and sharing your Facebook page, but that leads to a wider audience being exposed to your brand.

Remember, word of mouth advertising is now spread online! Once you have a captive audience of social media followers, it’s easier to spread your messages to them and convert your audience into customers.

Own your own advertising goals

You are not limited to local reach when using online marketing tools. Your target market can be isolated or you can choose to expand globally.

The option for reaching a segmented audience is limitless and the data recorded for such marketing initiatives will help you plan for future campaigns and/or promotions.

Claim your keywords and hashtags!

Your brand’s hashtag is important, so make sure to claim your own before a competitive businesses does. Your hashtag helps your audience connect with you overall brand and helps people discover your brand to further your reach on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and more!

Getting your brand online leads to more exposure for your business and, as a result, can help boost your online and in-store traffic.

Join us at CC Communications’ Online Branding and YOUR Business Introductory Seminar on November 28th at Solo Trattoria in Sault Ste. Marie.

From 5:30 until 7:00 pm, you will learn how having and maintaining an online presence can take your business to the next level and help you #ConnectMORE with your customers!

Delicious appetizers from Solo Trattoria is included with your $45 ticket.

Get your tickets today and reserve your spot by clicking here! 

 

Simply being on social media is NOT enough

When put to use in a strategic manner, social media can bring in new customers, increase brand awareness and help you #ConnectMORE with your audience.

However, simply being present on social media is not enough. Here’s why:

  1. We live in an environment where social media is visible twenty-four, seven through the means of interactive technology and mobile devices. Failing to use social media marketing can have an immediate negative impact on your overall business growth. More than likely, competitors are actively engaging with customers and maintaining conversations with them through the use of various social media platforms.
  2. It is also no surprise that social sharing influences purchaser’s decisions. People often are influenced by their friend’s recommendations, reviews, and referrals and social media is the perfect place for people to voice their experiences.
  3. People are posting content regularly and it is becoming increasingly important to post engaging content that impacts your target audience. Creating a social media strategy will help you focus on using relevant content to connect with existing and new customers and avoid adding to the noise.

For these reasons, a social media plan is important to keep your content interactive, relevant and compelling. A social media plan can outline how your interaction will align with your overall business strategy to achieve business goals, whether they may be to enhance your brand presence online, market yourself in a more professional manner, or increase your sales.

Do you want to attract new customers? Would you like to increase traffic to your website? Would you like to increase your online sales?

If you’re a business owner and responding yes to these questions, then it is important to have a clear set of goals in mind to achieve these results.

We understand that busy-business owners do not have time to perform the research to determine a strategic plan of action. So, during your free 30 minute consultation with CC Communications, we provide important information concerning the set up of your social media accounts and website to recommend solutions to help you achieve your goals. Our familiarity with SEO keywords can serve to elevate your presence online as well as stand out from the ever-growing social media noise. Our familiarity in marketing trends and research, can also determine what types of promotional campaigns or offers would be wise to incorporate in your social media strategy. By working together, we can create compelling social content and provide “hands on” daily management services to ensure that your online presence is constantly growing.

Are you ready to take your social game to the next level? Let’s talk.

 

Every Business Needs a Social Media Policy

Social media is here to stay, and the nearly 3 billion people who maintain an active social media presence would agree. However, when employees are linked to a business, that business’ reputation can either be crippled by an employee’s social media use or enhanced.

Too often we hear about companies coming under fire for something an employee has done, said or shared on social media.

Prohibiting your employees from using social media is not realistic and a violation of their privacy. However, having a strong social media policy drafted for your place of business is a legal and effective tool to utilize. It also allows your employees to become part of the “team building” of your online social media presence.

CC Communications can help you develop an effective social media policy to protect your employees, your company’s reputation, and to enhance your online brand presence.

In this regard, your policy should not be a list of things your employees are not allowed to do. Avoid a long list of restrictions, and instead focus on what your employees are allowed and encouraged to share.

Your employees can be the best advocates for your business. The messages about your products or services can be more credible when coming from an employee. Encourage your staff to use social media to promote products or services they themselves use or currently would recommend to friends and family. It allows your employees the opportunity to have a voice about the products and services they find useful.

Use it as an educational tool

Your social media policy should educate your employees – many people do not realize the information they share on social media can be view virally. Your policy should enhance employee knowledge of how to properly use using privacy settings on social media. Such settings are continuously changing and are dependent upon which social media network you are referencing. It is therefore important to research privacy information prior to the development of your social media policy in order to ensure it is relevant.

Remind your staff that nothing shared online is truly private, and once something is published online, it is difficult for it to be permanently deleted. Use your social media policy as a tool to encourage your staff to #ConnectMORE but, in a more conscientious way!

Be specific!

Before developing a social media policy, know your expectations and limitations.

For instance, the GAP clothing company has a social media policy explicitly states:

 “Don’t even think about it…. Talking about financial information, sales trends, strategies, forecasts, legal issues, future promotional activities. Giving out personal information about customers or employees. Posting confidential or non-public information. Responding to an offensive or negative post by a customer. There’s no winner in that game.”

Your social media policy protects your brand’s image, outlines your expectations and helps you build a team dedicated to the enhancement of your “online goals” for your business. Book your FREE 30 minute consultation with CC Communications regarding the drafting and finalizing of your social media policy today.

3 reasons why your business needs a Professional Photographer

Professional photography is no longer an optional business expense – more businesses, of all sizes, are choosing to have product photographed by a professional. Doing so can enhance the brand image of your business online, especially on social media platforms such as Facebook.

To grow your online business, you can benefit from hiring a professional photographer.

Here are some ways professional photography can help you #ConnectMORE with your customers:

Increase Sales and Brand Awareness

Featuring low resolution or poor quality images on your website and social media channels can give your brand an unprofessional reputation. Ebay reported that listings with better photo quality are ten times more successful, which makes sense – people like to buy products that look good! They also like to see the features of the product before making a purchase.

Composition and lighting become very important and the use of a variety of camera settings can help accurately represent and enhance the appearance of your product. Professionals know how to position your product to make it look appealing – “Photograph my good side!”

This is particularly important for realtors looking to showcase their listings online. High quality photos can improve the look of a home and add value to your listing.

Photos captured with wide angles and an abundance of light can allow online viewers the opportunity to consider booking a walk through. Photos that capture the home in a real-life situation look more polished and professional compared to unflattering, blurred photos captured with your mobile device. Having professional photos taken of a listing also informs potential buyers that you have made an investment in a worth-while listing!

When you schedule your FREE 30 minute consultation with CC Communications, we will show you how can use professional photography to improve brand recognition as well as increase your sales.

Improve your Social Media Image

Images uploaded to social channels can be captured with your mobile phone very conveniently. However, the images captured with your mobile device may appear small, grainy, and compressed when uploaded.

Although phone cameras are becoming more advanced, a professional DSLR digital camera can produce high-quality images due to a variety of manual settings including the ability to adjust aperture, shutter speed, and ISO lighting to capture a perfect shot.

Most mobile device cameras operate in an automatic mode, which limits these functions. In addition, social channels also compress the photos you upload affecting their visual appearance so it is important to consider having the highest quality photo to begin with.

Facebook recommends that images with a resolution of at least 1024 x 1024 be used to avoid visual distortions when uploaded.

For product photos, a white background is also recommended and the use of a well lit area. Products should also be photographed up close and, if possible, active in a real-life situation.

Facebook discourages the use of images containing text or watermarks, as well as, offensive content.

Establish a Personal Connection 

When it comes to your online presence, personalized and relevant photos are recommended. Stock images, are easily replicated by a variety of businesses for a variety of purposes and can fail to showcase your unique brand. To stand out, your business should use “organic” photos that specifically refer to your business location, product selection, and brand.

Marketing Experiments recently found that when a stock image of a model was used in comparison to a picture of a real employee on the homepage of a website, visitors were 35% more interactive and willing to sign up for a consultation. The study resulted in this key principle: An image is only as valuable as the value it communicates.

Personal and unique photos can translate into more conversions and actions on your website from new visitors.

A professional photographer has the equipment and technical knowledge to take photos that can increase your sales, boost social engagement and give your customers a personal connection with your brand.

At CC Communications, we can help you come up with relevant and personal image concepts, and professionally photograph and edit photos before optimizing them for online use.

If you would like to learn more about how our professional photography services can help your business #ConnectMORE, schedule your FREE 30 minute consultation with us today!