7 Simple Steps for a Winning Social Media Strategy

Having a strong social media strategy is an important tool for every business, but proper utilization is the essential key to success. There is a lot more to social media than simply setting up a profile, publishing some posts, and collecting followers. Here are seven simple tips to get you off to a strong start in today’s world of social media:

  1. Decide what goals you wish to accomplish with social media. What kind of an audience are you hoping to attract and what are you going to do to attract them? Once you've determined your audience you need to decide what you want them to do and determine if it's worth investing the time and money into reaching them. Don’t make the mistake of throwing everything at the social media wall and hoping it sticks - social media doesn’t really work that way.

  2. Keep it simple at the start. Social media can be overwhelming. Facebook alone reaches nearly a third of the people on the entire planet and there are dozens of other platforms out there that may help extend your company's brand and marketing efforts. If you’re starting out on your own, start small and be selective, there is always room to grow.

  3. Staying organized is important. Even if you already have a presence on multiple platforms, it’s smart to utilize a social media management platform such as Sprout, Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to coordinate all your accounts in one place. As we mentioned earlier, it's easy to get overwhelmed, but there is always help available to make your strategy easier and more efficient.

  4. Be careful who you trust with your social media accounts. Everyone has a mobile device, but that doesn’t mean just anyone can handle social media for your business. If you don’t do it yourself, make sure you find someone who is not only savvy with the mediums, but also someone who is energetic, friendly and knows your business. They also need to be cool under pressure since they will be the voice of your business.

  5. Be sure to carefully monitor your social media results. This will help you experiment with different social platforms and allow you to adjust your marketing approach. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for every business, but the stats will let you know what works and what doesn’t.

  6. Make it pretty! They say 'a picture is worth a thousand words' and this definitely applies to social media. Statistics have shown that posts with visuals receive 94% more page views and engagement than posts without them. Utilizing great photos and eye-catching visuals are the most effective way to tell your story and build your brand image the way you want followers to see you.

  7. Have fun with it and let your personality shine through! Social media is not only a fantastic way to let the world know what your company is all about but it also helps visitors to your pages understand your company culture and what sets you apart from your competitors. People prefer to do business with companies they trust, so giving them a glimpse into the day-to-day workings of your shop is an excellent way to make them feel welcome.

Time is money when it comes to social media and it’s easy to waste a lot of both if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’re new to social media marketing, or if you’ve already invested a sizable amount of time without seeing returns, you may need to hire an expert. Bloomerang Solutions has the experience and knowledge you need to supercharge your social media marketing. Give us a call at 941-806-1911 or drop us a line and we’ll help you formulate a custom plan for your business.

The Wire-Out Model Needs to Change - We Can Help You Untangle

The biggest difference between me and any other digital company you are considering to help you with your retail business, is that I am a florist - JUST LIKE YOU. Why does it matter? Because anyone who is not a florist does not understand:

  • The cost of an order breakdown

  • Insertion considerations to building a bouquet

  • Availability of items locally, across the country and/or Seasonally.

  • Create a voice to help you and the industry improve. NOW, allow me to explain.

The floral industry is facing a big problem when it comes to wire orders. We have a broken model that used to work well before customers were able to see what they were receiving.

Now, the expectation has increased, but the production expectation has not been modified. Now, to explain this - YES, we produce products. We are (or need to be) assembly lines. You can still be creative and mass-produce high-ticket items, as long as you can sell them. We still have florists today who are selling this product for an up-sell. Yes, a $170 vase without any explanation, no copy for SEO, no explanation for the sales associate to read to the customer.

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The cost of sending and receiving an order 73-27 split - that speaks for itself. It's a paid advertisement and filling the order makes the floral world go around. So if you like to send, then do your part and receive. If all you do is send, give the shop enough to make money at it.

It's time to sell, FILL TO VALUE bouquets. Request a color and assure the customer that the florist will use the very best hand-selected and designed seasonal blooms to create a lovely bouquet and ensure delivery in the timely fashion. Yes, focus on the hand delivery. Now, if they want to ask for specific bouquets, custom designs start at....you decide, $75, $85 or $100.

Here is an example for the price-sensitive shopper looking for a blooming plant:

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Now if there is one they just dislike, let us know.

Next, a nice seasonal mix? Sure.

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This slows everything down a bit here, it's what we need now. If ANY florists think they can make a profit designing single orders for $39.95 with 5 lines of requests, you can't do it.

You are an assembly line and we need to combine expectation and the realistic end result. It needs to be focused on the service. After all, as much as we all want to believe otherwise, the message is most important element in almost all orders.

This is the difference! Even companies that specialize in the floral industry, seeing the challenges through the eyes of the owner us what I feel is my greatest strength. Explaining and convey the new model is my greatest challenge.

Let's face it, most TV ads have moved over to You Tube. Those ads you see disrupting your view of any video clip are the new VIDEO ads and they work. Yellow Pages? That's right...Most people have moved over to Google ads. Who you trust is the biggest challenge. Just because your friend has someone, doesn't mean that someone has the results you need.

Most importantly, while most businesses used to be done over the phone, today more people are comfortable completing the order online. BUT, this has now affected BOUNCE RATES. Bounce rates are one of the first things people used to jump up and down about because it was what they thought was EASY TO UNDERSTAND. They would ask me what my bounce rate was and I would just smile and tell them I don't know. How do you measure the phone-in order. So they clicked, liked your website and decided to call you because they felt more comfortable speaking with someone. Now, is that really a bounce?

Last but not least. NEVER trust your web developer for SEO results. Web developers design, create, and write code that needs to be effective, fast and return results. they are (and should be) focused on a solid, expandable code base. On the same hand, don't expect your digital marketer to be able to write code, HOWEVER, they can and should have an expectation of how the results need to appear and the design.

For example, I like to see every page written as if each were a landing page. THEY are so that is a great start when developing a website so when you target your keyword results, your channel and direct them towards the content you need to get back from the visitor.

Now before I lose you and you BOUNCE away, feel free to give me a call and let's see what we can do together! Don't be fooled. Trust your gut and ask questions. Call me today at (941) 806-1911 and let me know how we can help your business bloom.

-Art

How to Handle Negative Yelp Reviews

If you own a business, you know that your online review reputation on sites like Yelp are critical to the success of your shop. While positive reviews help improve your rating and build your brand, a negative review can have an adverse effect, especially if it is ignored or responded to incorrectly.

Yelp will remove negative reviews if they contain profanity or use a threatening tone, or if it specifically names certain employees or calls them out by a distinguishing or sensitive characteristic such as race, religion or body type. They will not, however, remove reviews they see as legitimate (even if they are negative), so if they do not meet one of these criteria, the review will likely stay active and will not be removed.

So, what should you do if you receive a negative Yelp review?

  1. Don’t panic! The first step is to remain calm and remember that nobody is perfect and bad reviews happen to everyone - the key is how you react. Consumers don’t expect perfection, but they do expect you to handle the reviews in a professional manner.

  2. Respond to the reviewer in a timely manner. Time is not your friend when it comes to addressing complaints or bad reviews. You do not want to make an already upset customer wait on you and you should always keep in mind that the public is forming an opinion based on your reply.

  3. Kill them with kindness. I know this could be the toughest, but again, your response is what you are being judged by. Reach out with empathy, swallow your pride and kill ‘em with kindness. Try to generate a phone conversation, listen to their concerns and reply with a solution that speaks to what the customer is looking to hear. Remember, at this point, they have a post, we (you) need it removed. Your conforming will only help you in the long run.

  4. Do not make excuses. The customer has posted an issue. Address and speak with them and hopefully, after a positive discussion, you can politely request they reconsider the poor review with the following statement you may try (be sure your customer service team has this all memorized):

Thank you for allowing me to make this right. Ms. Jones, I just want you to know that we take our online reputation very seriously, it's the lifeline of our business. If I resolved your issue to your satisfaction and started earning back your trust, I hope you will reconsider and update your amendable comment. (What you have said here is that they can make changes. Trust me, you don't have to ask to reconsider the rating as it is implied)

 Remember, YOU WILL get a bad review occasionally, it is going to happen and by seeing this, it shows your reviews are all real. There are companies out there that speak to the owners and offer a way for clients to leave a review. If it's negative, they send an email to the owner and if positive, they send to Yelp and/or Google. This only looks good to the owner when being sold. The truth is, this is not helping your business and Google does not endorse or promote these efforts. I would never take a chance here.

Finally, if you do reach out to the customer who left the bad review and they refuse to change it, the best course of action is to bury it with several good reviews. The best way to go about this is by reaching out to 5 or 6 satisfied customers and simply asking for a Yelp review. This will bump the poor listing down and we can all learn from our mistakes and get back to doing business.

Did you know that if you are not an active (paying) Yelp customer, you likely have competitors ads in the middle of your listing? Bloomerang Solutions can help you remove those ads and manage your Yelp account and respond to reviews so you can focus on your business. Give us a call today at (941) 806-1911 and let us know how we can help your business bloom!

-Art

 

Innovators of Tracking: The Bloomerang Difference

If you think you’re noticing more advertising on Facebook, you’re right. Facebook has enjoyed a 200-300% increase in advertisers from 2016-2017 compared to just a 1.5% growth of new users. What does this mean for advertisers? Competition is skyrocketing and it's getting harder than ever to convert transactions.

However, in most cases, all retailers want (and need) is solid analytics so they can confidently measure the phoned in orders from JUST THOSE regular paid ads.

In other words, if you clicked on an ad, not only would the tracking code register the click and the transaction along with the amount, but it could now measure the actual phone call and change the phone number ON YOUR WEBSITE to follow the user who clicked over from the paid ad and measure the ad result as well that the agent actually clicked the START ORDER button to begin taking the order.

Now when the order is completed you can measure how many people ordered over the phone. When the order has completed the program aligns the call with the ad link from Google or anyone else that you wanted to measure results from ads you were paying to use.                                      

Within the Past 10 Years

As common as online shopping is today, it wasn’t long ago that people were skeptical completing orders online. Just 10 years ago, 4-5 orders were called in to every order placed on the online websites.

Well, think about it, when my competition was measuring (just the online orders using tracking codes that everyone was offering to measure), they would reach their ad budget and STOP thinking they reach the most they could afford because they had NO mine and in most cases left mine running.

Today, an avg of 2-3 orders are placed over the phone to every order placed over the websites. The equation has changed as more people are confident ordering online yet many still prefer to pick up the phone and call.

The new numbers (based on these kinds of measurements and more) show that two to three orders are now ordered over the phone per every order placed on the actual website. This is a HUGE value given to running Pay Per Click ads.

For those who truly know how to build profitable ads in Pay Per Click settings, can measure and I like to use a 2-1 ratio because I know that no matter what I show for a result, it is even better since the reposts show it's really 2-3 to 1. No longer do clients have to guess if they have the right people working for them.

I recommend outsourcing digital ads to those who understand tracking and phone tracking as well as understanding how to align the resulting ads to expenses.

The very first rule is, if your sales are not up or credit card sales are not up then the very first place you need to look is whoever you hired to run your online ads. There should always be an answer. Remember, the results are changing daily, and the platform is changing daily so the marketers have their hands full.

It may require a little time to explain their strategy to you, but they should have a grip on it and explain what is going on and why. For example, just look at companies like Yellow Pages.com.

I used to say forever, anyone going to an online directory to shop is most likely looking for a phone number - that is why they think directory. That just looking for a company or a website to browse usually use Google to guide them, not the directory.

Back in the years past, I was using Floral Prodigy to show what I needed to know so I was able to remain profitable and most importantly, when and when not to pull ads.

I still use these formulas to this day to measure results and accelerate based on a combines result of phone transactions and conversions. To keep it simple, I am able to just use Google to show my client the results. Take a look and see for yourself:

 Yelp (Directory) then Google (Web Search) so you can see the difference.


Are you tracking all your customers through your website or on social media? If not, now is the time to start. Bloomerang Solutions can help you increase conversions and save money by customizing your marketing campaigns. Give us a call today at (941) 806-1911 and let us know how we can help your business bloom!

-Art 

 

 

How to Remove Fake Reviews from Google

Fake reviews on Google are a growing problem that can cause serious harm to your shop’s reputation. Since Google makes it easy for anyone to create an account and leave a positive or negative review, it isn’t always easy to determine if the review was genuine or even verify that it came from an actual customer.

Google has rules in place to deter fake reviews, but they are not good at automatically catching violations. So, in order to get a fake review removed, you must initiate the process. Here are the steps:

1)      Stay calm. The most important thing to remember when you receive a fake or fraudulent review on Google is to keep your cool. The last thing you want to do is escalate the situation and have it blow up even bigger. Remember that future customers will see how you respond and will likely consider your response when deciding whether to do business with you. Nobody expects perfection, but they do expect your business to respond to complaints in a timely, professional manner.

2)      Evaluate the situation. When you receive a bad review, you should first determine if the review is from an actual customer with a legitimate gripe. In some cases, fraudulent reviews are left by competitors, but it is also possible that someone left the review for the wrong business. If the complaint is real, learn as much information as you can about the customer and their problem.

3)      Respond quickly. The faster you respond - the better. According to Yelp, people are 33% more likely to upgrade their review if you respond with a personalized message within 24 hours. Your response is critical so do not ignore the review, even if you know it is fake. Prompt action shows your commitment to customer service and lets potential customers know what they can expect if the same issue happens to them.

4)      If the review is fake, flag it for removal by taking the following steps:

  • Open Google maps to find your business and see your reviews

  • Find the review you want to flag and click on the three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner and click “Flag as inappropriate.”

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5)      Follow up on the status of your flagged review. Once you flag the review, Google will review it to determine if it was fraudulent according to their terms of service. If you need to follow up with Google, you can go to your Google My Business home page and click on the support button at the bottom left-hand side of the menu. If you are still having trouble and need to escalate the issue further, you can submit a Google form for a legal removal request. Keep in mind, however, that there are some strict requirements that must be met, so you may need the help of an attorney if you utilize this as an option.

Responding to reviews is a very important aspect of doing business in today’s digital marketplace. If you need some assistance with reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, or any other social media platform, Bloomerang Solutions is here to help! Give us a call today at (941) 806-1911 and let our team of Google experts boost your online reputation.