Monthly Archives: March 2017

70 Percent of Local Business Owners Market on Facebook – Not!

On March 1, 2011, a popular public relations website posted an article based on previously published research, claiming “70 percent of local-business owners market on Facebook.” The headline was shocking, the content equally bold, and the dialog that followed typical of the hype surrounding social media.

Readers began commenting almost immediately. One visitor challenged the assertion, suggesting it should not have been cited without investigation, and the site’s publisher quickly defended the post with a series of anecdotes about an 80-year-old t-shirt merchant, a few local bars and a family diner. From a neighboring state, the CEO of a marketing firm saw the publisher’s tweet and countered with his disbelief. Many of his followers echoed his skepticism.

Within days, this relatively obscure article had been “tweeted” 99 times, “liked” 35 times and “inShared” 117 times, as social media devotees echoed the good news: Facebook is king. Meanwhile, skeptics retaliated with posts of their own. Such is the power of social media. But one has to wonder how many of the people who shared, responded to, or blindly retweeted this post took the time to read the original press release on which it was based, or followed the author’s embedded links to the survey data, posted two weeks earlier. I suspect if they had, there would have been less activity, as a careful review of the data reveals a very different picture.

It all comes down to sample bias – a term used to describe the use of a skewed or non-random group as representative of the larger universe. In the case of this study, researchers confined the sample space to members of “the largest social network of local business owners in the U.S.” The key word, here, is “social network.”

Local business owners who choose to join (and remain active in) social networks would obviously be a subset of the larger universe of local business owners, and a survey of that subset would not likely be representative of the universe. The sampling was further skewed by the method chosen to distribute the survey invitations: email. So, those who participated in the survey would have had to be members of the subset of the social network (subset) who are loyal enough to open and act on emails from the organization. It’s not hard to see why these social networkers might be more likely to practice social media marketing than would local business owners who don’t even belong to social networks, much less participate in their surveys.

Using statistics drawn from a biased subset of local business owners to represent all local business owners is no more justifiable than drawing conclusions on the national rate of alcohol consumption from a survey of bar patrons.

The practice is, however, entertaining. And the results lend themselves well to viral distribution by social media enthusiasts.

In the social media world, mistakes like this are self-perpetuating, simply because they feed the buzz. But who pays the price for feeding the buzz? Perhaps those at greatest risk are the “followers” who view reposts as endorsements. So, next time you come across a startling discovery – particularly one that just doesn’t make sense – consider doing your friends and followers a favor, with the delete key.

5 Great Sales and Marketing Tips

All businesses need customers to buy from them. Whether you are just starting out or are already an established business you still need to make sure you can get new customers for your business when you need them.

An effective sales and marketing process is essential to generate fresh new leads and customers for your business There are 5 key tips to make the process of getting more people interested and then to convert them into paying customers.

Tip 1 Identify who your potential customers are

Take some time to consider who you are selling to. Who are the people most likely to buy what you are selling and who would you most like to sell to? Make sure you know who you are targeting so you can aim your marketing activities directly at them. You also need to consider where you can find these people to get your message in front of them.

Tip 2. What are they looking for?

Once you know who you are targeting then you need to work out what is important to them. If you can find out what your potential customers are looking for you can target your message to them. Your marketing activities should target their pain, desire, worry or concern. Of all of these targeting their pain is the most effective and the greater the pain the more likely they are to buy (and the more they will be prepared to pay).

Tip 3. An offer they can’t refuse

Make them an irresistible offer, something that offers great value at a low price (or even free) to get them interested. This needs to be something that targets their pain (or desire or fear) and demonstrates your ability to help further. Use this initial sale to start to build a relationship.

Tip 4 Meet their expectations.

Consider the language, phrases and terminology that they use and use it when communicating with them. Consider how they might expect you to dress, answer the telephone etc. Their desire to buy from you will be driven by their perception of you, your product and your business.

Tip 5. Make it easy for them to buy.

If they haven’t bought from you before they may be suspicious or concerned about your ability to match you claims. Look at ways to remove this or other concerns, guarantees, money back offers etc. Also make it easy to get in touch with you, or provide them with ways to buy when your not available.

Identifying Trends In Your Online Business Niche Market

Online business owners all know that competition is tough. Every day more and more websites go live to capture another segment of the market. Knowing how to laser target exactly where your most profitable niche markets are located will always be your top priority. There are many new technologies every day to help you mine marketing data to determine where the market is shifting. What is the best way for online business entrepreneurs to stay ahead of their competition?

Buying the latest and greatest new business intelligence technology can put a strain on any business model. Not having any technology to track your customer base can starve your business of much needed cash to survive. Retail giants for years have used technology to tell them of market shifts before they were seen at the cash register. Your online business needs the same ability to keep you ahead of your customers demands.

Investigating in this technology and then investing in it will allow you to leverage your customer base. There are two ways that you can invest in technology. The first is to find the software that will do all the work you need done. It may cost more money that you can afford to invest at this time in your business. The second involves you investing more time than money. This will allow you to fully understand the insights of your customer base. Then when you have the financial resources to purchase state-of-the-art technology you will better understand the data that it is providing.

The things that you will want to learn about your customer list are:

· Which customers are buyers?
· Which customers upgrade on an initial purchase?
· Which customers buy your entry level product and don’t upgrade?
· Which customers are the most profitable?
· Which customers are least profitable?
· What are your best selling products?
· What products are trending down on sales?
· What products are crossover buyers buying?
· Which products bring the fast purchase decisions from the launch of a campaign?

Once you have this data the next question is to find out the “why” to each result. Business Intelligence software will always be able to tell you the numbers but it will always boil down the “why” and only human intelligence will be able to solve that. Be prepared to question every decision and process that goes into building your sales funnel.

You can also piggy back off of online retail giants like eBay and Amazon.com. Both provide what hot trends are in different markets. Look for the related products to your products and services and follow their lead. You can also see what books are trending up and use that as a source of information for creating new products. Always look for ways to leverage your business off anything that is given as public knowledge.

Small business owners must be flexible and highly responsive t developing trends. Staying informed in what is going on in your business and other businesses around you will help establish you as an industry leader in your niche market.

May I wish you great experience rather than great luck? Great experience is what determines the outcome of any luck that you may have. For more great tips and advice on how to grow your online business check out the resource box below and then join our blog.