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How to Handle Negative Reviews Online

reviewsBIMS_5.11According to Zendesk, a customer service software program, 88% of buyers rely on the opinion of others when making purchasing decisions. That said, you should always strive to get positive customer reviews. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try; bad reviews happen. There’s no way around it.

Negative reviews are one of the biggest nightmares of entrepreneurs and business owners. Any testimonial from unsatisfied customer can adversely affect your business.

While negative reviews are unavoidable, there are some things you can do to prevent them from ruining the image of your company. Here are some tips on how to handle negative reviews online.

Investigate before taking action

Before you formulate a strategy on how to respond to negative reviews, you should first determine whether or not what the customer said is true.

If you found out that it really happened, we suggest that you acknowledge the person’s input. Then, apologize, present your side of the sorry and then tell the customer how you plan to address the issue. If you found that the statement is incorrect, talk to the commenter privately and provide evidence that proves that the comment is incorrect. Once it’s settled, politely ask the person to delete the comment or review.

Cooler heads prevail

We know that you work so hard to keep your customers happy. That said, it can be quite frustrating to read bad and hurtful things about your business. Your immediate response is to react in the heat of the moment. But if you do, you will only make yourself look bad. The last thing you want is to become known for lashing out at customers.

Before you respond to the criticisms that are being thrown at you, you might want to take breather and formulate a polite response. Customers will gain your respect if you respond to a negative review in pleasant and helpful way.

Stay positive

People are not expecting you to be perfect. We are humans and we are all bound to make mistakes. Just make sure that own up to your mistakes and deal with the negative reviews in a transparent and polite manner.

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Dos and Don’ts of Using Hashtags

HashtagYears ago, the pound sign on your phone does not serve any function. Today, however, the pound sign is considered as a vital part of your social media success. In fact, it is considered as such a prominent part of tech culture.

Hashtags help increase the chances of your post being found and track conversations among consumers, and other businesses. When used correctly, hashtags can help you generate more shares and increase awareness of your posts beyond your own follower base. Use them wrong, however, and it will lead you down the path to social media destruction.

Here are some dos and don’ts to consider to help you get on the right track.

Dos

Keep hashtags short

When creating hashtags, be sure to keep them short so they’re easy to type and remember. Long hashtags are difficult to read. Imagine mentally inserting spaces in between all those words. Not fun!

Create your own hashtag

Create a hashtag that is interesting enough that it can help you capture the attention of readers, yet popular enough that it can help you gain followers. Tailoring your hashtags will ensure you reach your ideal audience.

Use them to engage

Hashtags are often used to track what is said about their business and competitors as well. Since social media is about engagement and social interaction, you need to take part of that conversation. Use hashtags to pull users into a conversation with the brand and vice versa.

Don’ts

Overuse them

While there is no doubt that hashtags can increase your visibility, too much of it in a single post will kill your message. Readers tend to avoid posts with too many hashtags. For best results, limit your hashtags to 3 for each post.

Use irrelevant hashtags

Just because the hashtag is trending, it does not necessarily mean you should use it. Never use an unrelated hashtag just to get noticed. There is no bigger social media embarrassment than a wrongly used hashtag.

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Tips to Humanize Your Brand

BimsPeople do business with people they trust. If you let your customers interact with a robot that is programmed to promote your products and offerings, do you think they’ll do business with you? Of course not.

People will only be interested in doing business with you if they know that there is a person behind it that they can trust, relate to and connect with. That said, humanizing your brand is a must.

Here are some tips to make your brand’s voice a little more human.

Avoid corporate speak

Sometimes, business owners think that they sound super smart and important if they use business and industry-specific jargons. We hate to break it to you, but people do not want to hear or read sales talk, corporate jargon or overly fluffed up language. Speak in a language that inspires people to connect to you and your brand.

Use words that your customers understand and ditch the corporate mumbo jumbo speak.

Build bridges

A lot of businesses see their social network followers as nothing more than a new batch of potential customers. While we understand that you’re excited to tell the world about your business venture or new products to be launched, there is no need to talk about the same topic every single time.  You’ll have a hard time connecting with your target audience if you think like a corporate engine.

Put a face on your brand

People may not be interested in doing business with you if you post in anonymity and hide behind a corporate logo. Instead, show customers that there’s a real person working behind that corporate logo.

Be honest

Customers can tell when you’re faking it. Don’t try to make your experiences sound more impressive than they truly are. Don’t say you have experience you don’t have. Don’t fudge the numbers on your publicity packet.

 

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How to Bring Old Blog Posts Back to Life

bims_10.20If you’ve been maintaining a blog on your website, you have probably built up a pretty hefty archive of old blog posts. Even with the abundance of blog posts, studies reveal that fresh contents outrank older contents, both in terms of clicks and search engines.

Does it mean that you have to create more blog content? Not necessarily. You can reuse, repurpose and reinvent your blog posts. Here’s how to breathe new life into an older blog post.

Create a killer headline

Creating a title is easy, but if you really want to capture the attention of your target audience, then you need to make it compelling.

Take a look at the title of your most popular posts. Do you think it is good enough to compel people to read the rest of the article? Is there any way you can make it more appealing or relevant to the article? Now, go and create an attention-grabbing title.

Keep the content updated

The world is constantly changing. Some of the information you have offered in 2012 are now irrelevant or outdated.

Revisit old posts and delete any parts that are no longer relevant. Also, you might want to incorporate new information and brush up on what has changed in the industry. This is especially beneficial if you’ve seen continuous interest in a certain post.

Look for the evergreen content

If a certain blog post has garnered the attention of the public, then it’s definitely worth coming back to for a spruce up.

Marketers focus on creating evergreen content because it still has an appeal even after months or years after it was created. Consider modifying the original article instead of publishing a new article with the same content. Duplicate content on your website is a bad idea. Once you’ve made some adjustments, publish it as new.

Repurpose into a new format

There’s no reason to waste the time you spent creating those blog posts. You can repurpose the content and turn it into a slide presentation, ebook, podcast, infographic or a short video. Remember, not everyone chooses to consume information the same way.

 

 

 

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Social Media Trends That Are Bad For Your Brand

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Social media marketing can be comparable to traditional media marketing. The only difference is that it is a lot faster. Trends waxes and wanes in hyper speed, going from cool to super lame in a matter of days or weeks. As a result, it is becoming more and more difficult to stay relevant.

Here’s a list of social media trends that can hurt your brand. Read on to find out which trend you should finally put to rest.

Facebook exclusive

Facebook may be one of the most popular social media channels today, but focusing your marketing efforts on Facebook is certainly not a good idea. Why? It’s because it has the most competition and advertising can be more expensive.

Focusing on one platform is like advertising on TV alone, and not using radio, print, billboards and any other channels to reach your audience.

Live blogging

During the SuperBowl event last year, a lot of people were active online, chatting and posting about the event as it happens. Some businesses took the opportunity to engage with their audience by posting something about the said event. If the brand is about sports, then this is justifiable. But if not, then there’s no sense talking about the SuperBowl.

Try focusing in topics that would be of interest to your target audience. They’re expecting you to provide them with content about specific topics, not some general world news.

Half-baked story

Social media is a great place to keep up with breaking news. We strongly advise that you check your facts first before sharing stories on your blog or business page. Do your research and make sure that the news is from a reliable source.

Sharing half-baked stories will affect your brand in a negative way. The last thing you want is for people to see you as an unreliable source.

Ignoring LinkedIn

If you’re not on LinkedIn, then you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities to get more branding for your business. LinkedIn is the best social media platform for business owners and executives to be in. Here, you can expand your network and meet people in the same industry.

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Tips for Connecting with Industry Influencers on Social Media

BimsBlog 2.3.15Whether you’re running a small business or a big brand, you can reap great benefits when a highly influential person talks about your business. It can help you drive traffic to your site, increase your SEO and build your online social standing.

You need to be efficient with your time and even more effective with whom you choose to connect with. You want to be able to connect with industry influencers – people who have a success story, speak at conventions, widely published and well respected.

Here are a few tips for connecting with industry influencers on social media. Read on for a simple system you can immediately deploy.

Find your influencers

The first thing you need to do is to find your influencers. Industry influencers are industry experts and thought leaders that have a following that is similar to what you want to achieve. When looking at an influencer, take into account their search engine ranking, Klout score and number of followers.

Interact with them actively

Keep an eye out for influencers for chances to reach out. Interact with them through contents they are sharing. Feel free to ask a question if you think a particular point they’re making requires further explanation, show your appreciation for an article they have written or share their work through social media. Whatever you do, be genuine.

Nurture the relationship

Once you’ve engaged with an influencer, be sure to keep the lines of communication open and reach out to them once in a while. Take the initiative to strike up a conversation. Send them an email to let them know about a campaign you’re running or invite them to events you’re hosting. If you see you can provide assistance, do it. This can help grow your relationship and build trust with the influencer.

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Simple Ways to Grow Your Email List


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A mailing list is the preferred method of communication and cultivating long-term relationships with customers of smart and creative business owners. In fact, it is one of the most heavily used channels of communication to date.

As a marketer, it is your job to add fresh contacts to your email list on a regular basis. How exactly do you do that? We have heaps of ideas that can help you grow your email list. Read on to grow your audience, generate more leads and bring more business.

Make it easy to subscribe

Keep your offers upfront and be sure to include call-to-action buttons on about every page of your website. Don’t make people dig around your site. Put those sign up forms where visitors can easily see them.

Collect email addresses at in-person events

Collect email address at events such as educational panels, hackathons, conferences, meet ups etc. Just having a sign up form at events isn’t enough. You should train your people to collect email addresses at registration. Be sure to send them a welcome email that confirms their opt-in to your list.

Use social media

Promote an offer that requires an email submission on your Facebook page. Make it easy for people to join your list by adding a sign up form to your Facebook page. You can also create twitter campaign to promote one of your lead generation offers to your followers.

Give away something valuable

Think of building your email list as an exchange. Potential customers give you their email address, and in return, you provide them with something that is of value to them.

Everyone likes free stuff. So be sure to attach something valuable to your email sign up form. It can be an ebook, early access to new features, private blog content, video, cheat sheet etc. This is a surefire way to pique people’s interest and get them to sign the form.

 

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How to Create a Great First Impression Online

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Most of you know that first impressions are a big deal. You only get one chance to make a good impression so you have to make it right.

Living in the digital world, our first encounters with other people are often via social media, blog posts or email. And once you capture the attention of the public, the first thing they’re going to do is to run a Google search on you. The pressure is on. So where do you start?

Here are 4 simple ways to make a good first impression online.

Know your audience

Successful brands start out by getting to know their audience before they try to appeal to them. Consider the interest and needs of your target audience. Focus on people who are most likely to buy your products instead of appealing to the masses. This will yield better results and end up saving a lot of money in the process.

Be informational rather than promotional

A lot of business owner think that they need to do something flashy just to capture the attention of their target audience. But in order to stand out, you need to provide them with quality content, content that will appeal to your target audience. Let’s take Wikipedia as an example. Wikipedia is one of the least flashy sites on the Web, but it is also one of the most trusted. So, if you really want to stand out, provide people with informative and quality content rather than just showcasing your products on a regular basis.

Get your personal life out of the public eye

We often use social media channels to communicate with our family and friends. But now that you’re running a business, be sure to use a separate account when talking to potential clients and customers. Remember, people will be watching you. So you might as well get your personal life out of the public eye.

Don’t forget to clean up your social media profile once in a while. While it’s normal to have fun sometimes, you don’t want people to have a negative perception of you.

Your website

Apparently, you only have 3 seconds to grab a visitor’s attention. If you want them to stay, you need to take into account the design and usability of your website. Mind you, people are going to close the window or start looking at other sites if they don’t like what they see or don’t know what to do. Make sure that your content is easy to access and your site is easy to navigate.

 

 

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How to Improve the Visibility of Your LinkedIn Profile

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In today’s corporate world, you’re not somebody until you can be found in LinkedIn. As more and more professionals and business owners create an account on this site, getting noticed requires a deep well of connections and some site-specific SEO magic.

If you have already created a profile on LinkedIn, you might want to revisit it and refresh your presence. Here are some tips to improve your visibility and get the most out of the world’s largest professional networking site.

Fill out your profile completely

When other users land on your page, they’ll see a box that displays your profile highlights. If you are a business owner or a professional, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to build a relationship with potential clients, customers and partners. This is your chance to make a great impression. So, make sure that the information in your profile box is complete, up-to-date and optimized.

Include relevant search keywords

If you want people to find you, you need to apply effective SEO techniques. This is especially important on the “Headline” field. Instead of just describing your current position, it would be best if you could optimize your job title slightly and include relevant keywords.

Expand your network

LinkedIn is the perfect platform for connecting with colleagues. So go ahead and connect with people, especially those who share your professional interests and qualifications. It’s also a good idea to connect with your past clients, managers, co-workers and other colleagues. You can further improve your LinkedIn search presence by doing this step.

Be an active participant

Like major search engines, LinkedIn rewards users who actively engage with others. Joining and participating in groups is beneficial as it not only helps in expanding your network, it also improves your profile’s SEO.

LinkedIn allows users to join up to 50 groups, but if you do, you’ll have a difficult time keeping up with all the conversations. Focus on 3 to 5 groups and make it a point to participate in group discussions. Otherwise, you’ll be missing out on opportunities to build influence.

 

 

 

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Tips for Finding the Right Social Influencers for Your Brand

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With the powerful combination of social media and word-of-mouth, businesses from all over the world are changing how they market to consumers.

As marketers, our first instinct is to create contents or videos that would allow us engage with our target audience and persuade them to buy our products or avail our services. But today’s buyers are smart and savvy. They start losing interest the moment they realize that you are selling a product. One of the biggest keys to connecting with your target audience is leveraging influencers.

With thousands of bloggers and Youtube stars in your industry to choose from, finding the right influencer to partner with may seem like a daunting task. Find out how to choose the perfect influencers to inspire trust from your customers.

Content

This is the most important characteristic when targeting the right influencer for your brand. Read through the blogger’s posts and determine how aligned their contents are with your brand message.

In order to stay relevant, you need to determine the type of content your audience is interested in. Take a moment to browse through the influencer’s blog posts, infographics or videos. This will give you an idea if the influencer will be a good fit for your brand.

Engagement

Engagement indicates how active an influencer’s social community is. Do they share, respond or comment on his posts?

Just because someone talks about your product, doesn’t mean that you should get in touch with that persons and turn him into an advocate. Your goal is to find someone who talks about your products or services and are earning high levels of engagement.

Reach

Part of what makes a social influencer is the fact that they have a large following.

In order to determine whether or not this influencer will be a good representation for your brand, it would be best to define your target audience and compare them to your potential influencer’s audience. There’s no point in partnering with an influencer with 200,000 followers if their audience doesn’t align with yours.