Social media is the collective term for online communications channels committed to community-based input, interaction, collaboration, and content sharing. These consist of websites and applications for forums, social networking, social bookmarking, social curation, and microblogging.
Back in the late 1950s, word-of-mouth marketing advocates began to reflect on the importance of thought leadership and network influencers as a means to shape consumer behavior. Today, the role of influencers in relationship-building and business-customer engagement has been perfected by social media, where conversations between consumers and brands go beyond sales pitches and to open and transparent interactions. Social media has helped build relationships that encourage brand loyalty in the long run.
Companies and business owners might find it incredible that a few blog posts, daily status updates, likes, and follows are going to magically grow the business. PC Tech has listed 10 benefits that support this idea:
1. Improved customer service
Using social media to handle customer service is a win-win situation for both the customer and the company because while customers want to easily seek information and clarifications about a company’s product or service, companies want a medium where they can solve customers’ problems as efficiently as possible. Twitter, with its simple and informal nature, is a good example of a platform for managing comments and complaints.
2. Inexpensive effective marketing
Whether you’re a large business or a lone entrepreneur, social media marketing is the most inexpensive yet powerful business tool to build trust and authority. You won’t have to spend as much on traditional marketing which will help your business maximize its profitability.
3. Service and organizational improvement
A company’s audience on social media includes direct and indirect customers, direct and indirect suppliers, partners, established business authorities, and government bodies. Social media presents a big opportunity for you to listen to their feedback and further improve your product or service, and your organization as a whole.
4. Sharing your company message
Through social media, companies are able to easily spread their message to existing and future customers. You no longer have to deal with the age-old struggle of getting your top management monthly, quarterly or annual messages published in newsletters and magazines. Social media enables you to send your message to the right people who are constantly connected to the company, thus creating online ambassadors of people sharing the same message about your business.
5. B2B and BPO are easier.
Social media extends your reach from customers to businesses, especially on social networking services mainly used for professional networking, like LinkedIn. It facilitates the possibility of business process outsourcing (BPO) where one company is able to partner with another domestic or foreign company to do work on behalf of the other.
Your brand is what people think of when they hear your company name. Raise your customer's perception of your brand by having a strong social media presence that highlights your company’s unique qualities.
7. Promotions and brand campaigns
Social media promotions and campaigns provide a new outlet for generating buzz about your brand, sales, deals, and potential business partners as they pull in new users and returning customers alike. Make them exclusively available through social media to drive traffic to your company website. Promotions and campaigns made via social media reach a wider audience due to the shares made by both your customers and fans.
8. Reach unique audiences.
Don’t try to use social media as an opportunity to reach everyone. Instead, use it to reach the right audience - there’s a difference. You can target specific groups with platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
9. Discounts and freebies
To further maximize sales, use social media to offer discounts and freebies. In addition to publishing relevant content, this is a good strategy to gain loyal followers.
10. Brand leadership
Companies with a strong social media presence have the opportunity to subjectively shape industry and consumer behavior. This allows the company to establish itself as a brand leader from whom other companies learn. This industry status is attained by organizations that operate transparently and do not avoid social media.
by: Sarah Joson
Thursday, October 29, 2015 | Comments (0)
Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends
Up until this day, outbound telemarketing remains as one of the most effective tools that can help boost a company’s growth. For instance, some companies are looking to boost quality leads and touch base with qualified prospects, they use cold calling and maximize their “foot at the door” by aligning their offerings with the lead or prospect’s profile.
Since outbound telemarketing is already a proven method, it is easy to create a strategy based on the needs of the sales or business development department. However, having the right pool of skilled candidates and technologies is often a challenge for some companies. This is where outsourcing comes in handy. All types of B2B companies have been seen outsourcing their outbound telemarketing process to reinforce their company’s growth and operations. In fact, outsourcing budgets are believed to be rising as companies become more interested in trying outbound telemarketing outsourcing.
A post at Business2Community.com lists down the factors business owners look at before outsourcing their outbound telemarketing function to a service provider:
1.Proper data collection and interpretation
One thing companies always want to know is how they will be able to translate and understand the benefits of their decision to outsource. So if they were to outsource lead generation and appointment setting, they should also be able to easily understand the effects or the role of the operation across the sales funnel.
2.Do they have a proven track record?
Before you assign your outbound telemarketing function to a provider, you have to analyze if they will be able to provide you with what you need such as access to skilled candidates and updated software and hardware as these things are the backbone in finding and landing high priority leads.
3.Strengths of the provider
Marketing firms vary in expertise, but one thing is for sure - companies are always looking for a provider that can give results that are consistent with their goals. One way is to see if they have experience in your line of work - or are familiar with your industry and if they have experience in speaking the language of the decision-makers that belong to your target market.
4.Improved business operations
Another thing that B2B companies are looking at is the ability of the provider to add value to the operation. Also, they want to see if outsourcing will allow them to focus on core functions of the business, ones that are geared towards innovation and growth.
Surely there are several other things that they are looking at, but finding a provider that will best fit your company’s goals and needs will require more elbow grease and time. Once you have found the right partner, it’s time to take them for a test drive.
Social media’s evolution into countless platforms has created endless opportunities for businesses. However, you’ll often hear complaints from business owners and marketers that social media isn’t working for them. Frustration over the efficiency of social media stems from not having the right social media strategy in place. Instead of complaining that it doesn’t work for you, it’s better to figure out why it’s not going exactly as you’d planned.
Here are five of the most common mistakes businesses make on social media:
1. Not understanding the social dynamic of social media
Just because they’re following you doesn’t mean they’re already sold on your product or service. While social media can be leveraged to convert fans into customers, it shouldn’t be used as a pitching platform. As a marketer, you need to understand the social dynamic of social media. Instead of constantly posting about your products or services, focus on creating content that’s relevant to your audience. Social media should be used as a medium to educate and to build your followers’ trust. This will entice them to take the next step in your marketing funnel.
2. Not having a solid strategy
Don’t treat building a social media strategy like a hobby. Posting whenever you please is not a strategy. Write the specific platforms your target audience is on and stick to a social media regimen. List the posting frequency on each social network and schedule your posts. This will keep you accountable over the long term, which is the key component to generating traffic.
3. Not knowing who your audience is
Posting about topics that are appealing to you may not resonate with your audience. Information they are looking to gather may be different from what you think. Always position yourself as the expert, and your followers, novices. This way, the content you post will accommodate their level of knowledge, not yours. The key to figuring out what your audience really wants is to engage. You can do this by posting open-ended questions, responding to comments, and giving direct calls to action. Remember that creating content is only the first step. Interacting with your audience will help you uncover what they want, their fears, and their frustrations. Determine who your audience is to make it easier to find them on social media.
4. Not knowing where your audience is
You’re not going to get results if you’re using the right strategies on the wrong social media networks. Figure out where your audience is before you start crafting your content.
5. Not focusing on the right metrics
Track social media metrics that are aligned with your strategy. In general, your strategy should be focused on converting followers into leads. While fans don’t like direct selling on social media, trying to become the next viral sensation isn’t going to boost your ROI either. A large volume of fans, likes, and shares is meaningless if you can’t convert your traffic. Going viral doesn’t necessarily increase the number of qualified leads. Optimize your social media content to entice your fans to subscribe to your email list. Avoid trying to close the sale on the first try, and focus instead on generating leads from your social media campaigns.
by: Cary Weltken
Wednesday, October 14, 2015 | Comments (0)
Category: Company News
Whether you run an internal accounting department for a corporation or an accounting firm staffed with Certified Public Accountants (CPA), you can benefit from outsourcing routine tasks and functions and freeing up your staff to focus on higher value work.
Your accounting staff brings tremendous value to your business in ensuring that processes are strictly followed and to help in navigating the rules and regulations that are mandated by regulatory agencies. Your staff brings the most value when they are monitoring cash flow and investments, developing tax strategies, and ensuring that regulatory compliance is met.
As your staff gets busy with routine tasks, it takes away from their ability to spend time working on higher value processes. The routine and highly transactional tasks are the ones that can be identified as those that could be done by an accounting support team at MicroSourcing. With MicroSourcing's Managed Operations service delivery model, you will be able to set up a dedicated team of college educated accountants and implement your workflow processes, software tools, and quality standards.
For corporations, the routine tasks that you could consider outsourcing include payroll, bookkeeping, accounts receivable and payable, routine reports, forecasts and analysis, expense reporting/reimbursements, and collections.
Are you an Accounting firm that is using highly compensated CPAs to produce monthly reports and conduct routine analysis and then having to pass those costs on to your customers? Your MicroSourcing team can take on these routine tasks, freeing up your CPAs and giving you the ability to control the cost to your customers.
To determine if setting up accounting operations with MicroSourcing makes economic sense, do a cost/benefit analysis. Compare the cost of adding employees in-house, taking into account expenses like salaries, benefits, training, office space, equipment, and software, compared to the overall expense of using MicroSourcing.
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