Contact info: phone: 847-991-1294 email: howard@larsonassociates.ws
Jun

24

Using Facebook Hashtags

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They are new so it is not or would not be a surprise if you’re not using them or if you’re using Facebook hashtags in the right or best way possible, 9 times out of 10 you’re probably using them the wrong.

Coming after another long build Facebook build-up, Facebook finally announced that it is supporting clickable hashtags. You know just like twitter does. Facebook is saying this is the first step of “a series of features that surface some of the interesting discussions people are having about public events, people and topics.” If you have played with them at all on twitter you can start to understand the power.

Few things Facebook has released have except for Facebook itself really transformed how social media users interact with each other within, but hashtags, hashtags can change all of that. Hashtags are basically identifiers (the # symbol) that indicate a theme or interest. These hashtags are pretty much everywhere Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr. Hashtags are just a way for users to scan strings of thoughts.

Hashtags are created by users are clicked upon, and they link an entire conversation thread on that hashtag. Hashtags presents people the chance to follow a conversation as well as reply to the same conversation without the problem of looking back to find the thread, so interact action, and engagement with you and your social media sight grains traction.

Hashtags on Facebook are working pretty much the same way they do everywhere else – with a few differences. Let’s look the differences that Facebook hashtags are and a couple of tips on how to use them, as a social media power user, can leverage them to your advantage. 

 

MONITOR: The first step if you’re planning to really get the full potential out of your hashtags is to first understand how they are currently being used. Start by searching for a hashtag. Just pick a keyword you’d like to see information about and type the # symbol and entering it into the Facebook search box. Searching for the hashtag will return updates from other Facebook members as well that you may not be connected to. This can be both good (you can post with hashtags and like key words on a SEO dominate the word (for free) and bad (they might find your competition) but live with it. Searching regularly for hashtags related to your company is a valuable social easdropping tool on the competition. Using Hashtag research can start to give you an understanding of what’s being talked about, shared and discussed, providing competitive insights and an advantage when it comes to creating your own updates.  

As of yet social media management tools aren’t yet providing any statistics to track #hashtag word clicks, but I think it will happen rather quickly. Major money follows trackable items.

INTERACT: Once you have a good understanding of what hashtags are going around, as well as the overall tone of those hashtags (positive, negative or neutral) you can start interacting with the people who are using “your” terms. To really do this, you need to find posts of theirs you can like and share and, if possible, make a comment on it. Interaction is a basis of success in social media, so be social! Be audacious! Put your neck on the line and get out there in front of an audience, your audience that shares similar thoughts and needs, experiences and beliefs and you will start to find yourself in a  better positioned to receive not just a positive response but more positive responses more often.

Larson Notes & Satire:  But perhaps the most important thing to know about hashtags is just that they exist at all on Facebook. It will be important in the future to monitor their use related to your company, your brand, your product and/or service, your interactions and your engagement with the Facebook community. Hashtags don’t need to define your social media presence on the network, but they can support it and in a very proactive positive way.

If I was to make any suggestion it would be to start playing around with them. I hae found the more I play the better I get.

And if you want your business to be more and have more, call us for an appointment.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassociates.ws
http://www.larsonassociates.ws
http://larsonassociates.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/LarsonAndAssociatesFans
http://www.linkedin.com/in/larsonassociates

https://twitter.com/LarsonAssociate

P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you could add telesales into your marketing mix call today and find out.


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Jun

21

Generate User Reviews

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If you are doing any kind of Social Media Marketing, no matter what size your company is, you should know how important it is to leverage reviews in both online and offline marketing efforts. Some studies are showing that 72% of consumers trust online customer reviews as much as a personal recommendations. Who’d have guessed, huh? Obviously any reviews no matter how or where it comes from can help to get customers to make buying decision.

There are of course a few areas that can make you get a little worried about reviews. There is of course the fear of negative feedback. Then there is the fear of time needed to develop and implement a successful reviewing tool while obtaining trustworthy, relevant reviews.

To help you, here are a few ways to help you get user reviews without really trying too hard.

1. ASK YOUR FANS:
It’s not against the rules to ask. Really, just ask the 3 F’s (family, friends, fans) to make their love of you and your services known to the world, via a formal review. After all if you can’t as your 3 F’s who can you ask?

 

2. FOLLOW UP A POST-SERVICE/PURCHASE:
There’s a key time frame to follow up with a customer who has purchase a product or service from you to allow you to ask for a review. I cannot tell you what that is because it is different for every kind of company category, but one exists. You might need to test different time lengths to find what the optimal follow-up period for your business is but then you will know and you will never have to miss an opportunity to send a follow-up email, letter or phone call asking how a customer’s experience was.

 

3. ESTABLISH A PRESENCE ON MAJOR REVIEW SITES:
Yelp, Google Places, Yahoo Local, Merchant Circle, Storeboard, Citysearch, etc. are all good trusted sites to get and posts reviews. Or at least they want you to think so. Now I’m not argue so go get your company listed with a profile, then keep it updated and respond to all user comments both good and bad. These review sites also impact SEO, so by establishing a profile, your company can gain greater visibility, attract more hits and, hopefully, more reviews.

 

4. MAKE IT MULTI CHANNEL FRIENDLY:
As those in the online space are well aware, mobile and tablet usage is gaining traction. To ensure that customers visiting your site, regardless of the kind of device they are using, can easily access and enter their reviews, you need to make it multi channel friendly. Need help with this, call us and we can make it happen.

 

5. CREATE USER PROFILES:
As ego-driven people, we tend to act or as the case may be, write differently if we know someone is watching. By not allowing anonymous reviews, customers are not only likely to give more accurate reviews, but also more helpful ones because their name is on it (literally). In the B2B world, user profiles can also create an opportunity for user promotion, as a reviewer they can enter their company name as the user name and get a company plug.

 

6. PUBLISH REVIEWS FOR THE PUBLIC:
There’s no sense asking for reviews, if other people cannot see them. Additionally, those who previously read reviews that encouraged them to make a purchase, are more likely to come back and review their own experience.

 

7. OFFER DIFFERENT WAYS TO REVIEW A PRODUCT/SERVICE:
Not all of us are great writers. So the problem is if a customer , who isn’t great writer, could give you are great review you might want to offer them an option of multiple choice questions in order to rate your product or service on a scale of 1-10, this way all those non-writers will be able to leave an favorable opinion.

 

9. OFFER TRIAL PERIODS:
If you want reviews, but don’t have any customers, to leave them, one tactic is to offer trial period for your service. Do not make the condition that they have to review your service in the end, but offer the service and hope your quality offering and your follow-ups brings them back to give you a positive review.

 

10. WORK WITH A REVIEW AGGREGATOR:
There are companies out there that help companies generate reviews through referral engines (like us). They help to take the guess work out of the process by sending follow-up emails on your behalf, working with your social media profiles and offering customers a follow-up options to your business.

Larson Notes & Satire:
  Social media can be made to be better. It just takes a little work. Now you know a few more tricks of the trade.

And if you want your business to be more and have more, call us for an appointment.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassociates.ws
http://www.larsonassociates.ws
http://larsonassociates.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/LarsonAndAssociatesFans
http://www.linkedin.com/in/larsonassociates

https://twitter.com/LarsonAssociate

P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you could add telesales into your marketing mix call today and find out.


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Apr

09

Save Money By Outsourcing

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As an entrepreneur it is a very normal and natural want to do everything yourself. I mean it’s your baby. You started it, you’re building it, you must know what is best. But if you do all the work yourself you are saving money? Are you getting the best effort and talent in targeted areas of your business? The question is, could someone be doing a better job for you?

 

If you’re like a lot of entrepreneurs or small business people when we first start out, you might be forced to do everything yourself because of “sweat equity”. Money is not there to do what needs to be done so, you do it. But there comes a time when you need to either delegate or outsource.

 

Once you get to this point in your businesses life you have to have a reality check and realize that to do everything yourself is not practical and there are some things you are really not qualified to do.

 

Lucky for you that almost anything you need can not only be outsourced but there are able, willing experts out there to do the work. So you have lots of choices of not just want to outsource but who to outsource to.

 

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the average small business owner spends up to 40% of his or her time on routine administrative tasks. Constantly working on non revenue-producing tasks that could be more productively and cost-effectively performed by a highly skilled, knowledgeable assistant is losing your business significant income.

 

Steps in determining what to outsource

 

Step 1: Decide what tasks are taking up your time or that you are not qualified to do, such as web promotion, social media marketing, bookkeeping, janitorial, etc.

 

Step 2: Find out how much time you are putting into each task.

 

Step 3: Determine what you would do with the time that you would save by outsourcing.

 

Step 4: Determine the tasks which should or cannot be outsourced or the things that you are most qualified to do. Not everything can be outsourced.

 

Step 5: Prioritize every task. When you outsource, don’t give too much responsibility the first time you unless you know them or they come very highly recommended from a trusted friend.

 

Step 6: Now assuming you certain tasks you are going to have someone do for you, write a task list of what you expect to have accomplished either on a daily or weekly basis.

 

When you get to that point in your businesses growth when you need to outsource and you will find your business able to grow even faster.


Call Me, Howard Larson, now, at 847-991-1294, for a free consultation.

 

If results are what you need and expect contact us today. We do what others only promise. 

 

Larson & Associates / We Make Good Businesses Great & Great Businesses Even Better.
www.larsonassociates.ws
847-991-1294


All associates located in the United States

But remember, you can ONLY get the Larson advantage at Larson & Associates 

 

 


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Apr

05

Multi-Channel Marketing Progra

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What is a Multi-Channel Marketing Program or Cross Channel (different kinds or marketing and advertising like telemarketing, direct mail, social media marketing, content or blogging, etc.)  Marketing Plan? Think about it. What is it and how can your company use and put one in place? Simply a Multi-Channel Marketing Program is one part of a cross channel marketing plan.

 

When done right a Multi-Channel Marketing Program will include strategies for telemarketing, print, web, email, direct mail, PR, order fulfillment, charitable interaction and other internal and external pushes. A Multi-Channel Marketing Program focuses on internet and offline marketing activities. Creating an online marketing strategy and cross channel marketing plan also requires a bit of analysis; to figure out what channels your company has used in the past (if any) before and which of those was most and least profitable.

 

Why is a Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy and Multi-Channel Marketing Plan Important? If you’re like most businesses, at least the ones I know of, you don't have an endless supply of money to work with. So it is important for you to decide what marketing channels they'll spend money on based on the ROI (return on investment) and how much to allocate to each channel. It's also very important to make sure that your marketing efforts go across channels so they are supportive and reinforcing towards each other so that the prospects you are going after receives a consistent message, in any of numbers or ways they connect with you. But you need to create a plan that details what activities will be executed, when they'll be launched, across what channels they'll be launched, how frequently they'll be used, what customer segments they'll be targeting, how long they'll run for, what products will be promoted, what message will be communicated, and what the sales or customer acquisition goals will be. When you businesses executes your marketing efforts "in the dark" you get a lot of wasted money, confusing and inconsistent message and low conversion rates.

 

Larson & Associates will work with you to learn what your company has done in the past (what works and what doesn't) including a return on investment analysis if the sales data is available, what your current company strategy is and what your goals are, take a review or your current marketing efforts, and together we'll create a plan that will be executed, tracked, and measured, and adjusted as need be.

 

If you really need more prospects call us. It is not a problem.  We simply take the target we have created and make connections for you.  It’s almost that simple.

 

 

 

Call Me, Howard Larson, now, at 847-991-1294, for a free consultation.

 

If results are what you need and expect contact us today. We do what others only promise

Larson & Associates / We Make Good Businesses Great & Great Businesses Even Better
www.larsonassociates.ws
847-991-1294

All associates located in the United States

 

Remember, you can ONLY get the Larson advantage at Larson & Associates

 


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Apr

04

Telemarketing Brings Profits a

No comments · Posted by null

Telemarketing really can increase both your profits and bring needed added sales. If you don't already use telemarketing as a marketing channel for your business then maybe now is the perfect time to be adding telemarketing.

So you may ask if telemarketing is expensive? Telemarketing can be very expensive, but it depends on how you go about it. If you do the in-house telemarketing route you might be surprised to find it is usually more expensive. The Set up, the hiring and telephone, the computer, the training the managing, sick and vacation days all add up quickly.

Your best bet if you want to use telemarketing for your business would be to find a telemarketing company who is inexpensive, experienced. They should allow you to pay per hour or have an hourly plus incentive package available or even a per lead package. Expect to have some prepayment if you want a quality job. Work out how much you're willing to or can spend per week, then stick to that and grow your telemarketing campaign as your business grows. Most marketing companies will be willing to work with your budget and help you grow since it will also benefit their business.

To give you some idea, we at Larson & Associates, charge as little as $30 per hour per agent, or incentive plans mixing hourly and incentives. We can offer these affordable rates due to our structure and experienced staff.

How can telemarketing increase profits? As business owners you know you need fresh leads to keep your sales funnel full. No new leads, sales go down. Fresh leads sales go up, like magic. Telemarketing is one of the few ways to ensure you have a consistent flow of red hot sales leads and appointments because it is one of the only ways that actually goes out and seeks sales leads and doesn’t sit back and wait for them to come to you. Almost every other form or marketing does just that, it has you sitting there and hoping the prospect contacts you. But then we all need to remember where ever they come from, a lead is a lead... no one really cares if they are generated online, word of mouth, television, radio or telemarketing.

You need to remember that the leads you get from telemarketing will not to turn into instant sales.  Not every single lead you get is going to close, it is simply an opportunity for your business to present its products and services to an interested person. It can happen quickly sometimes sometimes longer but you do need to remember there is still a sales cycle that is a part of your industry. Telemarketing is a form of advertising and marketing not necessarily direct sales and you need to have patience with the progress of the leads and then use them properly.

How can you use the leads or appointments properly? Firstly you need a quality sales team. If you already have one then you need make sure they understand exactly what a lead is, that it is not a closed sale, that it is only a lead... and that they still need to close the prospect. It is simply a lead of someone who has expressed interest in your product or service.

Pick the correct qualifying questions. This (after your leads list) is the most important part in setting up your telemarketing attack. Keep in mind that you have 15 seconds to draw them into a conversation and only then to you gain the right to ask qualifying questions.

Get your sales team involved in the process because they are the ones who are going to get the bulk of the new leads and work by submitting the kind or qualification criteria they use to have in your telemarketing team’s questions. You know your sales team will be the first to complain (and rightfully so) about leads they are getting so their input at this point will make all the difference in the world.

You need to ensure that leads or appointments are not being wasted. I have seen time and time again that the company was not ready to hit the ground and follow up on leads from prospects that ended up buying from a competitor. They came in started a lead generation plan without a follow-up, follow-though plan. Sometimes sales people get lazy. They think that these leads they get should roll over and buy. It is a lead not a roll over play dead slam dunk! Not every lead or appointment is going to be easy. Sales people do need to be managed. (special message to sale people) Sorry guys you can’t just run loose and free you still need to fit into the company’s growth and sales plan. You as management are buying them leads so you as management needs to have accountability as to how they're utilizing the leads and appointments, you have a right to know that they are following up, and making the necessary calls when these potential customers asks. Are they re-scheduling any appointments which can’t be kept? Do they know the status of each lead or appointment they're working on?

Too often do I see sales leads being sent back to me for reasons such as "customer had a family emergency and needs to reschedule appointment" In cases like this the sales person should be taking charge and using his superior sales knowledge and his calendar and schedule the reschedule themselves. Don’t get lazy and stop being a sales person. You need to start building rapport not the telemarketer. This isn’t a bad lead! It could in prove to be a much easier lead to close due to the level of rapport being built as well as the prospect feeling bad that they had to cancel the first appointment.

Bottom line is you need to be tough on your sales people, I am not saying over manage them with needless reports and paperwork but scrutinize their work and if you have leads you believe weren't properly qualified to the standard you were promised based on your qualifying questions talk to your telemarketing company and many rather than scratching the whole process you only need to tweak it to make it work.

Now the 1 Million Dollar Question. How long will it take to start seeing profits from telemarketing?

It all depends. Might not be the answer you want to hear but it is the truthful one. Sometimes telemarketing is a working progress so you should not expect dramatic results quickly. You need to work together with your telemarketer to make sure you get the success you want out of the telemarketing campaign. Sometimes you will need to alter those qualifying questions in order to get the better results. Don’t just go and slam the telemarketer. Let’s face it, it’s a job few people want to do.

Usually things will run much smoother if you're working with a company who has experience in telemarketing for your industry, your product or your service. Especially if you are not 100% sure on what you’re qualifying questions should be.

We can also provide our thoughts as to what qualifying questions you might want to include. Remember this is for your benefit to work with and help us get you great results so the more detailed the information you give us on your product or service and what kind of results you're looking for and what your sales process is, we can only do better.

If you begin your campaign with all the correctly then you can and should be seeing results as soon as the leads or appointments are worked on by your sales team. This could be as quick as one week!

Now does telemarketing have other benefits besides generating sales leads and appointments for your business?

Absolutely! Any marketing that is don’t correctly and is actively getting your business name out there will defiantly have other benefits for your business. Monitor all activity and ask how they heard about your company. Many times weeks and months after a telemarketing campaign is over you will get calls coming in.

Don't just use telemarketing as a lead generation service or appointment setting service Max it out!!!! Let us give out your website your business details send or email information to those people you think don't exactly qualify or aren't available for an appointment right now. Things change. Circumstances change. Personnel change.

Not only will this increase traffic to your website but it will provide you with future business and will expose your business to more people! The person we speak to may also have friends who might be interested in your products and/or services as well.

Is telemarketing the only marketing I need for my business? No it is only one way, but one of the few that go out and actively goes after prospects. If you're just starting out telemarketing is definitely a great place to start, it is fast, effective and will definitely increase profits for your business and allow your business to grow NOW not in 3 months.

But like any marketing channel the more the channels you are using the better. Combining telemarketing with Social Media Marketing, SEO, Content Marketing, Blogging, Direct Mail, E-Mail will only bring more exposure to your business.

As you work the channels you need to see what works and what doesn’t.

Larson Notes & Satire:  I think telemarketing can do positive things for your business when it is done right. You don’t and some slash and burn kind of person doing the calling for you, leaving a trail of blood behind them like Sherman’s March to the Sea. We are not a slash and burn kind of place. If you're thinking of adding telemarketing to your business’s marketing plan then get in touch with us. We can put a plan together and usually have you up and running within a week. Putting in place a person who has experience in your kind of business so you can begin working towards boosting profits for your business!

And if you want your business to be more and have more, call us for an appointment.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassociates.ws
http://www.larsonassociates.ws
http://larsonassociates.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/LarsonAndAssociatesFans
http://www.linkedin.com/in/larsonassociates

https://twitter.com/LarsonAssociate

P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you could add telesales into your marketing mix call today and find out.

 

 


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