A Digital Marketing Insider's Point of View by Winston Bromley.
Social media is the PERFECT avenue for a two-way communication between a prospective customer and a business establishment

Social media is the PERFECT avenue for a two-way communication between a prospective customer and a business establishment

Social media has really become one of the most important avenues for businesses out there, in order to reach out and communicate with their market.

Richard Gans AXAWhat makes it even better is that it is still growing and business establishments are still learning how to best use social media in order to make their services better. According to Richard Gans, Director of Social Media at AXA, social media usage, both on a paid and organic nature, continues to grow and evolve as a means of marketing and engaging with consumers. More specifically, using social media as an active channel for resolving customer service moments continues to evolve as the needs and expectations of consumers change. Consumers expect brands, even financial service companies, to be available for help when and where they need it and social media is serving as one of those necessary options.

AXASocial media is the perfect avenue for a two-way communication between a prospective customer and a business establishment. Mr. Gans claimed that the use of social media is one of the things that really worked well in enabling his company to build trust online. He said that as more people look online for feedback prior to making a purchase. AXA recently incorporated an initiative that facilitates direct, two-way customer feedback along with the collection and organization of customer responses with the aim not only of improving customer experience, but also of ultimately producing new products and speeding innovations on existing ones.

Allowing your clients and customers to provide comments on your products or services through social media will enable you and your company to easily improve based on the feedback provided. It would be a lot easier to identify areas where you are doing right as well as areas that need improvements.

Digital Marketing for Financial Services SummitWhat makes it even more interesting is that social media is only a fraction of what you and your company can use in creating an online presence and building trust for your company online. If you are looking to expand the reach of your company, getting involved in trainings and seminars of this nature can help you get started. Here’s the good news. The Annual Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit is once again upon us. The event will take place on the 21st and 22nd of June 2017 at The Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre in Toronto. The summit will be the perfect place for you to learn how to drive conversion, create loyalty, and maintain your competitive edge.

What makes this summit a must-attend is the fact that the speakers, of whom Mr. Richard Gans is a part of, are really authorities in their respective fields. On top of that, you will also get to meet people from different financial services companies like banks, insurances and credit unions. There are also those from investment and wealth management sectors as well as from digital marketing. It will truly be a worthwhile learning experience for you which can greatly help you start your online campaigns. If you want to learn more, simply visit their website: http://www.financialdigitalmarketing.com, check out the speakers as well as the topics that will be covered and then register! It would be one of the best things you can do for your business.

Also you can get 20% Off your Tickets by using the code “REFUEL20”

ABOUT RICHARD GANS

Richard Gans
Director of Social Media, AXA
Rich Gans is Director of Social Media at AXA in the U.S., a leader in providing wealth management, life insurance and annuity products. In his current role, he oversees the company’s enterprise social strategy and social media policies and executes initiatives that use social media to enhance the customer experience, drive brand awareness, increase business value, and safeguard brand reputation. That’s his job description; his passion is helping transform the organizational culture to make people feel more informed and comfortable with social media. To achieve that goal, he manages all employee-focused social media training in addition to the U.S. social employee advocacy program. Prior to joining AXA, Rich was the head of social media for Forrester Research. Before that, he held roles focused on customer experience, market research, and business analysis at Forrester Research, Jupiter Research, and IBM.

Rich holds a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems from Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School for Business. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and 4 children. Follow Rich on Twitter @Richard_Gans.

— — —

 

The True Value of Social Media Marketing

The True Value of Social Media Marketing

As a business using social media marketing, you need to know what is the most important thing that you can do to attract customers to your business. You may be surprised to learn that the most important thing in online marketing is building trust.

Customers want a brand that they can trust and count on. They want a company that they can refer their friends to or that they can keep returning back to when they need similar services again. At the end of the day, the ROI (Return on investment) is not the biggest value that you are going to get from social media marketing.  Through social media, you are going to be able to build up a trusting relationship with your customers, that helps them identify from you, and to learn from your insights. This will make you “front of mind” and become their first call when they need something.

The first step to gain this trust is to communicate with your customers and potential customers in your personal brand voice that is consistent always. This is most effective through writing social media posts in a manner that is human rather than through messages that seems very robotic in nature. You want to show off a relatable personality that will get customers to trust in you and your Company. Once you find the specific tone of your brand voice, you need to stick to it. Being consistent is key to gaining the trust of your readers and customers.

When it comes to actual posts, there are a few things that you need to do. You should post ideas that are unique and original for a few reasons. One, fresh posts help in ranking articles and two, when people see a different approach to a common topic, it can gain traction. These posts can be informative pieces or ones that are entertaining or a mixture of the two. You want to make sure these posts shareable so that your followers will want to share it with their friends, by having social media sharing buttons on each article or post you do. By doing this, you will gain more followers, which will increase the recognition of your brand.

A final aspect to using social media to gain the trust of your customers is through engaging with them. If a customer contacts you through social media about an issue with your products or services, be accountable and apologetic while trying to remedy the situation.

These are things that will help increase your customer’s trust in your brand. If a customer trusts you, they will be more willing to keep coming back for services and refer their friends and loved ones. Do not use your posts to market things all of the time, otherwise people will not want to follow you. You need to find a perfect balance between advertising and offering more value to your customers.

Remember this: Educate, don’t inundate.. Provide value, and people will trust and buy from you naturally.

Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO, with Social Media

Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO, with Social Media

As a person who loves and enjoys social media for it’s innate ability to connect us to people and events, which we could never have done so even just a few years ago, I wanted today to talk to you about a topic dear to my heart. It’s a strange but very real phenomenon that has occurred within the past few years with the rise of Smartphones being tied to our hips and wrists and almost everything we do. When our phones bing with texts and FOMO Fear of Missing outwe answer it the second it happens, or we check out tweet or Facebook timelines every 10 minutes, this begs the question. With all of technologies advances in the past few years, does technology bring us closer to each other or further apart?

My answer to that is that both are correct. We live in a world where the gift of “social media” is that we can discuss, rate, help, contemplate, learn and talk in mere seconds/minutes/hours on new things happening throughout the world. However, we also live in a world where living in the “present” is being “assisted” by technology.

There is concept that is called Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO for short. This is the idea that most of us using our smartphones and technology are glued to what others are saying on the social media platforms, and have this need to check in as  often as humanly possible, just in case we miss something good. As humans, and curious people, we hate to think we missed something good. Naturally, we do this as a way to feel connected to our “friends” online that we follow and Like, and Pin. It makes us feel good. Some people have mentioned that they see their real friends more often online via Facebook, Twitter, etc than they do in just getting together in person.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am part of this group and have willingly jumped in, as have you, to be part of my own experiences online as well as finding out about my connections, brands I follow and friends and their latest exploits detailed online. However, I do believe you need a BALANCE in life and go and meet, in my case, business leads and contacts you meet online. I use social media to start the process, and finish in person.

What I wanted to share in this post, from a Social Media insider, is that sometimes, we just need 2 things in our lives to achieve a good balance online:

1. UNPLUG and be ok with it. Don’t be afraid of missing out on something you missed online. Like a detox in real life, I have Unplugged myself when I find I need to re-charge my “batteries”. No cellphone, no social media, no texts sometimes for 1 day or longer just so I can be present with my family and my life.

2. Take the conversation OFFLINE and TALK to that person via the phone or in person. It’s amazing the amount of friendships and connections I have built up over the years with this tip.

Don’t buy into FOMO. Buy into real connections and being present.

My 2 cents…

Enjoyed this post? If so, please share on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to let your friends know about it. Your help spreading the word would be really appreciated.

Getting your posts to work for you in Social Media

Leverage other people's ListsLeverage your social media. In Business, it all comes down to “leverage” within your Social Media setups. You see, without it, we are merely talking to people and sharing ideas but it wouldn’t go farther than a few people.

I remember the days before true Social Media networking, when people would email out a funny(or not funny) joke or a great article and it would go as far as it could reach depending on who sent it to who (My father would send me at least 10 emails a day with something he found interesting). With social media, we can leverage that process through the platforms we use today and post a great article/video /call-to-action/quote, and the possibilities are endless on how far something can be shared and liked around the globe. It’s truly amazing to see where people are from when they re-tweet or like or share something I post.

In business, we need to embrace the fact that social media is now an integral part of our Marketing plan. It must be used on almost everything we do in order to get the most people to see what we want to show them. See, in business, we are always looking on increasing our profits (or in some cases, just making a profit). That is why we are in business. So it makes sense that when we post things on Facebook, pin on Pinterest, post on Linkedin groups and tweet about our latest widget, we are looking for a return-on-investment (ROI) for the time we put into it.

To leverage social media, you need to post content and links that people who will follow you will find interesting. The more the people that find it worth their time (in terms of being interesting, compelling, funny, serious), the more you will get shared/liked. By being shared, liked, tweeted, pinned, the content you post now gets put your content DIRECTLY into that sharing person’s Timeline. The benefit is that now all of their friends/followers will see that Share.

This is the power of leveraging the internet. Getting people to do the footwork for you. The more it’s shared, the more eyes on your content, the more chances of converting them into prospects. It’s a win-win (I can spend all day on how to convert people – that is for another article) and that is the start to move people towards the sale and seeing a ROI on your postings.

This is where is comes down to getting people to like/share your pages. How to do that, exactly you ask? At the moment, there are 2  things that get the most traction on social sharing/networking sites are:

1. Be Visual. Posts/pin/tweets with Images or Videos in them. We are visual creatures and our eyes naturally go to images. That is why Pinterest and Instagram as so big. So make sure when posting to add in an image or a video if none are present so that it will catch attention.

2. Asking good questions. A good question can go very far. Ask a question that you want people to answer either about your product or service or in the field that you are an expert. This will provide you with some Credibility, when comment on other people’s posts and comments.

I hope these two ideas and the concept of leverage sparks some great ideas for your Business!

Enjoyed this post? If so, please share on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to let your friends know about it. Your help spreading the word would be really appreciated.

Bring it back home: How your website should be the Hub of all your Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing: Using a Hub for full marketing effectSocial media is a great tool to use in order to communicate with people that already follow you and to help find prospective consumers of your product or service. With the help of Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and more, there are many ways you can grow your business and reach a new unexplored consumer base. Social media gives you multiple platforms that expose you directly to the consumer and enables them to give you valuable information regarding your product or service. In order to be successful in today’s business environment, you must have a presence on social media. That’s a given. However, in order to assure consistency throughout all social media platforms, it is very important (even crucial) to have all your social media accounts leading back to one place. I called it the “Hub”.

Think of an airport. All the flights fly into one place however they all originally started from another location. This “hub” could be your Blog, your Company website, or whatever you fancy, but it should be where all your traffic merges. You may be bringing people back to your site to read a new article or discuss a new service or product or it may be showing people pictures of your services/products. Whatever it is, the end game is to always bring people back to this main “Hub”. By doing this consistently, people will start remembering your brand better as they get repeated exposure to it, what you do, and why they should be using you over everyone else. By keeping it simple, all of the main material on one site, you won’t split the attention of your prospects.

As an example, if you posted a new article that discusses a topic in your Business, it is best to have it on your Company blog. That way, you can use Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and the other social platforms independently to drive those followers/friends back to one location to funnel the traffic to where you want them to be… on your site. It is also a great way to build up links back to your site and demonstrate social proof to the search engines (yes that is becoming a major factor in ranking) that your site pages should be ranked better. (Just a side note, when people land on your site, it should ideally be with some call-to-action such as Subscribe to my newsletter, Buy Now, Follow me, as you will get the most traction and more subscribers in your list by doing so).

Having one hub for your business will make it easier for you to find and develop relationships with prospective clients that are interested in your product or service as you will always be adding to your site and those that have visited before, could also return for each posting. Another side effect is that it will also help with search engine optimization using the newer part of their ranking algorithim for social proof.

If used properly, social media platforms can add so much to your business by having one central Hub. Your one Hub will help brand your Company more effectively online and allow people to automatically identify your brand to a certain product, service or post.

Are you already using your website as the “hub” of your Social Media marketing?

Enjoyed this post? If so, please share on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to let your friends know about it. Your help spreading the word would be really appreciated.