Category Archives: Social Media Marketing

Best Social Media Customer Service Practices-315

Best Social Media Customer Service Practices

Best Social Media Customer Service Practices-315Thanks to technology, it’s now easier than ever to build relationships with your client base—or is it? While new technology has certainly given us more ways to connect with potential customers, it also comes with its own rules and learning curves. Don’t assume that having the hottest gadgets or using the latest apps will automatically put you a step ahead of the competition. You’ll also have to make sure you’re employing the right strategies to use those tools effectively. Otherwise, you might as well still be cold calling from a phone book.

Social media is one of the best examples to illustrate this concept. Practically every established
business out there has Facebook and Twitter pages by now, but look at the numbers and you’ll
see that some brands have much greater success across these platforms than others when it
comes to key factors like customer acquisition, satisfaction, and retention.

Furthermore, there are plenty of other social media platforms out there, each with their own uses. Figuring out how to make the best possible use of each one can be overwhelming—so let’s start slowly. Here are a few simple things you can do to improve your social media customer service practices across the board:

Choose the platforms that work for your business

As we mentioned previously, there are plenty of different social media platforms out there—in
addition to Facebook and Twitter, there’s also LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and a whole host
of others. Before you drive yourself crazy for the next week setting up accounts for each, do a
bit of research into what platforms are most likely to help you interact with your audience. The answers will vary widely depending on factors like the size of your company, the demographics
you’re trying to reach, and of course, the products or services that you provide.

Best Social Media Customer Service Practices-4

Monitor your engagements

Good customer service is great for growing your brand, and if that’s one of your goals then you need to know how often your brand is being talked about—and by whom. Without this crucial marketing data, you leave yourself no room to develop—there’s no telling how to move forward when you don’t know where you currently stand.

All major brands already do this, and every startup with serious ambitions should. Look for resources that can help you track mentions, likes, and other forms of engagement.

Pay attention to feedback

Communication with your audience isn’t a one-way street, and most social media platforms give your customers ample opportunities to speak back to you about the quality of your products or services. In addition to monitoring the number of times you’re being mentioned, you should also pay close attention to the context—are people talking about you because they’re thrilled with your brand, or are they upset about a major flaw in your business model?

In either case, your customers’ opinions can be extremely useful. Good feedback is an excellent way to find quotes for testimonials, whereas negative feedback might alert you to a correctable error before it sinks your company entirely.

Best Social Media Customer Service Practices-1

Always respond appropriately

Stay clear, composed, and professional no matter what platform you use. As well as, no matter how many people are talking about your brand and what they’re saying about you. The anonymity of the internet makes it very easy to fire off a retort when somebody gets under your skin. However, remember that you’re not anonymous when you’re representing a brand.

The news is full of examples of businesses who have lost customers and damaged their credibility with a short-tempered social media posting, including a Las Vegas pizzeria that threatened one customer for posting a negative Yelp review. Train whoever represents your business on social media to have some basic negotiating skills—it could save you from a scandal down the road.

Social media can be an extraordinarily powerful tool, but it’s a double-edged sword and you need to handle it with care. Wasting your energy on platforms that don’t work for your brand, failing to monitor customer engagements, ignoring feedback, or responding to it inappropriately can all do more harm than good.

Keep our suggestions in mind, though, and you should be able to connect with your customers while avoiding these common mistakes. We look forward to seeing you and your brand on the web!

How to use Facebook Live Video to drive Social Media Traffic to your Landing Page - 315

How to Use Facebook Live Video to Drive Social Media Traffic to your Landing Page

How to use Facebook Live Video to drive Social Media Traffic to your Landing Page - 315Although live video apps like Periscope have been around since 2015, it wasn’t until 2016 that they took center stage, all thanks to Facebook’s Live video feature. Since its introduction, Live Video has been used for many reasons from every day to controversial.

As a business, your usage of live video should focus on driving traffic to your landing page through social media engagement. However, doing a live video is not easy at the start especially when anything can happen live. You need to prepare to minimize any unwanted surprises, and you’ll also need to know exactly why you’re going live.

Events coverage and product launches are a couple of good reasons to go live on Facebook. But whatever your reason is, here are the questions to ask yourself for a successful campaign:

What’s it about?

Choose a topic to build your video around. Plan what you want to present, and practice over and over until you come across as natural as possible. Yes, it’s live, but it can still be scripted (though it shouldn’t look scripted). Your live video reflects on your business, so it has to be an accurate depiction of the image you want people to see. Dress well, use good lighting, and use a smartphone with a good camera. If your shots are shaky, invest in a small tripod.

When are you broadcasting?

Owners of verified Facebook Pages can schedule live videos and give fans a heads up. But even if you don’t have a verified page, you can announce your upcoming broadcast with an attention-grabbing poster. Mention the time, date, and the topic to give fans something to look forward to. Share the image on your page and other social media sites. Take out a Facebook ad if you want a wider reach outside your current fan base.

Why are you doing the recording?

When you do your broadcast, don’t forget to add the landing page link in the caption live video caption. If the URL is long, shorten it on bit.ly or goo.gl, or create a simple permalink. You can also use LeadPages, a landing page tool to create a domain redirecting to the page. This makes it easy for you to read the link out loud to your viewers, and makes it easy for them to remember. It doesn’t hurt to tell them what they can expect to see and do when they visit your landing page. Is it a contest? A new product reveal? Give them a reason to click on the link.

How are you getting more out of it?

A live video on Facebook isn’t necessarily over when you’re done streaming. For those who missed your broadcast, they can catch up once Facebook publishes the video on your feed as a regular post. Pin the video to the top of your page to make it easy to spot. Next, get the URL of the video post and share it across all your social media sites, not just Facebook. As for the video itself, you can upload it to sites like YouTube and Vimeo. You can also upload a teaser clip to Snapchat or Instagram.

Facebook Live is only one of the many tools you can use to drive increased traffic to your landing page.  Check out the linked guide to see what other effective means you have at your disposal.

New LinkedIn Layout

The New LinkedIn Layout

New LinkedIn LayoutWhen it comes to social media platforms, there have been big winners, big losers, and those that just sort of lurk in the background.

With 1 billion+ active users, Facebook is clearly at the head of the pack, while MySpace has virtually vanished, and is definitely in the rear. LinkedIn has, in recent years at least, been somewhere in the middle, with occasional rumors of trouble in digital paradise.

This year, however, LinkedIn seems determined to revamp its image. A big part of that is the new layout and design. Here’s what you need to know.

A Familiar Look and Feel

One of the biggest changes in the LinkedIn platform is actually a move towards copying other platforms. The world’s professional networking platform now looks more like its peers. Conversations, status updates, and similar user-generated content are firmly at the forefront. It feels more familiar, even to newbies, and it seems like a step in the right direction.

Better Metrics

A positive change in the LinkedIn platform is in the metrics, which are improved, and give users more information they can use. Again, this is more in line with what users expect from other platforms.

Simple Messaging

Another move towards twinning with other social media platforms is to make messaging other users simpler. This is a nice change, and again, makes the suited and booted version of the social network a little more user-friendly for everyone.

Streamlined and Familiar

All in all, from the focus on news streams to the layout and the trending topics, the new look LinkedIn looks a lot like Facebook. That’s actually a great thing. While we all know you shouldn’t be sharing snaps of your lunch or the color of your aura on a professional network, it’s nice just to be able to log in and get things done, without having to figure them out.

By following the pack, LinkedIn may well have solved some of their biggest user friendliness problems.

The Next Step?

LinkedIn was built on the concept that people would be willing to pay for premium membership. Their business model has always been centered on this. However, premium membership is not a priority for most average users, so the platform may well be missing their last trick there.

A shift to focus on paid advertising and increased job-related services, while making the rest of the platform free may well be the solution to the company’s rumored financial woes. It will be interesting to see if they copy Facebook’s model here too.

Until then, however, there’s no doubt that this service looks much better, and is much easier to use. Well done LinkedIn!

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Engage your Fans on Social Media to Grow Leads - 315

Engage your Fans on Social Media to Grow Leads

Engage your Fans on Social Media to Grow Leads - 315
You have a challenging task in front of you, taking your sales team from good to great. Lead generation resources are plentiful and make it easier to accomplish this goal, but you still have a long road to get from point A to point B.

Want to short circuit this process and get the results you want? Does a lead generation pipeline that’s free and works 24/7 sound like it’s a good fit for your organization?

Social media is the secret selling weapon that you’ve been waiting for. Too many companies set up social profiles and post about a few discounts or share company news. They don’t consider this channel the center of a robust lead generation strategy. At most, they treat it as a marketing channel. Social media selling opens up high quality leads that your sales team will love to work with.

What is Social Media Selling

Social media selling looks a lot different from the typical sales pitch. You aren’t going through an entire spiel to try and convince a person to buy your products or services. In fact, most of the time your sales team won’t be talking about your offerings at all.

Instead, you engage with your customers and potential leads on social media pages. Listen to what they have to say and have conversations with everyone stopping by. Follow the same brands and influencers that your target audience does, so you learn more about what’s important to them.

Follow the Three Rules of Social Selling

  1. Stop yourself from talking about your products and services unless it’s incredibly relevant to the conversation.
  1. Don’t talk about yourself. This conversation is about the consumer, not your company.
  1. Be authentic and don’t come off like you’re reading from a sales script.

What’s In It For the Customer?

Many companies think that social selling only revolves around posting constantly about their products, services or how they stack up against the competition. They show off their awards, post testimonials and talk about employees. The “me me me” approach doesn’t endear you to social media followers.

They’re asking themselves “What’s in it for me?” There are millions of social media accounts to follow. If you don’t offer a compelling reason for this audience to stick around, they’re headed elsewhere.

The Three Keys to Social Engagement

Educate

Buyers go through many stages in their journey from an interested person to a customer. They often start out without knowing a lot about ways to fix a problem or to improve their quality of life. Educate potential customers with the information they need to make informed choices on the best solutions for them.

Excite

Don’t do the same things as everyone else. Look for ways to stand out and offer customers a different experience. Position yourself as the go-to company in your industry, rather than a follower.

Engage

Have a conversation with interested audience members. The most important thing you can do right now is to listen. Understand what they’re asking, the pain points that influence these questions and the best way to convey information to them.

5 Ways for Non-Profits to Grow Their Email List - 315

5 Ways for a Non Profit to Grow Their Email List

5 Ways for Non-Profits to Grow Their Email List - 315

No matter where you look for digital marketing information, there’s one universal truth: the secret to high conversions lies in the list. Your website draws people in, but it’s your email list that keeps you in touch with them, and it’s that long term relationship that turns visitors into community members.

As a nonprofit, you rely heavily on the community. We’ve got 5 great tips that will help you extend your community online, so you can reap the benefits of digital marketing, fundraising, staying in touch, and sharing your successes.

1. Put Opt-In Forms On Every Page

It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many websites don’t use this simple trick. Make it easy to sign up. Put a small form on each page, preferably above the fold, where they are seen by every single visitor.

2. Offer Something In Return

When last did you sign up for a newsletter just because you want email? If you’re like most people, the answer is never. You need to give people a reason to subscribe! Whether it’s a free report, an ebook or your newsletter, make it free, and make it too good to turn down!

3. Make It Shareable

Automatically redirect new subscribers to a page where they can invite some friends, or you could simply redirect your subscribers to a thank you page that asks them to spread the word. Most people are very willing to share a good cause anyway. They just need a little reminder or a nudge in the right direction.

4. Tell EVERYONE

Putting your opt-in forms on every page is a good start, but if you want to see your list grow, you need to do more than that.

  • Add a link to your sign up form on your email signature, so you market it whenever you send mail.
  • Post it on your social media channels, and ask fans and followers to do the same.
  • Mention it on your business cards.
  • Run a contest, where entry requires sign up.

The more you market your list, the more people will sign up, guaranteed.

5. Send Great Newsletters

If you’re telling people that you’re going to send them a newsletter that will inform, amuse, inspire and excite, then you had better deliver! Most people don’t struggle to build their lists once they really set their minds to it, but they do struggle to keep subscribers.

Make sure that every newsletter you send is one that you’d be excited to see in your own mailbox. Write for your audience, rather than simply pushing your agenda. Ask questions. Share knowledge. Include inspirational stories that they’ll want to share with their friends.

When done correctly, an email list can be a nonprofit’s greatest digital marketing assets, and these tips should help you to get started on the right track.

What is Relationship Marketing_

What is Relationship Marketing?

What is Relationship Marketing_

Relationship marketing emphasizes the value of building relationships with potential clients above simply making sales. It places emphasis on engaging with your audience, by recognizing those factors which make them human – their wants, their needs, and their pain points.

When traditional marketing ruled the day, this wasn’t the case. But with the appearance of social media, it’s much easier to get close to your audience, and less ‘salesy’ – which translates to long-term customer loyalty.

Getting started with customer loyalty

To get relationship building going, you need to understand your customers. This is easy when you’ve created a ‘buyer persona’, i.e. what motivates them to make purchases. To create your buyer persona ask questions like:

  • What things do they value most?
  • What are their most pressing problems?
  • How do those problems make them feel?

Next, look inward and decide how you’re going to get where you want to go. Develop an action plan that will get you there. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What must you do to accomplish your goals?
  • How will you measure whether you’ve achieved your goals?
  • What are some potential obstacles to goal achievement?

Your base of operations

For starters, you must have a digital home base! Potential customers need a place to find you, a place which gives them everything they need. A place where it’s easy to conduct business and connect with you. Make it clear your focus is on helping and serving customers, rather than trying to sell something.

Your website should accomplish all the following:

  • Give your visitors a clear message about what you offer and who you can help.
  • Provide an easy way to contact you via email or phone.
  • Educate clients and potential clients.
  • Make the purchase process as easy as it can possibly be.

Use social media

Make maximum use of social media. It has an extraordinary reach and can quickly and easily reach your target audience. You’ll need to commit significant time and effort to this endeavor. Once you’ve decided the best channels for your business, develop a content strategy with the posts you want to publish, and the message you want to convey. These posts shouldn’t be salesy but should support revenue generation.

It’s important to engage your audience by sharing content, answering questions, and responding to people – all with the goal of driving traffic back to your website.

The real advantage of relationship marketing

When you engage with potential customers 1-on-1, you embrace them as fellow humans rather than as sales statistics, and they recognize it. From these people you’ll attract better leads, people far likelier to develop into loyal repeat customers who seek out your brand, and pass it along to others.

Building relationships amount to building the future for your company.

What is Relationship Marketing

Jessika Phillips Live stream on Tuesday Nov 29 @ 4:00pm EST

Fort Wayne Social Media for Business Workshop

Practical, tactical, and empowering workshop to help businesses take advantage of the power of social media as a way to market their business.

• Want to use Social Media strategically in your business?
• Trying to determine what social networks to be on?
• Having trouble keeping up with the latest social media marketing updates and best practices?

All this will be covered and a strategic plan overview for how social media
can be used by your business to grow leads and sales will be outlined to attendees!

Social Media is different than traditional marketing.  Learn about the methods for Attraction, Engagement, Lead Capture, Conversion, and more.

The workshop, presented by, Mike Gingerich, and hosted at the Greater Fort Wayne Inc. offices will help entrepreneurs, small businesses and marketing teams from larger businesses understand how they can use the latest tools and updates in social media as part of their overall integrated marketing plan to increase their website traffic, reach new customers, and nurture new leads to become clients.

Businesses will have the following questions answered:

  • What social networks should our business focus on?
  • How can we not just spend time, but gain real leads via social media?
  • What trends for 2017 in social media do we need to be aware of?
  • How do we use Facebook Live Video, Instagram Stories, & Facebook Ads?
  • How does social media fit into our overall marketing plan?
  • How do I capture leads from social media?

A question and answer time will be included for the final 15-20 minutes to answer your specific questions.  Each participant will leave with actionable steps to help guide them in next steps they can take to improve their use of social media for their business.

WORKSHOP DETAILS:

Date: Thursday, Feb. 2, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m SOLD OUT

Date: Thursday, March 16, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Chamber, 200 E. Main St, Suite 800 Fort Wayne 46802
In the Doermer Central Room. The receptionist can direct you.  NOTE: Use the public parking garages nearby. Parking onsite not validated.

Cost: $25; discount for 2 or 3 attendees from the same business.

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Get practical knowledge and tips you can implement anytime!

001-mike-gingerich-maincut-out-354-squareAbout Mike:

Mike offers no-nonsense,  straight talk on growing leads and leverage with social media and digital marketing to help small and medium-sized businesses elevate their game and win online.

Mike is President of Digital Hill Multimedia, having started in business development and website sales, and then as social media exploded, gravitated towards Facebook and the marketing side of how to use social and tools to grow your audience, increase your leads, and convert more sales.  He is a co-founder of  TabSite, a industry-leading promotion and contest app platform, author of the book Game Plan for Social Media Lead Generation, and thoroughly enjoys leading social and online marketing trainings.

Press Release for Game Plan for Social Media Lead Generation - 315

Press Release: Game Plan for Social Media Lead Generation

Press Release for Game Plan for Social Media Lead Generation - 315

January 3, 2017, Goshen, IN — Well-known speaker, social media marketer, and Facebook marketing pro, Mike Gingerich launches his latest book, Game Plan for Social Media Lead Generation. This guide is specially written for businesses looking to succeed on social media networks.

Many entrepreneurs are mistaken about how to make social media work for them. They think it’s simply a matter of posting funny photos with the hope of going viral or pushing their products in ads with the intention of being noticed. But online marketing for attracting quality leads is more nuanced and complicated than that, as Mike explains in his new book.

Game Plan for Social Media Lead Generation focuses on creating a strategic social media and online marketing plan that covers key areas Mike calls The Big Three, namely the main website, email marketing, and social media. These three need to work together in a Digital Marketing Funnel for optimum success.

The Digital Marketing Funnel is a major concept explored in the book. For a quick overview, this funnel includes six major components: attract, engage, capture, nurture, convert, and measure. The biggest effort goes to the first stage, attract. In this stage, businesses offer relevant and interesting content to generate interest within a wide audience. The next stage, engage, is about interacting with the audience. Businesses are encouraged to initiate conversations through comments, questions, and call-to-actions. Stages 1 and 2 should make up at least 50% of posts on social media pages.

The next three stages – capture, nurture, and convert – are about turning leads into sales. In the capture stage, businesses work to get contact details from their prospects, like an email address in exchange for a subscription to exclusive content.

In the nurture stage, businesses cultivate strong relationships with their prospects, who may not be interested in buying a product or service now, but may change their mind later. This is where businesses should provide more valuable information in staggered parts, making sure interest is maintained throughout the entire campaign.

Finally, in the convert stage, businesses should present well-timed and hard-to-resist offers to achieve the ultimate goal to make customers out of prospects.

The cycle ends here, but the last stage, measure, ensures that businesses can track their success rate to determine what methods work. The data gathered at this stage will help businesses launch more effective campaigns in the future.

All this information is covered in detail in Game Plan for Social Media Lead Generation.  It’s a practical guide that lays out a “game plan”. Any business can take it and apply it for their own business social marketing.

Grab a copy now to learn the Digital Marketing Funnel in step-by-step detail. Do it in time for your 2017 campaigns. Visit mikegingerich.com for more information.

Six Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Business

Six Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Business

Six Ways to Use Instagram Stories for BusinessWhen you think about the ways to use social media for your business, Instagram may not be the first channel that comes to mind. However, with the new feature offered by this platform called “Stories,” more and more businesses are hopping on the Instagram bandwagon.

“Stories” provides you the ability to create a string of videos and images that join together and then disappear after 24 hours. This offers you an effective and wide-reaching way to spread a message. Here are some specific ways you can use Instagram Stories for business.

Build Buzz and Create New Content Teasers

Instagram Stories offer a smart way to take your followers or customers behind the scenes and provide them a sneak peek of what’s coming in the future. Let them take a look at what is going on that is new or different in your company or take them on a journey to meet the staff in your office. These small peeks into your business will not only help to strengthen your relationship, but also help to build buzz for new campaigns.

Create Short Term Contests and Games

If you want to provide a reward for your followers who remain engaged and active, consider creating a quick contest with Instagram Stories. These represent the ideal way to keep your followers interested and coming back for more. Since the Stories feature only lasts for 24 hours, they have to participate now or risk missing out altogether.

Increase Awareness and Traffic to Other Campaigns

Are you planning to host a Facebook Live Video spot? Do you need a few more people to register for your webinar? Instagram Stories can be used as a tool to remind your followers there is something exciting going on today, and they have one more chance to join in. Creating an engaging image or short video can drive last minute sign-ups and help you get some additional traffic on other social media platforms.

Offer a Special Promo Code

If you are looking for even more ways to reward your active Instagram followers, consider offering them a coupon or discount code that they will only receive if they open your Instagram Story. The fact that the promotion will end in just 24 hours may be the thing that will encourage them to buy now, rather than waiting.

Flood Your Instagram with New Followers

You may wonder how you can gain new followers with Instagram Stories. With this unique feature, you’ll have Instagram exclusive content, which is an added bonus for anyone who is following you. You can use this to announce rules for contests and let followers know this is the only way they’ll get this information. To get the information on an ongoing basis, they’ll have to follow you.

Set Engaging Content Apart from all the Rest

Instagram allows you to see what parts of your Stories generate the highest number of views. If you notice that specific content from the story is more engaging than other parts, you can post it on your Instagram feed for all of your followers to see.

This latest Instagram update has a number of fun ways and new opportunities for brands to engage customers and followers while sharing industry related information. With a bit of creativity and innovation, chances are you can think of a few new ways to promote what your business has to offer.

Conferences Marketing Professionals Need to Attend in 2017

Conferences Marketing Professionals Need to Attend in 2017

Conferences Marketing Professionals Need to Attend in 2017

Marketers are continually learning and honing their skills to stay on top of the ever-changing world of social media.  One way to accomplish this is to define your goals and look for marketing conferences and workshops that best fit your individual needs.

Here’s a list of what we consider to be the top conference for social media marketing professionals in 2017.  Mark your calendars so you don’t miss these upcoming events.

March 2017

SXSW Interactive 2017 – March 10-19, 2017 in Austin, TX

http://www.sxsw.com
Highlights:
• This year’s event will be making it easier for attendees to take advantage of all programs, as one badge is all that will be needed for all learning, networking, and discovery events.
• This year the conference will consist of 24 different events and new opportunities for ongoing education and networking events offering peer-to-peer sharing.
• Networking Events: Taco Meet Up, BBQ Crash Course, Music and more
• New Keynotes, Featured Speakers & 750+ Sessions at the 2017 SXSW Conference
Registration Information at https://www.sxsw.com/attend

Social Media Marketing World 2017 – March 22 – 24, 2017 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/smmworld
Highlights:
• The Social Media Marketing World event brings together over 4,000 marketers to share their social media marketing ideas, guaranteed to inspire, empower and reinvigorate your social media programs.
• The Networking Plaza will provide ongoing networking opportunities and the opening night event, will give attendees the unique opportunity to engage with their peers on an aircraft carrier.
Registration information available at http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/smmworld/register

September 2017

Content Marketing World (CMWorld 2017) – September 5 -8 2017 in Cleveland, OH

http://www.contentmarketingworld.com
Highlights:
• Content marketing world brings together top industry leaders sharing their knowledge and expertise in the content marketing industry.
• With a record breaking 3,600 attendees from 55 different countries in 2016, the 2017 conference promises more industry experts and more attendees brought together to share ideas and new innovations.
• The 80+ sessions were developed by thought leaders to share their strategies, integration and measurement techniques.
Registration is currently closed, check here http://www.contentmarketingworld.com/registration

November 2017

INBOUND Conference – November 2017, Boston, MA

http://www.inbound.com
Highlights:
• The INBOUND Conference consists of sessions developed to educate, entertain and networking events.
• The event is a “must attend” for all inbound sales and service professions.
• Attendees are brought together to share their insights on content and strategies while taking part in the numerous networking opportunities.
• Together there will be over 250 industry leaders sharing their expertise at organized seminars and breakout sessions.
Registration currently closed, check back at http://www.inbound.com/inbound16/register

Dates TBD

Social Fresh – Date and location TBD

https://www.socialfresh.com
Highlights from 2016:
• Social Fresh features presentations, workshops, roundtable discussions and numerous networking events to share insights with colleagues and peers.
• The conference secures industry leaders to speak offering a complete look at the industry, trends, and solutions for social media marketers.
Registration not open at this time, check back at https://www.socialfresh.com