Category Archives: Digital Marketing

What are Image Alt Tags and Why You Need to Use Them-315

What are Image Alt Tags and Why You Need to Use Them

What are Image Alt Tags and Why You Need to Use Them-315Chances are, when someone lands on your website, they’ll never see your alt image tags at all. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not important.

What Are Alt Tags?

Alt tags describe an image, in a piece of HTML code, much like a header tag or any other piece of HTML code on your site.

Like all the other code on your site, if everything is going well, and under normal circumstances, no one will ever know they exist.

Alt tags will typically look something like this when viewed in HTML:

<img src=”image.jpg” alt=”image alt description” title=”image tooltip”>

But don’t worry if you don’t know HTML. If you’re using a CMS like WordPress or Digital Hill’s, you can add these attributes in your articles, in the publishing and advanced options, so you won’t need a crash course in programming to create them!

Why Use Alt Tags?

If alt tags are never going to be seen, then what is the point of having them at all? There are several reasons why you must have alt tags on all your images:

  • If a user is using a browser or computer that for some reason cannot render the image in question, they will see the tag instead of a completely blank space. At least it gives them an idea of what’s meant to be there.
  • Alt tags also help search engines when they crawl your site. The search engine sees images as a big black hole. But they can see tags. Use keywords in your image alt tags and get a bit more keyword influence for your post.
  • Alt tags also help search engines categorize images in their image search, which can help you to show up in more results.

Alt Tag Best Practices

To get the most bang for your buck (so to speak) when creating alt tags, there are a few rules you can follow:

  • Keep the tag short and relevant.
  • Describe the image as clearly as possible.
  • Make sure that you include a keyword. Remember that search engines do scan image alt tags, and they will count towards your overall site ranking.

Most importantly, remember if you can’t figure out what the alt tag should say, then you should question your use of the image at all. Images on websites should always serve a purpose, and if yours don’t, they shouldn’t be there.

Professional Landscape Website for AquaScapes of Michiana-315

Professional Landscape Website for AquaScapes of Michiana

Professional Landscape Website for AquaScapes of Michiana-315Based out of Indiana, Aquascapes of Michiana is an outdoor waterscape and landscape installation company that prides itself on creating beautiful ecosystem ponds and fountain scapes. Aquascapes’s new website reflects the company’s value that customer satisfaction is first and foremost.

Let’s cover some of the site’s prominent features.

Customer-friendly Landscape Website Design

First and foremost, the site has a clean interface. The navigation bar and footer provide contact information, convenient links to other pages, and links to the company’s social media.

Therefore, visitors can navigate to Projects, Videos, and Services, from any page on the site. The main pages are always just a click away.

Check out the Website Gallery

Next, on the homepage, customers are greeted with a gallery of dynamic water features and the company’s latest projects. The gallery shows how attractive a pond or a waterfall built in your own yard can be.

As a result, placing the gallery right on the front page of the website gives potential landscape customers a glimpse of the work done by the company. Hence, an insight into the company’s capabilities and new possibilities for their own water feature projects.

Simple Content Management with the DH CMS

A great site isn’t just nice to look at; it’s nice to work with. The CMS system behind the site allows admins to control the site. With this CMS, you can add, delete, or edit pages, the navigation bar, content, and images through a portal from anywhere you are as long as you have an Internet connection.

If Aquascapes wished to update their gallery to include more projects, they could easily log in to the portal and edit the gallery photos. Having a CMS system allows Aquascapes to improve user experience and respond to changes quickly to keep the most current information on the site at all times, all within their power and no website updating costs.

Boost Conversions With the Blog Resource Center

Getting traffic and new customers often begin with a regularly updated, informative blog. A resource center is a great tool to add new information to your website.

Think about a site that lacks a blog. It would be difficult to update existing customers and even harder to pull in new prospects. Nevermind the reduced ability to capitalize on SEO. The resource center keeps visitors up to date and engaged and keeps the site from feeling outdated (which helps retain prospects).

Overall, this professional landscape website has a great flow to it. It’s easy for a prospective customer to use and even easier for the company to update.

Aquascapes of Michiana’s site was designed by Digital Hill.  Our web design company serves companies in Indiana and all over the US. Learn more at digitalhill.com.

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New Website Checklist_ Make Sure Your SEO is Done Before You Launch - 315

New Website Checklist: Make Sure Your SEO is Done Before You Launch

New Website Checklist_ Make Sure Your SEO is Done Before You Launch - 315
You want to make sure your new website looks good and works well. That means no dead links, no blank pages, and no overlooked bugs. But beyond the form and function, there’s another element you need to look at, and that’s SEO.

And in light of Google’s move to prioritize mobile websites, it’s all the more reason for you to assess your website’s SEO-readiness against this checklist:

  • Domain and host

    Does your host web host have a record of major downtimes? A web hosting server with a negative history will hurt your website’s future reputation.

    An unreliable host will affect your website’s availability. It’s advisable to use a unique and never-used by someone else domain name, along with a dependable web host known for excellent uptime.

  • Keyword list

    Good copy will make your site rank well on search engines, but it’ll perform much better if you incorporate the right keywords relevant to your industry or niche.

    For a new website, it’s wise to go after long-tail keywords because they’re less competitive. In addition, these keywords will help you target specific audiences who are looking for exactly what you’re offering.  A great source to look at keywords is www.buzzsumo.com.

  • Design Theme

    Themes are not just about aesthetics. Some design themes are SEO-friendly, some aren’t. To ensure your design is SEO-friendly, it should have clean code on the developer’s side and a modern flow on the user’s side. It should also be responsive for mobile and tablet devices, and quick to load; otherwise, your bounce rate will go up.

    Most importantly overall, it should work well on mobile devices. Many people prefer to use their tablets and smartphones as their primary computing tool. Make the browsing experience on smaller screens pleasant and easy.  Google cares, so you need to as well!

  • SEO Tools and Plugins

    SEO plugins are simple to add and use, so take advantage of their power in your site. Different SEO tools have different functions, such as LinkPatrol to track and clean up links, and Keyword Tool to find out what keywords your target audience is using to find you. If your site is WordPress add Yoast SEO because it handles both technical and content optimization.

  • Content

    Content is still king, but only if it’s presented right. Gone are the days when you can post short, fluffy content and expect your website to rank. Now, long-form content is a better option because it leads to higher conversions and better page rank. Of course, you don’t have to fill every page with detailed content. Just focus on pages you want to rank and don’t exhaust all your efforts. Some pages aren’t designed to rank anyway, like landing pages.

  • Photos

    You can help your photos appear in the image search results by filling in the metadata fields with relevant alt text. If you already have a focus keyword, add that as well as long as it ties in with the photos. Then set a suitable featured image for every page so that if someone shares it on social media, the thumbnail on the preview will look engaging enough to warrant a click.

These are just some of the things on your SEO checklist, but they’re enough to get you started on the right path. And remember, SEO is an ongoing process. You have to continue working on it long after your website has launched.

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Facebook Ads vs LinkedIn Ads vs Twitter Ads vs Google AdWords - 600

Facebook Ads vs LinkedIn Ads vs Twitter Ads vs Google AdWords

Facebook Ads vs LinkedIn Ads vs Twitter Ads vs Google AdWords - 600

Digital marketing truly has revolutionized the way we reach people. Even though it’s better, faster and more affordable to advertise in the internet age, some of the old rules still apply.

One of those rules is that you need to know who your target customer is and choose the right marketing channels to reach them.

Even now, when launching an ad campaign takes a few clicks and a credit card, the wrong choices can cost money and turn what might have been a great idea into a dismal failure.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Facebook: Lots of variables, but Great Reach

Facebook’s PPC campaigns are a conundrum wrapped in an enigma, with a sprinkling of pixie dust. Which means they’re a huge vortex and if you can get it right and find what you need, it can be magic. You may find you pay very little per click for one post, and 10 times as much for another. It takes time and detailed targeting experimentation to get it right.

What they do have is a great reach. With a billion users and a very granular targeting system, you can reach large numbers of very specific people, which is great if you know exactly who you want to sell to.

2. Twitter: Lower Cost, Random Audience

Twitter is a relative newcomer to the world of paid advertising. So it’s no surprise that their offering is a little rough around the edges.

The targeting options for a Twitter campaign don’t exactly have the pinpoint accuracy of Facebook. So you’ll need to spread the net fairly wide.

On the other hand, with clicks at a dollar or two at most, it’s generally an inexpensive way to advertise if your audience is on that platform. So you can stretch your budget to the max on Twitter.

3. LinkedIn: Best for B2B

LinkedIn isn’t the cheapest advertising option. It doesn’t have the best targeting options, and it’s not the biggest network in the world. But it focuses on business, which is great if you are targeting B2B clients.

If you don’t want your serious business advertisement to be vying for feed space with cat pictures, beach selfies, and lunch snaps, then LinkedIn can be a solid place to launch an ad campaign.

4. Google Adwords: The All Rounder

Google has been doing paid advertising for a long time. Longer than anyone else on this list! So it’s no wonder they’re a leader in PPC ads.

Google’s Adwords platform has global reach and great targeting possibilities. However, because it’s one of the most popular ad platforms bids on popular keywords can be very high, and you’ll need to expand your budget if you want a popular word in your campaign.

Trial and Error

Like any form of advertising, ads on social media are a process. They take time to perfect, and will probably require some trial and error.

While you might get really lucky and hit on a winning formula right off the mark, it’s a very rare thing in an increasingly noisy world. You’ll probably find that you have to tweak a few things to get the results you want.

So set aside a little extra in the budget, do some research before you start, and track your results. Eventually, you’ll find the platform and formula that works for you.

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Facebook Marketing Strategies that have Proven to be Successful-315

Facebook Marketing Strategies that have Proven to be Successful

Facebook Marketing Strategies that have Proven to be Successful-315Marketing and Facebook have become bosom buddies. Facebook sits at the top of social media platforms and key marketing opportunities. By using Facebook, you can ramp up conversions, traffic, sales, and social media following all while growing your brand’s influence. To capitalize on this giant’s marketing power, you need to use effective strategies.

Proven Strategies for Facebook Marketing

Why waste time (and money) wondering what does and doesn’t work when you can go with tried, tested and reliable strategies?

Use Your “Free” Ad-Spaces

Your brand’s presence needs to be felt throughout your page. Before you create that first ad, look for these free advertising spaces – your profile pic and your cover page. Your logo could suffice for your profile pic. For the cover page, make sure you have engaging copy for your business description and feel free to get creative. Take advantage of the flexibility of a cover page and change it up for:

  • Holidays
  • Promotions
  • Special Events
  • Milestones

Invest in Facebook Ads

As we all know, not everything in life is free. When doling out money for ads, however, think of Facebook ads as the next best thing to free – an investment. Facebook ads are a cost-effective way to drive conversions. Determine what you want to build (likes, engagement, app installs, offer claims) and use Facebook’s many targeting options to nail down your target audience.

The best Facebook ads are timely, eye-catching, creative, well-crafted and engaging. Take a look at two ads featured in Adespresso’s list of inspiring Facebook ads. Each ad serves as a great example of a high-quality, engaging Facebook ad.

Facebook Marketing Strategies that have Proven to be Successful-snickers

The Snicker’s ad is witty, positive, timely and makes use of the season to sell their famed products.

Facebook Marketing Strategies that have Proven to be Successful-Fiverr-ad

Fiverr’s ad employs color psychology to elicit positive emotions towards the brand while drawing in the audience.

Engage Your Community

Building a relationship with your customers goes a long way in fostering repeat customers and customer loyalty. Show your fans that you care about their opinions and thoughts.
Create a dialog by asking followers relevant questions. Use the @ feature to tag specific fans in conversations.

Reply to comments and questions as quickly as possible to get the conversation going. Don’t forget to ask customers to like and share your content.

Engage With Other Pages

Facebook lets you discover your followers like and dislikes. Track those likes back to groups and pages your followers frequent and leave a comment.

Set Up a Facebook Group

Create a group for your fans. Open groups are often the best at building traction for your brand. With a group, you can increase engagement by encouraging participation. You can also test content in your group before you publish it to your page.

Create Content Schedules

Consistent posts let audiences know when to expect an update. When you post on a regular schedule, you increase engagement.  Facebook allows you to schedule posts in advance.

If you have a well-defined target audience, you can schedule posts for the best time (such as the time zone most of your fans are in) and increase the number of people who see them. Using the Insights provided by Facebook, view the hours your audience is typically online.

With an effective strategy, you can get the most out of your Facebook marketing. By following these proven strategies, Facebook will be your brand’s best tool to grow your reach and build a strong customer base.

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10 Instagram Carousel Post Ideas

10 Instagram Carousel Post Ideas

10 Instagram Carousel Post IdeasInstagram recently introduced its enhanced carousel post feature that lets you upload up to 10 videos or photos — or a mix of those — in one swipeable post.

If you aren’t excited about this development, you should be. There are so many things you can do with it for your business!

Tutorials

The carousel is the ideal format to present simple tutorials online. Your followers will find your lessons easy to learn because of the text and visual content. You can teach arts and crafts, life hacks, etc. What can you use it for?

Quote series

To inspire and motivate your followers, share several quotes relevant to your industry. The great thing about this is that you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create these. Use an application like Canva or Recite. The end results look professional and sleek, even if it took less than 5 minutes to make them.

Multiple testimonials

You can also create customer testimonials in the same format as quotes and present them as a carousel. This is effective for trust-building. Include a photo of the customer (with their permission, of course), so your followers can put a face to the name.

Event snapshots

Gone are the days when you have to make multiple posts on Instagram to share photos from an event. Now, you no longer have to flood your followers’ feeds. Compile the pictures and post them in one go.

Event highlights

You can also take photos of an event’s highlights – like keynote speakers, for example – and share them as a package. Your followers who weren’t at the event won’t feel like they missed anything because you’re there to fill them in.

Sizzle reels

You’ve seen sizzle reels before even if you didn’t know what they were. A sizzle reel is a short, fast-paced video that incorporates audio and visual elements to grab attention and promote someone or something. Instagram carousel is made for this, so start making those videos now.

Team spotlight

Who’s who behind the scenes? Let followers get to know your business by featuring staff members and employees in a carousel post. It’s a good way to humanize your brand

Aside from those general suggestions, try out these suggestions if they apply to your business:

Property listings

Beautifully presented pictures of properties with informative captions can elicit enough interest from potential buyers and renters to make an inquiry or even a visit. Real estate agents can use the carousel format to present properties in the same area.

Fashion suggestions

Shop owners, fashion designers, and brands can showcase their clothes through a series of looks their followers can wear. They can create themes per carousel post – by season, style, garment, color, and anything else they want!

Recipe breakdowns

Chefs, restaurateurs, grocers, and bakers can experiment with delicious recipes and share the step-by-step process along with the results.  It’s no surprise that food posts are among the most popular on Instagram. People can’t resist yummy creations especially those with beautiful presentations.

There’s so much you can do with Instagram carousel ads, so unleash your creativity. They’re not only compelling to share – they’re also easy to create. With Instagram growing in use by adults and older adults, it’s become a business marketing destination where your business needs to be represented.

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Affordable Small Business Website - ApplianceTech-inc.com-315

Affordable Small Business Website – ApplianceTech-Inc

Affordable Small Business Website - ApplianceTech-inc.com-315
In the modern world, virtually all businesses need an online web presence. When searching for information regarding a company or product, the first place many people will look is via a Google Search. Websites, however, can seem like a big hurdle, especially for a small business.

Designed by Digital Hill, Appliance Tech Inc.’s new one-page website is simple, affordable, professional and manageable.  It takes helps you overcome the website hurdle with a website that meets all your small business needs.

Small Business Website Features

  • SEO tools – SEO is a determining factor on where a site ranks in Google. SEO also affects the amount of site traffic. The SEO tools (accessible through the CMS system) allows content creators and admins on the site to customize site metadata, domain names, keywords, H tags, and page titles according to the best SEO practices.
  • Responsive design – As a mobile responsive site, ApplianceTech-Inc.com offers a great user experience on any device, mobile or desktop.
  • Simple CMS System – There is no need to know how to code with this back-end system. Digital Hill’s CMS system puts control of practically the entire site into the hands of the page’s admins. Editing of the image gallery and contact form are easily performed. If the business wishes to add an about page, for example, it can be accomplished in a matter of minutes with site-appropriate templates.
  • Contact Form –  Visitors can get more information, purchase services, or leave a comment, can use the contact form.

A Good Example of Starter Site

The website design is simple and straightforward, providing visitors with an attractive and easy-to-navigate layout. The image gallery takes up much of the page and is effective in showing potential clients technicians in action. Thus serving as a preview of the services provided while immediately providing a link to a contact number. The footer and navigation bar give the site more branding power with the logo, social media profiles, phone number and to-the-point copy present.

ApplianceTech-Inc.com is a good example of a starter site. Featuring ease-of-use for both the customer and the business managing it. Digital Hill’s CMS system provides the tools to expand a site as needed. The one-page site serves as Appliance Tech Inc.’s portal to a much wider audience and customer base. Small businesses looking to get on the internet quickly and cost-effectively can look to Appliance Tech Inc’s example. This website offers all a small business needs in an online presence without the high costs.

Our Newest Website BalancedGrowth.com -315

Our Newest Website BalancedGrowth

Our Newest Website BalancedGrowth.com -315Crisp, clean, and to-the-point, the website created for Chicago consulting firm Balanced Growth is succinct, professional and client-focused. Over the course of 5 decades, Balanced Growth’s mission has been to provide long-lasting value and innovative operations solutions to clients in the insurance, healthcare, nonprofit, financial, and associations sectors. Our newest website BalancedGrowth.com serves as an excellent introduction to the firm and its services.

Overall Design

The site’s design is based on simplicity, tight organization and a user-friendliness. This is especially evident on the homepage. Right below the header and navigation is a dynamic rotating gallery. Hence, the images and copy draw users to the business’s services page.

The site is sectioned into 4 distinct parts: footer, news, BG360, Transformation Method, and Consulting Services. Leading visitors to learn more about their services. These sections break up the page while presenting the firm’s most crucial services in a digestible format.

The predominate colors of this site are blue, black, white, and hints of orange. In essence, reflecting the site’s themes of intelligence, innovation, creativity, and professionalism. The color scheme is subdued, used conservatively and is never distracting. Blue and orange (a classic color combination) gently highlight standout text and ideas on pages.

Responsiveness

Mobile responsiveness is an important feature is today’s web. Balancedgrowth.com has a responsive design with an easy-to-follow flow when viewing on mobile.

Javascript and Jquery allow every main feature of the site to be flexible and responsive. This enables the content to be viewed and interacted with on multiple screen sizes. For example, the navigation bar. On the desktop, it stretches across the screen. On a mobile device, it is condensed into a more manageable drop-down menu on mobile.

This approach allows users on smartphones and tablets to have access to the same content as desktop users. Since much of the modern business world uses mobile, Balanced Growth Consulting will reach more potential customers with a responsive site design.

The Tools Behind the Website

The attractive user interface can keep visitors on a site. However, it’s the background website tools that attracts the site’s visitors and keep it running. On Digital Hill’s CMS interface, admins can edit and preview the site’s pages and their content.

Our Newest Website BalancedGrowth.com-2

Galleries

In the CMS, you can edit the image galleries on the site by:

  • Adding or removing images
  • Changing URLs the images link to
  • Editing gallery transitions

>Our Newest Website BalancedGrowth.com-3

Pages

Updating or changing the content of a page, re-ordering pages or creating new pages is accomplished with a few clicks in the CMS.

SEO

SEO serves as the traffic driver on a website. With the CMS, you can add keywords to the page meta description as needed.

Does this sound like a website your business could use? Contact Digital Hill for more information.

Online Calendar Booking Tools

Online Calendar Booking Tools

Online Calendar Booking Tools

Scheduling meetings or paid appointments can be one of the most tedious and frustrating tasks in your business life, particularly with a lot of emails back and forth sharing dates and times blindly. Thankfully, these days there are much better options available to simplify this task.

Let’s dive into a few key online calendar booking tools:

Calendly

Features include the ability to integrate your calendars with iCloud or Office 365. Calendly can be used anywhere – it’s cloud-based and can be used on any device including your phone, desktop PC, and tablet. It gives your whole team the ability to display their availability.  Specific features include:

  • 30 Day Calendar Integration
  • Simple, Modern Interface
  • Fully Optimized for all Devices
  • Notifications
  • Retain Privacy and Control
  • Team Scheduling
  • Group Events
  • Works the Way your Invitees Do
  • Speedy, Helpful Email Support

You can use Calendly free for 14 days, and it has a freemium option after the trial. Or upgrade to the premium option at $8 a month. For more options and features, you may need the Pro which is $12 a month. It includes everything but the kitchen sink, from calendar integration to personalized links as well as metrics based reporting.

YouCanBook.Me

YouCanBook.Me is one of the more popular websites to use for scheduling. Some of the most notable “brands” that use them include Uber, User testing, and Shopify. The two have very similar features and support. One features that differentiates YouCanBook.Me from Calendly is that it can be integrated with connecting tool Zapier to allow for more integrations with additional tools you might use. Specific features include:

  • Embed your booking page on your website
  • Share your booking page online
  • Confirmations
  • Take credit card payments for paid appointments
  • Upload logos and images
  • Control how your google calendar events look
  • Use iCloud with YouCanBook.me
  • Send your notification emails via your Gmail
  • Mail merge style text substitution
  • Fixed start and end dates
  • Integrate directly with Google or Apple calendars
  • Shorthand codes
  • Minimum / maximum advance notice to book
  • Get your own reminders for your bookings
  • Mobile friendly grids
  • Different length appointments
  • SMS / text messages
  • Set the schedule for the week
  • Configurable booking forms
  • Cancellations and rescheduling
  • Custom booking URL

Online Calendar Booking Tools2

YouCanBook.Me also has 3 payment plans, monthly for $10, yearly for $108 and 2 years for $192 per calendar, which is a 20% discount.

Acuity Scheduling

This scheduling tool sends out notifications when a new appointment is booked, canceled or even if someone is going to be late, but this one also integrates with many more apps and sites than the first two. Integrations include; Stripe, Square, PayPal, Zappier, API, Quickbooks, Xero, Aweber and even WordPress.

  • Client self-scheduling
  • Advertise unlimited services and appointments
  • Handy text message notifications
  • Worldwide text message notifications
  • Use your logo
  • Customize with your company colors
  • Edit all app text so it sounds just like you
  • Automatic time zone conversion
  • Automatic reminder emails

Online Calendar Booking Tools

This is a really robust app, but the paid options are geared towards larger businesses and corporations, rather than home-based or small businesses. They do have a free option with limited features. A $10 a month option for just you in one location. The Growing Business Plan is $19 a month for 6 people in different locations and has an SMS feature. The largest plan is $34 a month, gives you the ability to include 36 people on the account.

Doodle

Doodle is a good option for any business, small or large. Like the other programs above, it has full integration, can send out automatic reminders and notifications when someone cancels or makes a new appointment.

  • Easy scheduling
  • Connect your calendar
  • Send automatic reminders
  • See who is missing
  • Request additional information
  • End-to-end SSL encryption
  • Ads-free
  • Custom design
  • Custom subdomain
  • User management

online_calendar_booking_tools3

Doodle is a little more expensive than the other options, but they have a free option. Free for one user; this will be enough for people that want to keep track of their own personal appointments, meetings, etc. The Private option is $39 a year, it does have more features, but you can still only use it for 1 person. The Business option is $69 a year, for business, and you can add more people to the account. However, the cost also goes up significantly.

Booking calendars can practically eliminate the tedious back and forth of booking meetings and appointments. Reduce frustration for you and your customers and try one out.

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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!