ask statement call to action

The Perfect Facebook Post: Ask, Statement, Call To Action

When posting on Facebook, it is important to follow the right format in posts so that customers are more likely to be engaged in a way that can lead to a sale. By constructing posts in the right way, businesses can increase the effectiveness of their posts to get more out of their social media marketing efforts.

Social Media Requires a Special Approach

Notice the ad above isn't telling the viewer to "call now to buy a website". Instead, the ad begins with a question. The question is specifically tied to the pain point that Coastline Marketing Group's demographic struggles with the most.

As with all digital marketing efforts, businesses must keep in mind that individuals who consume their content are not a captive audience like they are with traditional media. With television advertising, for example, viewers wishing to continue their show have no choice but to watch the advertisements. In contrast, social media is vastly different because readers always have the ability to unfollow a business or scroll past its messages.

Therefore, although businesses can increase the conversion rate of their content with a call to action, it is critical to avoid being too pushy in a sales approach because this type of activity can quickly chase customers away. Messages posted on social media should always add value to the reader to prevent decreased engagement and a decline in total subscribers.

 

Start with a Question

When posting on social media, it is important to create content that is likely to capture a viewer's attention. Unfortunately, getting the attention of a potential customer is difficult on social media because viewers are constantly bombarded with messages from hundreds of other sources. The first sentence of a post, therefore, is critical for grabbing the attention of a potential prospect. In general, questions are the best way to capture someone's attention with social media because these types of messages force a reader to think about what is being said and become engaged.

Questions can be powerful tools for capturing the attention of a prospect, and business owners should make use of this fact to obtain better results from their Facebook marketing efforts. When posting on a business page, start posts with a question that points out pain that a buyer is likely to be experiencing. If, for example, a business offers web design services, a good question might be, "Wouldn't your time be better spent building your business than building your website?"

 

Give a Statement

The next step after asking a question is to give a statement about how the potential customer's pain can be solved with a product or service. Since customers have just been reminded of pain that they are experiencing, they will be highly interested in reading about a solution.

The statement must be tailored to the social media format so that it will be as effective as possible. Social media users are generally unwilling to read long articles, and they prefer sentences that are relatively short and easy to understand. The time that it takes to read content is a critical factor to consider when crafting a post for social media. A good example of a statement that would follow a question would be, "We help busy professionals improve their web presence so they can focus their time on what they do best."

 

Call to Action (CTA)

The final element of a social media post for a business should be a call to action. As with other areas of the post, the call to action should be short and easy to read. Most importantly, readers should be made to feel ready to take immediate action because of the content in the message. An example of a good call to action would be, "Contact our agency today for a free consultation!"

-Phil Fisk - President, Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.


google business page

Have You Claimed Your Google Business Page?

As a business owner, you have likely heard about the importance of claiming your Google Local Business Page. Yet, you may have been putting it off due to a lack of information about its importance or just simply not having time to explore all that it has to offer for your company. While having a company website is a great start for building your online reputation, it is important to understand that your Google Business Page provides a roadmap for getting your target audience to visit your business along with opportunities for interaction that drive growth.

Google Business Page Benefits

Showing up on that first page of a Google search involves using several strategies such as AdWords and search engine optimization. However, claiming your Google Local Business Page puts you on the fast track toward showing up in your local listings. The local search results can vary due to differing factors among users, but your main goal should always be to end up in the top three results offered. When you do so, your business is automatically presented to potential new customers without any additional advertising money from your budget.

How To Find Your Google Business Page

Not sure how to find your Google business page? Take a look at the image above. First, go to Google on a desktop computer and type in your company name. In this case, I typed in "Mohr imports monterey ca". If you have been in business for a few months or more, chances are, Google has already generated a page for you. If by chance you do not see your business listing off to the right of the page, you can visit https://www.google.com/business to start from scratch.

If you do see your listing on the right of the results page, take a close look to see if there is an "Own this business?" link within that listing (see image above). If you do, click that link and follow the steps to claim your page.

How To Claim Your Local Page

Setting up your Google Business Page is a relatively simple process that is easier if you already have a Google account. Ideally, any Google services you use should be set up under the same account to streamline your activities. Once you have all of your information entered, Google will require postcard verification to prove your company is legitimate. This simple procedure simply involves a postcard being mailed to your company address with a PIN number on it. Once you receive the card, go to your account and enter the PIN to activate it.

Getting the Most Out of Your Page

Attracting customers to your website is the main goal of your Google Business Page. However, it also has additional benefits for bolstering your sales. For example, you can add photos of your business, products or services to give potential customers a visual picture of what you can do for them. Current customers can also leave reviews regarding your company for others to read, and you can respond to both negative and positive comments to demonstrate your business’s dedication to providing quality experiences for every customer. Helpful information about your business can also be added. For example, letting potential customers know your hours and services that are offered allows them to make an informed decision about visiting your company.

Ignoring your Google Business Page is letting an opportunity for free and effective advertising to pass you by. Don’t ignore the opportunity to increase your brand recognition and drive potential new customers to your business by showing up in the local listings. Instead, set up your page, and stay involved by responding to reviews and changing your business information as needed to keep members of your target audience informed about all that your company offers.

Need help with your local SEO? Visit my agency page at www.CoastlineMarketingGroup.com

Happy Marketing!

Phil Fisk - President Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.


reputation-management

How A Customer Centric Focus Can Improve Your Online Reviews

Below is a transcript of a speech I give to local business owners. It's basically a lesson in how to be a responsible business owner, and a responsible consumer. It's been slightly edited to make it easier to read. Enjoy.

Today, I'd like to discuss how online reviews can make or break your business. More importantly, I want to examine this through a customer-centric lens. As in, instead of talking about how we can garner good reviews through manipulation or techniques meant to game the system, let's talk about how we can get good reviews by pleasing the customer in an organic way.

Before I jump in, let me start by giving you a little background information about who I am and what it is that I do. I am a digital marketing consultant, a blogger and someone who might not have all the answers, but who's had more than a bit of experience in the online marketing world. When I say I don't have "all the answers," what I mean is that I firmly believe that there is no magic bullet that one can unleash in order to give their brand a strong online presence overnight. I believe that different companies have different needs; however, there are certain basic techniques and concepts that I think can be helpful to all businesses.

There are countless webinars, seminars and blogs devoted to teaching businesses how to promote their brand online, especially through social media. These days, even those of us who aren't particularly tech savvy know that Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms are essential to building your brand, increasing visibility and raising profits.

However, I don't see a lot of attention being paid to what I as a professional consider to be the most important digital marketing strategy in the current era, which is having a positive presence on customer review websites like Yelp.

The History of Customer Reviews

To understand the importance of a website like Yelp, let's think about the history of customer reviews. Fifty years ago, customer reviews came in two forms. There was, of course, the professional critic, who would critique a restaurant or a brand in a written publication. We still have those today, naturally. I've personally never put too much stock in the value of professional critics and a quick glance at the user review section of any Rotten Tomatoes page would show that I'm not alone. I don't think customers were or have ever been truly influenced by professional critics. But that was one of the earlier forms of brand criticism.

The second form, which I consider to be the granddaddy of a site like Yelp, was word of mouth. In our parents' and grandparents' day, if they were going to make a major buying decision, they were going to consult with family and friends. If a store in an area had a reputation for being overpriced or for employing rude people, this information would spread via word of mouth and business would diminish. This is where the "customer is always right" mentality sprang from. Businesses understood how quickly word of their ineptitude could make it around a neighborhood. This is why great customer service was essential.

Valuing the Opinions of Friends and Family, or not.

Today, word of mouth reviews don't hold as much weight. It's not that you all don't value the opinions of your family and friends - well, maybe there's a few whose opinions you don't value. I have one or two I can think of who I always take with a grain of salt. No, word of mouth hasn't lost its value because we've stopped valuing the opinions of our friends, but rather because the scope of our buying power has expanded.

So, if you've found an obscure online retailer that looks promising but you're unsure, it's not all that likely that you have any real world friends who've purchased from them. It also has to do with the rise of chain stores. Most of us aren't going to take the time to ask where the best place is to buy a microwave, because we know that the answer will probably be Walmart or Sears. We know where to buy things.

Enter the world of online review sites like Yelp. Yelp allows any person, in a matter of seconds, to look up a business and instantly see whether or not they have good reviews from the general public. It also allows customers to instantly air their grievances. In the old days, if you wanted to air a grievance, you had to file with the Better Business Bureau. Most people don't want to go through the trouble of that unless they've been somehow scammed or defrauded. You didn't have an outlet through which to merely alert others about poor customer service or a faulty product.

Who's Controlling Your Message?

Let's say you're a restaurant owner and your entire staff is having a bad day. The kitchen is sending out tasteless food, the waitstaff is giving the customers attitude. Do you know the scariest thing that a patron can do in that situation? It's not walking out on their tab. Rather, it's pulling out their smartphone. In a minute or so, they can relay their experience to the entire world. This puts the consumer in control of your message.

I'm a really big fan of talking about plumbers when I'm talking about online reviews. Let's say that it's the 1970s and your hot water heater springs a leak. Water is soaking your basement and it's the 70s, so you probably have shag carpeting, which means if you don't take care of it quickly there'll be mildew everywhere. What do you do in this situation?...

You go to the phone book. You go to the phone book and you call the first plumber that you see. You're not going to take the time to call up a friend and ask them who they recommend, especially if the water level is rising. You're going to pick who has the nicest ad in the phonebook.

Today, if your hot water heater springs a leak - hopefully none of you still have shag carpeting - you're still on a time crunch, sure. But consulting Yelp, consulting Angie's List... it takes just as much time as flipping through the phone book. You can quickly access not only a list of plumbers, but a list of plumbers ranked by overall rating. In a matter of minutes, you can skim the reviews and check for any red flags. You don't care about their blog's keyword optimization, you don't care about the company's strong Facebook presence... all you care about is a list of plumbers and the voices of real people who've hired them.

That's what I'm talking about when I talk about the power of online reviews.

How do we get those positive reviews?

The biggest question I get asked, then, is how? How do we get those positive reviews? And that brings me to my point about the importance of being customer-centric. Yes, there are steps you can take towards garnering more online reviews. You can put up signs urging people to review your company on Yelp. That's what I call the "passive approach." Or, you can take what I call the "active approach," which is offering a discount of some sort in exchange for a customer showing that they left a review.

However, the best way to get good reviews is what I call the "organic approach," and that's great customer service. Two years ago, I began working with a client. A dentist. She was passionate about what she did, she was passionate about her practice, but she had a handful of reviews and a two-star rating... which is downright toxic for any business.

When she came to me, I don't think she was expecting me to push the organic approach. I think she was expecting me to behave like some sort of computer hacker from the movies: "Oh, we can fix those bad reviews with this special secret code I bought from some Russian hackers. There, you're all set! Thanks to my special internet expert powers, you're a five star business!"

She thought she was coming to me for a magic fix. But there was no magic fix.

There is No Magic Fix

What I ended up doing for her was coming into her business, looking around, and seeing a lot of things that were wrong. A lot of things that weren't designed with the patient in mind. Something I want you to remember is that Yelpers and online reviewers are not the "enemy." This is a dangerous mindset that I see in far too many business owners. When I walked into her practice, I didn't see the two-star reviewer as my enemy. Rather, I saw him as a person just like me. I could see what he found wrong when he stepped foot in her business. I could put myself in his shoes, and in his shoes, I would have left the same review.

Ultimately, the best thing I could do for her as an internet marketing expert didn't come in the form of keywords or optimization. It came from me sitting down with she and her staff and coming up with a plan on how we could fix what wasn't working, improve on the good qualities and ultimately create a practice where patients felt valued, respected and satisfied. And we worked hard at this. We didn't stop. We focused on creating a customer-centric business.

Today her practice has over 200 Yelp reviews and over 80 Google reviews. 95% percent of those reviews are five stars. Her business has tripled and she just opened her second location.

Yelpers Are Not The Enemy

Remember what I said about Yelpers not being the enemy. I can't stress this enough. Yelpers were the reason why that dentist was able to open a second location. If your business has bad Yelp reviews, you'd be a fool to blame the reviewers and not yourself.

I see so many digital marketing professionals who act as if Yelp is a hindrance, who act as if Yelp is this massive inconvenience that they've been burdened with. It's utterly bizarre to me. If you're in the business of marketing to or appealing to customers, the fact that you would have scorn for those very customers shows me that you might be in the wrong line of work.

I don't think the rise of online review websites is a bad thing; in fact, I'd go so far to say that it's overwhelmingly positive for society at large. There are some truly sleazy companies out there. Companies that only care about a fast buck, who have no qualms about ripping off their customers. In the old days, those companies got away with it time and time again with no penalties. Today, that's changed. Unscrupulous companies get what they deserve. And great companies, companies that are truly focused on their customers, get the praise, popularity and success that they deserve.

Ultimately, my advice to any company that wants to improve its standing on Yelp has nothing to do with my experience in internet marketing. It has to do with the most organic, basic business advice of all: The customer is always right. If you can provide outstanding service, if you can put your heart and soul into your product and you can really invest all you have into pleasing your consumer, then you'll get the positive reviews on Yelp that your business needs to thrive. Remember, it's about the people. If you can't accept that, then like I said, you're in the wrong line of work.

Thank you very much.