Social media marketing
Most business owners know that social media can benefit their business in a big way, but keeping up-to-date on all things social can present a big challenge to busy small business owners. Luckily, new technologies and services are making it easier than ever for business owners to take full advantage of social media in marketing their business. Here are six services that companies should know about.
One of the biggest reasons people follow companies and brands on social networks is for exclusive deals and discounts. Social Passport is helping companies to leverage themselves around that knowledge. Companies that sign up can offer customers discounts and rewards that can then be shared among the social networks of customers. Customers can also share those discounts and other information about the brands on their social networks by visiting stores and scanning a QR code or using NFC technology in their smartphones.
The app also allows users to build up loyalty points for those check-ins, which can then be redeemed for discounts the companies determine. The application has a free and premium service for $40 a month in which businesses can build their own application that offers more information to customers.
GoChime is attempting to change the way in which companies spend money marketing themselves on social media. To do this, the service is changing the way companies advertise by targeting customers on social media based on intent to purchase a given item. GoChime uses an advanced search algorithm to scan social media in real time for statements of intent by customers. Brands can set up campaigns based on specific keywords and GoChime will then target customers based on the requests in their database.
GoChime offers a brand-managed campaign, which is a monthly subscriptions service that determines price by the number of target audiences, and a GoChime managed campaign, which has a setup fee and a 25 percent cost of the advertising spend. GoChime managed campaigns are generally for larger advertising spends.
Although many companies see social media as having a number of benefits, CriticMania is attempting to prevent companies from dealing with the negative side that social media can also bring. The service is doing this by allowing companies to take care of potential problems before they materialize. The service allows companies to set up a dedicated number where customers can privately text a manager with feedback or complaints about the company. Mangers can then send responses directly to customers in an attempt to solve the problem before a company's reputation can be tarnished online.
The service also collects data into an analytic dashboard, which can help companies improve their customer service. One phone number costs $50 a month per location and additional lines are an extra $50 a month.
Small business owners who don't have the time to deal with customer service issues on social media may want to look at services like Conversocial. The service helps companies by taking care of customer service issues proactively. Conversocial allows companies to do everything from track conversation history with customers to schedule updates to post on social media. Additionally, Conversocial gives companies insights into not only customer service, but also areas of potential improvement.
Pricing information can be found on the Conversocial website.
Companies looking to figure out what customers are thinking can get some help from polling service Poutsch. The service not only allows companies to gauge the interests and insights of customers on any number of topics, but also allows companies to receive insights about respondents. The service acts as its own social network, with registered users having the ability to share answers with other users. The benefit for companies is that users with similar interests can share their opinions. Registered users also have integration with their own social networks. That allows a company looking to get feedback on the design of a new product the ability to post a poll and have users with a similar interest offer their opinions. Companies can then follow up with those users, thanks to the social integration.
The service is free, but a paid version will be launching in the future. Additionally, Poutsch will be launching an iPhone app in the coming weeks.
Pricing Engine has set out to fix some misperceptions that small businesses have about digital advertising. The service has done this by creating a tool for small businesses that makes it easier for those companies to generate sales leads. The service built its platform to give small businesses feedback in a report card on their current marketing campaigns. Pricing Engine does this by anonymously pooling data from current campaigns and comparing it to other similar companies that are also running marketing campaigns. Pricing Engine will then give tips on how businesses can improve campaigns and break down what those improvements can bring to the business, showing business owners if it is worth it to follow through on them. Users can also craft ads and roll them out through a number of platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Pricing Engine offers a number of plans ranging from a freemium model to premium, manager, professional and enterprise, and which vary in price from $29.99 a month to $149.99 a month.