Monthly Archives: April, 2017

Take Control of Online Reviews

April 26th, 2017 Posted by Online Business No Comment yet

Online reviews can be a complicated puzzle to solve. Whether it’s Yelp, Google, or a social media platform, it is crucial for any successful business owner to stay on top of what customers are saying about your business.  Here are some steps you can use to take control of the online review process.

  1. READ AND RESPOND: 
    Although there are several online mechanisms for leaving a business review, it is important to read them all, and respond accordingly.  If a customer is dissatisfied, they are 20 times more likely to talk about your business than if they were satisfied.  Be prepared to read unfavorable reviews and react with a “solution”.  Carefully think your response through, be apologetic, and most importantly, welcome the customer back with an incentive if necessary. Never get caught up in an argumentative way.  Peaceful solutions and positive responses will also catch the attention of prospective customers who may read the review.  Let them see that you are attentive to even your most dissatisfied customers.
  2. SOLICIT REVIEWS: 
    When a customer has a good experience with your business, encourage them to leave a positive review.  You can also provide incentives for doing so, by way of discounts on future business.  Soliciting positive reviews from your most satisfied customers can help build an invaluable positive rating.  Always remember, prospective customers are more likely to give you their business if they see you providing good service.
  3. USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO ENCOURAGE REVIEWS: 
    With the influx of social media as a forum for business promotion, it is possible to encourage positive reviews by offering online promotions.  When a customer takes advantage of one of these promotions, encourage the customer to leave a review on the page.  This creates a chain of dialogue directly with the customer so others can see first-hand how you handle customer opinions and reviews.  Keeping your social media dialogue positive is easy to do because you have more control over content on a social media page than say a Yelp or Google review platform.

So, put your best foot forward and take control of your online reviews.

Tips on promoting your business using social media

April 19th, 2017 Posted by Marketing, Online Business, Smart business tips No Comment yet

So you say you’re not a social media buff? Perhaps you just don’t know what all the hype is about.  It’s easier than you think to use social media for marketing to launch your business into cyber-success.  Here are just a few easy steps to get you started.

  1. FIND THE BEST FIT

There are several different platforms to choose from when using social media for marketing: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest just to name a few.  Figure out which ones your target audience is most likely to use and sign on up, but don’t shy away from unconventional social media platforms either!

  1. ALWAYS MAINTAIN BRAND CONSISTENCY

While you won’t use the different social media platforms for all the same purposes, you’ll want to maintain a consistent brand image. Make sure your username and logo are the same on every account. You want people to be able to recognize your brand easily; even the best message won’t do any good if it can’t be traced back to you. Remember, too, that visuals are important—an amateurish Facebook page will hurt your brand more than help it.  Any lack of attention to image will surely impact your credibility.

  1. USE VARIETY TO STAY INTERESTING

People join social media to be social! Your followers will start dropping rapidly if all they see are ads for your services. Diversify your posts with interesting or funny images, articles, videos, and links related to your industry to get people to click that, be careful to avoid posting anything that may serve to alienate customers.  In between all the hilarious and thought-provoking content, you can slip in posts about your services that won’t come across as pushy advertising.

  1. MEASURE YOUR SUCCESS 

When using social media for marketing, it’s easy to use tracking data to monitor your progress.  Google Analytics is a good place to start, and it’s easy to understand.  The ability to see which of your posts generated the most clicks to your website can be a huge help in determining what works and what doesn’t when using social media for marketing.  This is the feedback you need to continue a forward progression.

Be bold. Be creative. Take stock in knowing that you’re exposing your business to a customer base you could never have reached otherwise. Social media can be the difference between moderate and high business traffic, so get started!

 

Top photography tips and tricks to make your brand stand out

April 12th, 2017 Posted by Bartercard, Marketing, Online Business, Smart business tips No Comment yet

Photographs are key to standing out in a digital world – whether on social media, a company website or in a marketing campaign. Did you know there are 60 million new photos uploaded to Instagram daily?

This week we list the top photography tips and tricks from Instagram superstars to give your brand cut-through – whether you’re snapping on a digital SLR or your smart phone.

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How to kick start a venture through crowdfunding

April 4th, 2017 Posted by Smart business tips No Comment yet

You’ve seen crowdfunding splashed over social media and business sites.  In this week’s Bartercard blog, we list the basics and what you should know to successfully raise the finance you need to get your concept to the market.

What is crowdfunding? 

It’s funding a venture or project by raising monetary contributions online before the concept launches.  It’s also a way test your idea based off its capital-raising success.  If it sinks at crowdfunding stage, it might be a flash in the pan or won’t take off in the market at all.

It’s a popular space  

In 2015, the crowdfunding market raised approximately $34 billion (crowdexpert.com).
The most successful crowdfunding campaign ever is the ‘Pebble E-Paper Watch’ which raised over $10.2 million in 37 days.

There are many different types of crowdfunding.  A few of them are: 

  • Rewards crowdfunding: is where a product is pre-sold to launch a concept, without incurring debt or sacrificing equity.
  • Equity crowdfunding: is where the backer receives shares in a company in exchange for the money pledged.
  • Syndicate crowdfunding: adds value by putting three key elements together: a start-up, a lead investor and backers (the latter is an investor who doesn’t have extensive experience or wants someone else manage the investment).
  • Donation crowdfunding: raises contributions towards a charitable cause.
  • Lending crowdfunding: is where investors are repaid their investment over time.

What does it take to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign? 

It does take a marketable concept but it’s not as simple as chalking up an idea, creating graphics and copy, and throwing it all up on a crowdfunding site.

What it does take is a well-mapped marketing campaign, assets like brand, website and a database, telling a unique story, building up anticipation and your following on social media leading up to the launch, investing in advertising and PR to secure placement and exposure, preparing all marketing assets like video, press releases and imagery, and engaging audience and potential investors whilst the campaign is live.

It’s imperative you have everything lined up before the launch. Translating video and editing it in accents for countries where you think it’ll have the most impact could maximize reach and pledges.

The first 48 hours are critical

During launch you will need to constantly show, engage and explain why your product is invaluable, and post frequent updates which will create buzz and give existing fans and advocates more reason to talk.

There are a myriad of crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Indiegogo. Research all of them to find the most fitting platform to launch your crowdfunding concept.

Crowdfunding is a smart way to tackle capital at start-up. Bartercard’s Interest Free Line of Credit is another.  Talk to your Trade Broker about how you can use Bartercard to makeover your business without spending cash.

Adapted from an article that appeared on bartercard.com.au.