14 Crazy Social Media Stats To Learn About Now

I’m amazed at how many small businesses still don’t use social media to promote their businesses. In 2013, every small business owner should have an established social media presence that they can use to listen to their customers.

Here are some interesting social media facts pulled from various sites that might help further illustrate the value of making social media part of your marketing efforts.

From Socialnomics.net:

  • There are over 1 billion users on Facebook
  • Each day 20% of Google searches have never been searched before
  • Ford Explorer launch on Facebook more effective than a Super Bowl Ad
  • Every second 2 new members join LinkedIn
  • Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Germany, Turkey, South Africa, Canada, Argentina, United Kingdom, Egypt
  • 93% of marketers use social media for business
  • Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web

From Digital Buzz:

  • 1 Million websites have integrated with Facebook
  • 23% of users check Facebook 5 times or more daily
  • 56% of customer tweets are being ignored
  • 34% of marketers have generated leads on Twitter
  • Google’s +1 button is used 5 million times a day
  • Over 5 million are uploaded to Instagram every hour
  • 80% of Pinterest users are female

Do you have reservations about using social media for your business? Tell us in the comments.

Be Awesome!

I recently went to a great BYOB restaurant that just opened in Philadelphia. A week later, they sent me this.

Will BYOB Philadelphia

Will BYOB Philadelphia, Great Customer Service, Great Food

When was the last time you did something unexpected and awesome for your customers? Writing this card probably took the waitress 30 seconds to write. The impact for the business is priceless. I’ve already told a number of people about it (including you, the reader) and when I posted it on Facebook generated interest in the restaurant by people on my friend’s list.

Spend some time today thinking about what random act of awesomeness you can do for your customers and get to it. Your customers will not only appreciate it, they will remember it and talk about your business. In the age of social media their appreciation can affect a lot of people.

Ignore the iPhone and Your Business Will Suffer

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that it is critical for your business to get customer reviews. When looking for a business, your potential customers are scouring a number of review sites to make their decision. Yelp is one of them.

Yelp has been around for a long time. There are people that complain that the review process on Yelp isn’t fair and that they don’t always show all of the reviews. Here is the thing. None of that matters. Why?

Yelp and Apple Sittin’ in a Tree

Unless you were on expedition in Nepal you probably have heard that Apple has released a new version of the iPhone, the iPhone 5. Along with the iPhone, they updated the software that powers all of the iPhones. This software, iOS 6, puts Yelp reviews front and center.

If you are searching for a pizza shop in Roxborough and use the new Maps application then when the listings are presented to you on the map they have a link to Yelp reviews. They show the Yelp star rating, clicking into it will give you more details.

Also, if you use Siri, the Apple voice assistant to look for a business it will provide the Yelp review as part of the returned results.

Siri Yelp Reviews

Get Positive Yelp Reviews

Yelp can penalize you if you try to game the system, that is, submit a bunch of fake reviews about your business. If you do your job right, you shouldn’t have too. Here are a couple of ways to get your customer’s to review you on Yelp.

  1. Put some information about Yelp on your collateral. If you have table signs, stationary, etc. include a link to your Yelp page.
  2. Put Yelp reviews on your website. This will encourage other’s to review your business too.
  3. In the email that you send to your customers, include a link to your Yelp page.

We live in an age where your customer’s have a voice. Make sure that you know what they are saying and be part of the conversation. Get them to talk about your business on Yelp so new customers choose you over your competitors.

Trying To Reach Teens? Do You Know Where They Hangout?

Courtesy of the Real Time Report, here are some interesting stats on teen social media usage.

Nearly nine out of ten teens (89.5%) are on Facebook, according to new research from McAfee.

What other social networks are teens spending time on?
Twitter – 48.7%
Google+ – 41.5%
Tumblr – 33%, and more popular with girls than boys
4chan – 23%, more popular with boys than girls
Pinterest – 20%
Myspace – 18%
Foursquare (and other check-in services) – 12.2%

Read the rest of the report over at the Real Time Report and get some insights on how social media should impact your business.

Warning: Changes from Apple and Google That Can Keep Customers Out Of Your Store

I recently read an article posted back in April on Location Based Marketing at Just Ask Kim.com. It was a good read, I suggest you head over there. However, reading the first point made me recall something that I read this week from both Google and Apple that could impact local search that I’d like to share here.

Hello Siri

The first is Apple. A few weeks ago they announced a new version of the system that powers their iPhones and iPads. This update includes a cool new mapping system and an update to Siri, the digital assistant.

Why is the Apple announcement relevent to you and your small business? It’s all about maps and Siri. Siri represents the future of internet search especially on mobile devices. What is more likely for you to do while driving. Type in “hair salons” into the iPhone maps or say “Find me the nearest hair salon?” Of course it’s the latter.

With the update to maps and Siri, Apple is positioning itself in a way that makes Google irrelevant. In addition, Apple is including over 100 million local listing drawn from the Yelp database. It’s more important than ever to ask your customers to review your business on Yelp.

Goodbye, Google Places

Now, Google. The future of Google (according to Google) is Google+. Google+ is the social layer built on top of Google, it’s kind of like Facebook but is slowly moving into every aspect of Google’s business. Recently, Google announced that they were getting rid of Google places and adding a Local feature to Google+, now your customers can leave good (or bad) reviews on Google+ and they will show up when someone searches for your business.

Make sure that you own your location in Google+, if you need help with this feel free to contact me.

How To Find Your Best Customers in 10 Minutes

Manage What You Can Measure

In the last post you learned about the influence your customers can have on your business. Now that you know about influence, today you will learn how to begin measuring how your customers feel about your business.

It turns out there is a pretty low cost way to measure your customers – Customer Surveys. In this post, you’ll learn a strategey for surveying your customers.

Three Customers Types

You can measure your customers by grouping them into three categories.

  • Champions
  • Critics
  • Conflicted

Champions

Your Champions are your most loyal customers. These are the people you can count on through thick and thin. You’ve earned their loyalty through great customer service. They pay you back by continuing to give you business.

Do you know your best customers by face? Name? If not you should.

Why?

Getting new customers costs money. When you market your business, that money is typically spent on radio ads, coupon clippers, newspapers ads and maybe a few other places. The money you spend in order to bring in new business is called your customer acquisition cost.

If you spend ten dollars to bring in one customer your customer acquisition cost is ten dollars. If your service is so spectactular that the one customer tells a friend, who also comes, in then your net customer acquisition cost is five dollars.

Your Champions are going to be a source of referrals. These referrals represent new business for your company that you didn’t have to pay for.

Well, it’s not exactly free. You’ll need to continue to provide outstanding customer service in order to maintain that loyalty but you need to do that anyway.

Critics

Critics are the people who had a bad experience at your business and will likely not come back. You’ve probably lost them and in-fact you really shouldn’t worry about it too much.

It’s not very important to know who they are. In fact, focusing on them could actually hurt your growth.

Suppose your marketing budget allows you to spend ten dollars on a customer. Would you rather spend it on people who love your business and might tell their friends? Or, would you rather spend it on someone who had a bad experience in the hopes of bringing them back?

You still want to learn why they had a bad experience in order to make sure they aren’t any over arching problems with your business.

Conflicted

People who are conflicted hold an ambivalent opinion of you. Maybe you are the only dry cleaner in town. They don’t love you but they don’t hate you enough to drive five miles to the next dry cleaner. Save your money, you don’t need to market to them either.

Finding Your Champions

Now that you know about the importance of Champions to your business the next question is “How do I find them?” The simplest way to go about finding your Champions is to ask them and there is no easier way to do this than to conduct a survey.

I’ve never conducted a survey before!

If you’ve ever taken a survey you know they can be complicated and long. Responses are collected from thousands of people and the results are poured over by analysts from market research firms.

You do not have time for this and that’s ok.

I’m going to show you step by step how to create a simple survey that is super quick for your customer and easy for you to analyize.

Identify Your Goals

Your survey is going to accomplish a few goals:
1. Identify how your customers feel about your company
2. Identify areas that your customers think you do well with
3. Identify areas that your customers think you should improve
4. Identify your Champions.

This seems like a lot but we can accomplish this with only a few questions.

How do your customers feel about your company?

Asking your customers if they will recommend you to their friends or colleagues is a great way to find out if they like your company. Our entire survey is going to be based around this question. The additional questions will just zero in on specific areas.

Question #1 How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or a relative?

You’re going to ask your customers to give you a response from 0 to 10, with 0 meaning not likely and 10 meaning very likely.

This question will establish how your customers feel about your company.

Follow up questions

For questions two and three you need to think of some key areas of your business that you want to ask your customers about.

A restaurant may want to look at the following areas:
* Quality of the service
* Quality of the food
* Atmosphere in the restaurant

While a contractor has an entirely different set of goals:
* Quality of the work
* Professionalism
* Price

Think about areas of your business that you think you do great with and areas of your business that you might want to improve. You might be surprised how your perception of your strengths and weaknesses differ from your customers.

You should try to limit this list to five items.

Question #2 – From the list below, please tell us which area where we did exceptionally well.

The answers to this question are the areas that you just identified.

Question #3 – From the list below, please tell us which area should have the highest priority for us to improve

Again, you will use the answers that you just identified.

Question #4 – Do you have any other comments about us?

This will give your customers an opportunity to tell you exactly why they answered the questions the way they did.

Get started

As you can see, you don’t need to ask your customers dozens of questions in order to gain some insight into why they like your business.

By asking a few simple questions you can build an understanding of who your best and worst customers are.

In the next post, I’m going to show you exactly the tools you need to get started. Don’t worry, it won’t break the bank.

If you don’t have time to build the survey yourself or one some one-on-one help, contact me by clicking here.

How Safe Is Your Business Reputation From One Irate Customer?

Bad Roast Beef

Not too long ago my family and I went to a local restaurant for dinner. We ordered dinner, waited and waited some more. After waiting for what seemed like a much longer time than normal, our dinner arrived. I ordered a roast beef sandwich. Now where I come from roast beef sandwiches are made with very thinly sliced pieces of roast beef, piled high on a Kaiser roll with a slice of provolone and maybe some horseradish. What I received was nothing like my expectations.

What I was given was a sad excuse for a sandwich indeed. The slices of roast beef were thrown on my sandwich. Even if it was presented neatly, the slices were so thick and tough I couldn’t chew through it. It was hands down the worst sandwich I’ve ever eaten.

So, what did I do? Well, under certain circumstances I would complain. In this case, we were under a time crunch and I didn’t have time to wait for another sandwich so I suffered in silence.

Eventually the waitress came back to give us our check. Upon seeing an unfinished sandwich she asked “Is everything ok with your meal?” to which I replied, “No, it was actually really awful.” She shrugged her shoulders not quite sure what to say next and left to get our check.

So where is this all going? Why am I telling you this story? Simple, I’m telling you this story because I have an audience. I’m an influencer.

Think about any time you’ve had a good or bad experience at a store. You probably told at least one person; especially if your experience was lousy. You can bet that I told quite a few people about my lousy andwich. In fact, if I told you the name of the restaurant you would think twice about going there. I’ll spare the restaurant the embarassment though because that’s not the point.

Your Customers Have Influence

The point of the story was not to bash the restaurant. It was to remind you that customers carry influence. In today’s world their influence has never been greater.

Let’s go back in time a little bit, say twenty years ago. If I had the same roast beef experience who could I influence? Well, suppose my bad roast beef sandwich was delivered to me in 1991. The next night, I was out with a couple of friends and happened to retell the story. I’ve influenced maybe three or four people.

It’s possible that the experience was so bad that those people went and told one or two more other people. The maximum number of people that likely heard about my bad roast beef sandwich is twelve. Not too many people, certainly not enough that the restaurant has to worry about losing any business.

Let’s fast forward now to today. Now, instead of talking to some friends I immediately come home, hop on my computer, fire up Facebook and type the following status update “Wow, worst roast beef sandwich ever. Waitress clueless. Stay away from (name removed).”

Maybe I didn’t even make it home. Using my iPhone I likely could have taken a picture of the sandwich and updated my status all while I was chewing through the fatty meat.

What kind of impact might that have? Plenty.

The (Social) Network Effect

Same lousy sandwich, same unhappy customer, unbelievable influence and reach. A single bad experience could cost your business hundreds or thousands of dollars. This is because of the explosion of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

96% of US Household use social networks.
Source: comScore April 2012

 

Over 96% of the US Internet population uses a social network. Over 70% are on Facebook alone. These people, your customers, have the ability to influence dozens of their friends just by simply posting how much they loved or hated their experience on their social networking profiles.

Each of one of these customers also has a pretty big group of people that they can influence. The average # of “friends” that a Facebook user has is 130.

You read that right — 130 friends.

More importantly, this stuff doesn’t go away. A good or bad comment about your business that used to be part of a conversation among a group of friends has become an online testimonial about your business that is around forever.

All is not doom and gloom however, in fact, it’s really the best time ever to be a small business owner. With a little marketing savvy you can tap into the conversation that your customers are having about you, influence it and use it to build your business in ways that were not possible twenty years ago.

It all comes down to loyalty.

Will they recommend your business to their friends or family?

The easiest way to find out if a customer likes your business is to ask them if they would recommend your business to a friend or family. It’s easy to understand why. When someone makes a recommendation they put their name on the line. Most people don’t do that lightly.

Think about your own behavior. If someone asks your opinion on something you’ll probably answer one of three ways:

  1. You’ll give a glowing recommendation. “I love this widget you should totally get your-self one!”
  2. You’ll give a scathing criticism. “They f*ing suck.”
  3. Or, you’ll be ambivalent. “Eh, it gets the job done.”

Turns out, we can quantify these three types of answers in a way that will help you improve the quality of your business.

In the next post, we’ll look talk about how.

Have you shared good (or bad) experiences with local businesses on a social network? Share your experience in the comments.

Weekly Round up of links – Facebook Timeline Edition

Welcome to this week’s edition of the New Customer Workshop newsletter.

As always, I appreciate the time you spend with me each week. I hope that the content I’m sharing helps you in some way.

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like me to either research or write about I would love to hear from you. All you need to do is add a comment to the bottom of this post. I read every suggestion and try to respond to as many as possible.

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Chris Brogan’s blog has an article published about remembering that it’s people, not the medium (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) that you need to focus on.

http://www.chrisbrogan.com/never-fall-in-love-with-the-medium

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Facebook made a huge announcement last week about a change to the way Pages are setup. No longer is there the ability to have a default landing tab. The loss of the landing tab has marketers in quite a tizzy.

The article at StandingDog.com helps you make sense of it.
http://www.standingdog.com/blog/timeline-for-pages-no-default-landing-tab/

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I published a video last week showing you how to setup your own Facebook page using the free tools developed by ShortStack. While my timing was a little poor the folks at ShortStack posted an article on their blog describing how to use their tools within the new Facebook Page timeline.

http://www.shortstack.com/2012/02/the-times-they-are-a-changin-timeline-and-the-default-landing-tab/

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If you had a the choice between gaining a new customer or getting more business from an existing customer which would you prefer to do? That’s the question we explore in this article at the New Customer Workshop.

http://www.newcustomerworkshop.com/warning-relying-on-your-customers-will-cost-you-thousands-in-lost-income-each-year

Hyponitize Your Readers with A Strong Call to Action

I’ve mentioned before how important it is to have a clear call to action on your website.

What are calls to action you say? They are the words you use convince your readers to take specific actions on your site. Some examples might be:

  • Join Now
  • Sign up
  • Start Today
  • Get started
  • Rock my world
  • Press the Red Button
  • Take the Blue Pill
You want your website to be able to close a sale and your calls to action are the smooth talking salesman that’s going to do it for you. Knowing you need a strong call to action and writing them are different.

The folks at HubSpot have posted some tips to help you write a strong call to action which I summarize here.

  1. Begin with Subjects & Verbs
  2. Include Numbers
  3. Use Adverbs Sparingly
  4. Keep it short
  5. Make the language less technical and more practical

I encourage you to read the full article for more information on each of those points.

Take a look at your website. Do you have a strong call to action? If you’re not sure, enter to win a free website checkup where I help you uncover the right actions for your readers to take on your site.

Win a Free Website Checkup!

Is your small business website getting the traffic and attention that it deserves? Do you think you have problems with your website but can’t quite put your finger on it? If so, you might need a website checkup.

Getting an independent party to look over your site is a good idea. It helps identify the things you are doing right and some areas that you can improve upon.

When I offer website checkups I look at the following areas:

  • How easy it is to navigate your site?
  • Do you have clear calls to action?
  • How you can change your site to help improve rankings on Google and other search engines?
  • Are you using a content management system like WordPress? I’ll look to see if it is properly configured.
  • Are you a local business? Is your website structured to help your customers find you?

How To Enter!

This month, I’m offering for one lucky winner a free website critique. In order to enter follow these two simple steps:

  1. Like the New Customer Workshop Facebook page
  2. Write a comment below explaining what you think are the problems with your website.

Be sure to include a valid email address and the name of your website so that I can contact you if you are a winner.