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10 Ways To Thrive In A Slowing Economy

January 9, 2012

Filed under: Business

With 2012 at a new beginning, your goals and strategies probably look a lot different than they did just last year. As your business evolves with the new economic realities, let us not forget that many of your prospects exist in the same state of insecurity.

It is time to rethink marketing materials that no longer speak to a customer's needs.
Cost-cutting is not the answer; re-engineering value is.

Here's a short list of 10 ways your company can thrive in a slowing economy.

1. Start from the beginning
Refreshing your brand will give you a good excuse to talk not only to all your existing clients but also will allow you to reflect on your communications and core message.

2. Reduce costs and improve your results
You have the choice to send 10,000 postcards or letters where you won’t know if the recipients have read them for $1.50 each (total: $15,000 of admin, creative, print, postage) or send 10,000 emails for $100 and get instant analytics and results. It is time for you to start re-assessing. Don’t stop marketing! Just spend your money wisely by using digital communications.

3. Make your website a real tool
Create interactivity with your target market. Use a silo marketing approach and create additional landing pages specific to each of your products or offers so that readers landing on your pages are not confused by the array of other products or services on your site. Keeping your visitors focused on your page will dramatically increase your conversion rate.

Ensure your website is current and has exciting, relevant content to engage your audience; use your content management system to optimise your Meta tags and key word density within your web pages so the organic searches can find your specific product or services.

4. More communication and more presence
Online strategies are the perfect vehicles for communicating with customers and generating additional purchases. Combine communications using emails, social networking, search engine optimisation, blogs, emails and websites to keep on growing your business and moving forward.

5. Target! Target! Target!
Online database management provides you superior targeting ability. With average conversion rate of around 1.5%, this is an ideal way to reach the other 98.5% that have taken the time to visit your site but haven’t yet converted. So keep communicating.

6. Measure, Track and Survive
Online marketing offers greater measurability while allowing you to track behaviours in comparison to traditional media advertising.

Do you know who has read your advert in the newspaper or magazine? No chance. With email marketing, for example, you can! This is of course due to the awesome technology, where every mouse click is tracked, usually anonymously. Use this data to understand how much each lead and sale costs you.

7. Build your distribution network
Talk to other businesses, yes that’s right you remember the old tool called the telephone…it’s still works to build relationships. Call businesses and start cross promoting your services, develop a referral program and even a joint event with an associated business targeting the same customers and share the costs and the rewards!

8. Convert and manage sales efficiently
During tough times you cannot afford to lose leads and clients, make sure you are using an appropriate customer relationship management (CRM) tool, so you always stay on top of it.

Focus on increasing your conversion and not just the number of new leads or enquiries. Work on your client base as it is 75% easier to convert an existing client to a new sale than pitching to a new customer. Do some research on unconverted leads to find out why they aren't buying from you? Create an online e-learning centre for your staff and your clients. Providing education is a great way to build brand advocacy.

9. Listen to your customers and the market
Send a simple survey to all your clients with a great incentive (never forget the incentive). Read all media, books and relevant business articles to keep you thinking about your business and how you must adapt. If you keep learning through customer feedback and constantly think about how you can improve your offering, you will only continue to grow your business.

10. Forget about the world economy and all media hype
Journalist rarely deliver good news; they exploit the human nature which is constantly craving for sensationalism. Remember the James Bond movie “Tomorrow Never Dies” where Elliot Carver said “there is no news like bad news”, well yes it was a movie but…

Think about it, it’s easier for the media to sell newspaper or advertising if the Headline says “The World Economy has Crashed” than saying the “The World Economy is Great”. The media always exploits negativity to build their own fortune. Stay focused on your business  and keep doing what you do best or better yet, improve everything you are doing!

Now is a great time to reflect and re-invent yourself, to become more efficient and drive your business as hard as possible. What’s stopping you from growing?

Contact SPINN Media today for free health check on your marketing activities.
Remember, standing still is not an option.

Tags: marketing, business, goals, communication, network

6 Tips for Effective Recruiting on Social Media

May 19, 2010

Filed under: General

You’re looking for a STAR employee to fill the shoes of your departing high-flying, results producing Executive. How do you start the recruitment process?  Better yet, where do you start?

Sharlyn Lauby recently posted this article on the American Express Open Forum on how you can use Social Media to your advantage. Here’s the full article:

The goal of recruiting is to find the right person at the right time. Logically, that means one source is never enough. You'll want to tap into diverse mediums to find the best candidates. Social media is no exception. Each platform has its own unique demographic. You'll want to consider that audience when making the decision about which applications to use for your recruiting efforts.

Regardless of the application, there are some common elements of using social media for recruiting. Here are six things to consider:

1. Create an online presence that reflects who you are
Having a nice avatar, succinct bio and current contact information will make people want to connect with you. Be sure to organize your social media profiles to provide potential contacts with a better idea of who you are so they have a reason to communicate with you and form a relationship.

"It's about being human", explains Bill Boorman, author of the Recruiting Unblog. "People connect with people, not brands. Connect with everyone because you never know who will make that referral or connection for you."

2. Make the most of your time
A large part of any success with social media is involvement. This is especially true if you want to use social media for recruiting. While mobile applications can help with this, Boorman agrees, "It takes a big investment of time to build a talent community." To target your efforts, he suggests asking people directly which channels they use and looking at what your competitors are doing. "Consider directing your messages to a single point, like a relevant blog or company website."

3. Individualize your approach
At some point, you have to connect with people you don't know and become a part of their conversations. "I actually find it easy," says Chris Havrilla, national recruiting manager for Hitachi Consulting, a global leader in delivering business and IT strategies. "I have found if you communicate with people in a meaningful and thoughtful manner, you can never go wrong."

Havrilla's approach is to connect with people who have a genuine interest in his business and industry. "I follow or connect with people related to that space, ‘listen’ to and learn from the conversations, and participate when appropriate. If you are connecting with someone directly, be ‘individualized’ in your approach – take the time to understand who you are reaching out to and be respectful of their time and attention."

4. Be authentic
Recruiters always want to see the 'real candidate' and in order to do that, they have to be real as well. Amanda Hite, founder and CEO of Talent Revolution Inc., says when it comes to social media: "Remember it's NOT about the tools it's ALL about the relationships."

So don't be afraid to be yourself. Hite adds, "Being the authentic, unapologetic you is totally on trend. But more importantly, when you embrace your own authenticity and stay committed to 'being you' no matter what, you'll attract the kind of clients and employees that do the same and are the best match for you."

5. Share interesting stuff
All work and no play is boring. So sharing news and tidbits of general interest can create what might be the equivalent of "social media small talk," which leads to bigger conversations. Sylvia Dahlby works for SmartSearch, a leading talent acquisition system and recruiting business software solution firm. She works from home and lives in Hawaii. "Before social network sites like Twitter and LinkedIn, I belonged to dozens of old-style online newsgroups. Now, I leverage the new social networks much in the same way," Sylvia explains. She says it's still important to interact with others.

One of the things Sylvia mentioned was her Twitter account because she mixes her recruiting knowledge with Hawaii tidbits. "My Twitter account is for personal branding and making connections. I mostly tweet about my work, my product and the recruiting industry during business hours, chat with friends and business associates throughout the day, and throw in a mix of my hobbies and certain interests (such as Hawaiiana). I treat Twitter as my office 'water cooler' or after-hours 'cocktail party' where I can catch the news and buzz from people in various online communities around the world."

6. Focus on substance
If someone directs a question at you via social media, find a way to respond, even if it's to take the conversation offline. "The key is substance," says Steve Browne, executive director of human resources for LaRosa's Inc., a Cincinnati based regional pizzeria with 63 locations. "I'd recommend people using social media for recruiting [focused] on substance and not just resume information. Look at how the candidate is connected in the social media arena, and are they contributing to their profession, or just lurking. If they're engaged online, chances are they would be engaged working for your company."

Many recruiters realize that when it comes to recruiting, social media tools are just that – tools. The real value is in how the tools are used. Havrilla explains, "Social media can give you a great and efficient way to engage with your community – candidates, clients, customers, partners, prospects, etc. – on a very level playing field with the companies you are competing with for talent (or business). The key is to make sure you have the time to invest in to it. At a very basic level this is all about networking. The use of social media tools has greatly enhanced my ability to build, grow, and nurture my network. These tools are not a magic bullet though – to get value from your network, you have to add value to it."

Tags: social media, communicate, conversation, network

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