Tips For Using Twitter

photo showing home page of twitter on screen

In my last post, I gave you information about who uses Twitter, and why. Today, I want to share some tips with you about using Twitter for your business or nonprofit. With nearly 500 million tweets every day, it is certainly an important part of the social media mix. Try these ideas to improve your time on Twitter.

  • Videos get more engagement, so add them as much as possible. Keep them brief.
  • You can upload up to 4 photos for each tweet. Photos also improve engagement.
  • You can search on Twitter for hashtags, profiles, etc., to help you find posts to retweet or discover topics your followers care about.
  • Limit your tweet to 1 – 2 hashtags. Instead of adding more, write additional tweets that are connected to those hashtags.
  • Use your own voice – keep it personal and make sure it sounds like you.
  • Keep an eye on what’s trending for relevant content.
  • For longer content, use a Tweet Thread (good how-to here).
  • Follow others to encourage more followers. This is a tried-and-true method to build followers and it costs nothing.
  • Monitor and reply to comments asap.
  • Ask questions or run polls, do things to encourage engagement.
  • Follow back anyone who follows you or likes a tweet.
  • Keep an eye on your analytics for the best days, times and topics to use in the future.
  • Check “Who to Follow” on your profile for suggestions and follow any that match your target audience – or who are followed by your target audience.
  • If you want to spend money to promote tweets, choose those with the most engagement.

Tips For Twitter Content

So what do you tweet about? Here are some ideas you can use to generate engagement:

  • Tip of the Week
  • Tweet out a video of the week
  • #MondayMotivation 
  • Use your humor – GIFs are a good way to do that, but cartoons & jokes work, too
  • Statistics, new findings in surveys related to your business, and new products or services you offer.
  • Retweet something valuable to your audience with a comment about what you liked about the tweet.

Need help with your social media? Contact Deppe Communications.

Who Uses Twitter and Why Does It Matter?

hands holding phone with twitter logo showing

From political tweets to pandemic pandemonium, it’s hard to ignore Twitter. You can’t argue that this social media medium is informative, entertaining,  and influential. But what do you really know about Twitter? Check out these Twitter by the numbers facts:

  • Among US adults 24% of men use Twitter while 21% of women use the platform
  • 65% of Twitter’s most active users are women
  • 24% of those with some college education use Twitter
  • 20% of those making $30k–74,999 use Twitter
  • 31% of those making more than $75k use Twitter
  • Twitter ranks only slightly behind Instagram when it comes to 65+ users in the U.S. (7% vs 8%)

If you’re a small business owner and you look at the numbers, it is clear that you should make Twitter part of your marketing mix. But how can you make Twitter work for your business?

Customer Insights

Twitter sees 6,000 Tweets every second. Clearly, people are using Twitter as a conversation platform. But, did you know that by monitoring Twitter you can gain valuable customer insights? Twitter can help you research trends and topics that are important to your customers.

Gathering this information isn’t as difficult as it may seem. The Twitter Explore page gives you an updated list of topics and hashtags trending in your region and relevant to your interests. The page can help you find Twitter hashtags and conversations that are important to you and your audience.

Build Brand Awareness

Using Twitter for your business lets you share information quickly and easily start conversations. When starting those conversations, make sure your tone reflects your brand and that your content is aligned with your brand – whether that is touting product benefits or sharing helpful tips with your followers – make sure your conversation matters.

If you’re searching for ways to start a conversation or need help with the tone of your tweet, Twitter recently launched an Organic Tweets starter kit worksheet to help you jump-start your conversations.

Connect, Connect, Connect

Engaging with your follower’s replies and mentions makes that all-important connection and improves your chances of showing up in non-followers’ feeds.

The Sprout #BrandsGetReal survey found that the top three behaviors that help brands connect with consumers are:

  • Liking or responding to customers
  • Showcasing brand personality
  • Supporting a cause that consumers personally support

Twitter is the perfect platform to connect and build a community. To build and maintain a loyal following, use your tweets to join in relevant conversations, and engage audiences. The Sprout #BrandsGetReal survey found that 55 percent of consumers want brands to help them connect with likeminded people through social media, and 36 percent expect brands to build communities that consumers can belong to. One of the top benefits of Twitter for business is cultivating a brand community and bringing people together around a common interest or cause.

If you see the value in Twitter, but just don’t know how to get started, Deppe Communications can help move your business forward. Click here to learn more.

3 Tips To Improve Your Vendor Management

Today’s Guest Post is by Sheryl Wright, a freelance writer whose passions include cooking, interior design, and true crime novels. If she is not at home reading, she is at a farmers market or antique shop. She currently lives in Nashville, TN, with her cat, Saturn. 

For your business to succeed, you need reliable suppliers and vendors. To achieve this, ensure you have efficient management tips that will enhance your business. The following are some tips you can put into consideration to improve your supplier management. close up view of woman holding a cell phone with man in background

Communication and Deadlines

Communication is one of the most vital factors that will enhance vendor management. For your business to succeed, take time, and communicate with your suppliers the kind of services or goods you need them to deliver, don’t be afraid to specify the quality of the goods or services you expect as well.

In case of any changes to your product, your supplier should be among the first people to communicate. Effective communication also aids in building a long-term relationship. Even though communication is an essential tool for management, don’t use it to test your suppliers. For instance, never tell a supplier to read or guess your mind, it is always best to be direct and upfront about expectations.

Always be realistic when setting deadlines with vendors and suppliers. Be sure to remember that they also have their own businesses they need to operate. Before coming to a consensus in terms of the deadline, ask them if they will be able to meet that deadline. If the supplier can’t meet the deadline, it’s thus advisable that you cooperate and adjust the deadline to suit both you and your supplier.

Choosing Suppliers Wisely, Understanding Their Business and Paying on Time

When choosing a supplier for your business, take enough time to securitize all your supplier options. You can do this by checking the quality of their products, their reliability, and not forgetting their communication skills. It is important to not forget to look at their purchasing terms. After carefully analyzing the suppliers, you will be able to choose the best one. Since the suppliers are human beings, they can’t be perfect.

Learn to comprehend that your vendor is still in business. Even if it isn’t possible to understand the nitty-gritty of your vendor’s business, at least be able to understand some critical aspects of their operation, such as delivery terms, among others. This understanding of your vendor’s business will help both of you form a more meaningful and efficient partnership.

You can also get to ask your vendor some questions to know them better. If you understand their business well, you will get to understand them if they delay deliveries slightly.

To maintain a good working relationship, ensure that you pay your suppliers on time. If possible, get into a contract with your vendor to discuss the pay dates and terms of payment so that both of you are always on the same page.

Establishing Reward Programs, Tailor-Made Programs, and Formulation of Goals

To enhance continuity in your business, organize reward programs that are meant to motivate the vendors. Vendors are more productive if their efforts are recognized in the company. Discussing some of the penalties that will face the supplier in case of repeated delays will also help to motivate the supplier to deliver on time.

Supplier management software will play a key role in enhancing sanity. The software can be tailor-made to suit your needs. With supplier management software, you are able to monitor the performance of different suppliers.

Many supplier management applications also come with inbuilt accounting software that enables the enhanced ease of your calculations.

To enhance an effective business operation, establish business goals. They will be able to measure your success within a certain period. Make sure to set the goals with your vendor to give them a clear picture of what you expect. Set goals that are realistic and achievable within a stipulated duration for both you and the vendor.

Final Thought

After coming to a consensus, sign a contract with the vendor. This legal document will enable you to cultivate a legal business relationship with your vendor. The contract should be legitimate and be signed in the presence of a lawyer. It is worth noting that the contract should be beneficial to both you and the vendor.

To maintain a good working environment with your vendor, you must ensure they deliver a consistent quality of products. If the quality of the products being supplied is substandard, issue a warning to the vendor and remind them about your expectations.

If you consider the above factors, you are highly assured that you will maintain a positive working environment with your vendors and have a successful tenure performing business transactions. Always ensure you regularly monitor the performance of your suppliers; otherwise, your business won’t succeed.

Best Marketing Tactics to Improve Your Online Sales

Today’s Guest Post is from Sierra Powell. Sierra Powell graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a major in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing. When she’s not writing, she loves to cook, sew, and go hiking with her dogs. She can be contacted at sierrapowellwriter@gmail.com.

Are you looking for some great new marketing tactics? If your sales need a jump start, you can turn straight to the web to find the fuel. This is the place where you can find the info you need to get a whole new perspective on marketing. These are the very best marketing tactics to improve your online sales. photo of man and woman looking at laptop and she is holding a credit card

You Need to Know How to Retarget Customers

One of the best new techniques available is direct mail retargeting. When someone clicks on a link to your website, they may browse around for a while. They may have every intention of buying something or no intention at all. They may have a clear idea of what they are looking for or no idea at all. In any case, you now have their IP.

You can use your retargeting software to send an email directly to their address. In this email, you can give them a quick reminder of the items or services that they browsed through on your site. If they put an item in their shopping cart but left it there, you can let them know it’s still there waiting for them to come and buy it.

Retargeting in this manner is a great way to pick up a whole new generation of loyal customers. Letting them know that you take notice of their presence will make them feel like you are paying attention to their wants and needs as a consumer. This is a “personalized” level of service that a customer will respond to positively.

Optimize Your Site for All Available Platforms

Another important tactic that you need to take advantage of in order to improve your online sales will be to optimize your site for all available platforms. The more adaptable to mobile viewing your site is, the better. You want a site that loads quickly and generates a fast burst of actionable info.

You will need to keep in mind at all times the fact that the way the vast majority of people view content on the web is changing. The trend is moving away from laptops and PCs toward straight-up Android and Smartphone viewing. This means that the screen is smaller, the content is tinier, and it needs to load a whole lot faster.

It’s a good idea to test your site across multiple devices. This way, you will have a clear idea of just how quickly and accurately your site will load onto your PC, cell phone, laptop, tablet, and other platforms. You want to keep your site well organized and as easy as possible to navigate. This will be its major source of public appeal.

Your SEO Needs to Fit a Shorter Attention Span

Another reality of modern marketing is the fact that the content that you create for your site will need to fit the mold of a shorter attention span. This is largely due to the fact that people are being bombarded more heavily than ever with content coming from a wide variety of places. This is having a negative effect on attention spans.

The average person browsing around on your site is there for a definite purpose. They saw something on one of your social media pages or a PPC ad that caught their eye. When they click on a link to your site, you need to get straight to the point. Show them a few crystal clear images of the product backed up with some short and snappy content.

The quicker you get to the point, the sooner you will sum up the appeal of the item for your viewer. The more instant and effective your content, the better your chances will be of short-circuiting their reticence. An impulse buy is the result that you should be going for, courtesy of sharp SEO.

It All Comes Down to Marketing

At the end of the day, the success or failure of your business will come down to your marketing ability. This is the area where you need to show a whole new level of astute inspiration. Doing so will have a beneficial effect on your ability to stand out from the pack. This will be the key to your long term survival.

Three Reasons for Your Small Business to Go Cashless

close up view of cashier scanning bar code on a phone

When was the last time you pulled out your wallet and paid with cash? There is no denying that fewer people are paying with cash. And, with the onset of COVID, fewer people are comfortable handling cash. The terms digital wallet, online and mobile banking are now familiar and these forms of cashless payment are trusted by consumers across the U.S.

Businesses are eliminating cash registers and coin rolls in favor of a safer, more streamlined payment process. And with fewer consumers carrying cash, this might be the time to consider taking your small business cashless. The benefits to this cashless craze are easy to digest. It helps your business processes run smoother, makes your job easier as an owner, and can provide an overall better experience for your customers.

Here are three reasons why your small business should consider cashless transactions:

Lower risk of theft – It is doubtful that you stash your money in a mattress at home. So why keep oodles of money on hand at your business? There are very real security risks associated with having large quantities of cash onsite as robberies are still a common crime. When you no longer keep cash on-hand, the risk of robbery goes down – helping keep your business, your employees and your customers safe.

Gains in efficiency – As your dad used to say, “time is money”. Using digital systems takes much less time to process payments. For businesses that sell to consumers, this helps to cut wait times and can increase in the number of transactions a volume-based business can process in a day. Another benefit is fewer manual daily, monthly, weekly and yearly processes. Say goodbye to physical counting, calculating, balancing or recording of your books every night, and forget those daily bank deposits. This can equates to fewer manual mistakes and more time to focus on what really matters for your small business.

Simpler tax filing
Digging receipts out of your purse, wallet or desk drawer will become a thing of the past. Most banks, credit unions and credit cards offer programs that allow you to create a budget, track your expenses and view your account in real time. But even better, these programs can automate your tax processes making it easier to capture, tabulate and categorize your yearly information come tax time.

While there are definite benefits to going cashless, there are a few things to consider before going totally cashless.

  • Consider what percentage of your demographic pays in cash.
  • Would cashless commerce help or hurt the majority of your customers?
  • Can you afford to lose a percentage of your customers?
  • Can you afford to pay the fees that come with credit and debit card transactions?

The bottom line: Know your customers’ preferences and weigh the benefits of going cashless against its costs. Make the transition only if the upside clearly outweighs the extra expense and possible risks for your business. Looking for more ways to move your small business forward? Deppe Communications can help your small business succeed. Click here for more information.

The Importance of Marketing Data For Your Non-Profit

people going over charts and marketing data on a laptop

Working for a non-profit means you wear many hats. From fundraising to financial management to filing – you do it all! You know that gathering marketing data is key to furthering your mission, but you might struggle on how to gather the data and how to use it successfully. The good news is you may be gathering data and not even know it. And even more importantly using that information in the right way isn’t as hard as you think.

You won’t dispute that gathering data is vital to the success of your nonprofit. Data can be used to find new donors, increase donations from existing donors, and help you figure out where your fundraising should be targeted. Social media and online advertising is a necessity for nonprofits, and it one of the easiest ways gather marketing data.

If you have been in the non-profit game for a while (or even if you are new to the industry), you know building strong relationships is the foundation of a successful and relevant non-profit. There is a good chance that a large part of your job focuses on transitioning non-donors to becoming advocates and finally becoming donors. As these relationships grow, you touch your audience in a variety of ways – online campaigns, events or social promotions. Each of these touchpoints gives you the opportunity to gather data.

There are tons of ways to gather the information you need. Here are just a few examples:

  • Host or sponsor an event: Gather registration data, communications preferences, and more.
  • Share a personal story: Build awareness through compelling storytelling via social media.
  • Encourage others to share their stories for additional social data.
  • Website engagement: Use analytics on your website(s) and app(s) to understand who is interacting with your content.
  • Questionnaires and Surveys: Ask questions to gather relevant information and to gauge the pulse of your audience.
  • Keep in touch with your advocates: Use newsletters and encourage your biggest supporters to re-share posts and stories as well

All you need to know is the data is right at your fingertips – the trick is using it to its full potential. Marketing data can help find new donors, increase donations from existing donors, or even find out where and how donations should be applied. It’s easy to forget how important it is to take advantage of your online presence and branding to grow awareness, increase your donor base and boost donations.

Every piece of data you collect can influence your campaign and its success. The important thing is to start collecting it and using it to your advantage. If you want to learn more on how to use data or improve your social media presence, click here.  Deppe Communications has more than 25 years of experience in helping non-profits reach their potential and further their mission.

What Are You Doing To Prepare For a Post-COVID Recovery?

Man's hand with concept of new or next normal digital transform in industry business, disrupt from coronavirus, covid crisis impact to small business or SME. Turn to next normal in financial concept.

5 Ways To Plan for a Post-Pandemic World

The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on small businesses and nonprofits has been severe. Many have not survived, while others continue to struggle with a reduced business flow, loss of income and uncertainty about the future. At six months in, many small business owners are finding they have more time on their hands. But it may be a good time to review your marketing. Here are a few ideas about things you can do to prepare for the post-COVID recovery – whenever it may occur.

  1. Review your business model to see if you want or need to make changes. The need for social distancing has created an era of digital meetings and finding new ways to connect with employees, customers, boards, etc. Everything from manufacturing to restaurants to B2B companies are evolving to a new digital world, and it may require an investment of resources for your company. I found an excellent article on preparing for the recovery that has detailed and helpful information. 
  2. Check your website. Go through the website from head to toe looking for broken links, misspellings, typographic errors, grammatical problems, etc. Take the opportunity to add fresh content and make sure the navigation is easy to use. The user experience (UX) is one of the most important influences on your customers. Web design trends are constantly changing, and we are seeing more 3D, geometric shapes, and dark mode influences in 2020. If you don’t have a website, call or Email me. I can help you get started.
  3. Review your marketing materials. If you have brochures, palm or rack cards, business cards, giveaway items, posters, etc., review them carefully. Again, check for grammar and spelling, as well as content to see if you need to update them. Also consider whether they are working for you – do they generate leads or business? Investing your resources in marketing materials is smart, but only as long as they are serving a purpose. 
  4. Study up on your industry to find out what’s new. In the busy world we’ve left behind (for now), it could be difficult to keep up with marketing trends in our own industry or vertical. There wasn’t much time for reading or learning new things. But this pandemic pause can be an opportunity to do just that. Professional publications and marketing blogs can bring you up to date on what is working, what is coming, and what you should know about marketing.
  5. Lastly, take some time for social media. Visit platforms that you don’t usually frequent. Don’t use Tik Tok, Instagram or Pinterest? Take time to visit each of these. Find out how many people use these platforms, and what the demographics are. Each social media site has a different audience and use different media. Review your business social media use and determine whether you need to make changes to reach your target audience. Here is an article that may help you learn about popular platforms.

Now that you have a little more time, take the opportunities presented to really think about your marketing. Review the budget, the materials, target audiences and your philosophy. Challenge yourself on whether you are using the best approach, and be willing to make changes if not.

The Best Ad Strategies for a Local Small Business

Many small businesses are struggling in the era of COVID-19, and site or cart abandonment doesn’t help your bottom line. If you’re getting lots of looks but nobody is clicking that “confirm purchase” button, it may be time to reach out in a new way.

Turn a Browse Into a Sale

The world of online shopping has a few behemoths and many more small players. If your small business is struggling to build a healthy online presence, you may have to get information out to shoppers in a different format. For example, you can turn a site abandonment into a Completed Purchase by targeting prospects with a direct-mail coupon, free shipping offer, or another promo.

If your online store sells apparel and accessories, consider sending out a direct mailer that offers a free scarf or pocket square with the purchase of a cardigan or shirt. For those who sell kitchen tools, offer a free tablet stand with a minimum purchase. Free shipping has become something of a given, but perhaps you could offer a standard shipping upgrade with an overnight upgrade for a minimum purchase amount.

What Stops Shoppers

Many shoppers are on pretty tight budgets these days, and the uncertainty of our collective future has many people sealing up their wallets pretty tight. To avoid this crunch, make the checkout process as easy as possible. If a shopper has items in their cart, offer them a discount via pop-up for completing their account set-up. Such a discount would not only make sure that you capture their information regardless of sale at this point, but their next check-in and purchase will be simpler.

The act of having to go and get their wallet or credit card information can be the point at which a shopper abandons their cart. By taking away this need to act on that step, you make buying easier.

Be Upfront About Fees

If you’re offering free shipping over a particular dollar amount, place that on every email and banner on your site. Be honest about your handling charges and the reason for them, such as a packaging charge. Hidden fees that show up on the last screen before checkout are the fastest way to sour a potential deal and damage a relationship with a potential customer. Not only won’t they buy this time, but they may not come back.

Promote Your Size

If there are fees that you must include for your bottom line, such as a crating charge for a piece of handcrafted art, explain why. If you do blown-glass Christmas ornaments and need to package them in spray foam, let people know that there is an unavoidable shipping charge. Invite them into your brick and mortar store with a promotional mailer.

While you’re promoting your size, don’t scrimp on photography or your website design. Getting someone in to take world-class photos of your one of a kind pieces will make your packaging fees or whatever extra charges you have to add to your selling process completely worth it. You’re not just promoting a small business; you’re promoting the sale of a one of a kind item that can be enjoyed only in their home.

Do Video Very Well

Unless you’re offering classes to the general public, be careful with DIY video promotions or how-to tutorials on YouTube. First of all, videos can go viral for all the wrong reasons, and unless you’ve got the help of a skilled videographer, rough video promotion can actually work against you. Even a video commercial can draw the wrong attention in our “gotcha” culture.

Put your focus on the tasks you can most easily manage that take little time and are easily repeatable. One video will take a lot of time, and even then the results may not be as good as you want. A single photoshoot of your product, your store, and your people can give you promotional material that can be used over and over again. If you really want video, put in the time and hire an expert to help.

The pandemic has forced many of us to change how we work and do business. Current indicators are that a return to “normal” is unlikely. To get your products in front of the public and complete the sale will take creativity and focus. Be ready to share your story as a small business owner.

 

Guest Post by Amy Sloane, freelance writer. Reach her at AmySloaneWriter@gmail.com

 

4 Quick Small Business Marketing Tips to Boost Your Business

marketing concepts written inside gears

As a small business owner you have lots of responsibility. I get it. I own a small business myself. If you are like me, there is a good chance you wear more than one hat – from Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Operating Officer (COO) to Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). That’s a lot of hats for just one head. Naturally, as the CEO and CFO budget and profitability top the list of your business concerns. But trust me, to truly achieve success, you can’t neglect your CMO responsibilities.

Here are a few small business marketing tips I’ve implemented that have helped me and my clients focus on promoting our businesses in a way that is budget-friendly, productive and profitable. And by the way, this applies to Nonprofit Agencies just the same.

Tell your own UNIQUE brand story:

Telling a brand story is like telling your life story. It should be emotional, relatable, and authentic reflecting what your brand represents.  This is your chance to share why you are a small business owner, what your business can do for your customer and what your business stands for. Your story should engage your customers and draw them in making them feel part of your brand.

Create the right content:

You have heard it before . . . content is king. Well, it’s true. Once you have created your brand story, content is the conduit to sharing your story via your website and social media platforms. There are a few things I always consider when creating content.

Know what type of content your audience wants. This is can be guided by what your product/service offers. In general, customers want to understand the benefits of your product/service. But just listing the benefits isn’t enough.

Remember that brand story? Make sure the tone and type of your content aligns with your story. Everyone is inundated with information (and choices) these days. Make sure your content is relevant, reliable, educational, and even entertaining. Having the right content differentiates your business making it stand out.

Focus on the most powerful marketing channels:

As a small business owner, you know that you can’t be everywhere at once. The same goes for marketing your small business or nonprofit. Rather being on every social media platform, go where the majority of your customers are.

If your product/service is focused on business owners (in other words, you are a B2B company), LinkedIn is a good bet. If you have a bakery, Instagram could be the perfect channel to showcase images of your delicious creations. Or, if you have a Food Truck or provide a service, Facebook might be the best way to actively and frequently update your customers on special offers. When planning my social media strategy, I allow audience, content and budget drive the social media channels I use to market my business. 

Bring your brand to life via video:

Video content is a great way to bring your brand to life. By nature, we are visual creatures – why else do we spend so much time entertaining ourselves by watching videos of animals, life hacks, and people doing generally ridiculous things?

Video allows you to connect with your audience in a very direct way allowing your customers to get to know your product/service and you! This brings us back to content. While it is important for your video to be engaging and entertaining, the content should also relay specific information such as product/service information or educational information to help your customers.

Marketing isn’t difficult, but it is multifaceted. Building the right marketing mix means that all of these elements must come together; they don’t work well independently. If you are reading this and thinking, “What do I do with this information?” email me or give me a call at  904.524.0170. Together, we can determine the smart move for your small business.

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