How Much Of Your Business Can Be Automated?

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Automation is transforming the way the world works.

Businesses of all sizes are embracing huge advances in technology to help them get things done on autopilot.

Implemented well, automation will help reduce your staff’s workload, increase efficiency, reduce costs, boost the quality of customer service, and help you use new data and insights to optimize performance.

The benefits will be felt by customers as well. As your competitors start to transform their businesses through automation, expectations can quickly change. If you don’t adapt, you risk falling behind and losing customers.

Here are three of the main areas that are ripe for automation in many businesses. [Read more…]

Three Ways That Technology Has Transformed Businesses

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Breakthroughs in technology have torn apart old ways of working, as new alternatives have become impossible to ignore.

Here are three examples of ways that technology has transformed businesses everywhere.

Instant customer service
As new methods of communication have emerged, businesses have been able to significantly increase the quality and availability of the customer service they offer.

Instead of relying on face-to-face meetings or telephone calls to answer customer questions, businesses can now help through immediate online channels like live chat.

This is convenient for many customers, as they can talk at the exact moment they need help. It allows them to get immediate answers to their questions without needing to navigate telephone menus or book an appointment.

[Read more…]

Five Social Media Mistakes Businesses Must Avoid

Social media is an incredible chance for your brand to interact directly with your audience and grow it even further. If you’re not able to manage your social media marketing properly however, you’ll simply waste time and resources, or worse, actually harm your brand’s reputation.

Here are five key social media marketing mistakes that your business must avoid at all costs:

Discussing Hot-Button Topics
Some topics, especially political and religious ones, are simply not worth bringing up. This is especially true in today’s divisive political environment.

You’ll end up dividing your audience and perhaps even bringing negative attention onto your brand. It’s better to avoid these issues altogether and playing it a bit safer with your choice of topics.

Winging It
Social media marketing is the same as any other digital marketing strategy. You need to know what you want to get from it. If you don’t have specific goals for your social media strategies, you’ll never know exactly what to do or when they’re successful.

Take the time to think about what you really want from each social media platform, and brainstorm about what you must do to get there.

Posting For the Sake of It
Research has found that the number of social media posts you need to be making on a daily and weekly basis is quite frequent in order to truly engage with and grow your audience.

On Twitter, for example, you may need to Tweet up to 15 times per day. However, you cannot forego quality for the sake of quantity.

Treating All Platforms the Same
It’s likely that you have a presence on a wide variety of social media platforms. At the very least, Facebook and Twitter, and then probably a couple out of Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc. The problem is when you treat all social media platforms the same. The average audience on Facebook and Twitter are much different. People use Instagram differently than they use Pinterest. If you want to truly thrive on social media, you need to understand each platform and what your audience is looking for on it.

Ignoring Negative Activity
It’s critical that you don’t get defensive on social media, but you cannot simply let negative feedback go unanswered. Not only does it further harm the relationship between you and the individual complaining, but it also adds some legitimacy to the complaint for everybody else to see.

After all, if you had a reasonable response to the complaint, why wouldn’t your company voice it? Make sure that you have dedicated customer service resources handling your social media comments in a professional, expedient manner.

By avoiding the key social media marketing mistakes listed above, your business will be in a great position to not only survive on social media platforms, but thrive on them. Your audience will be engaged and energized, and you’ll reach more people than you ever thought possible!

5 Effective Lead Generation Strategies To Consider In 2017

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Looking to grab new leads? Forget the more traditional marketing approaches. The majority of them are no longer as effective as they once were. Instead, try something new.

Here are five extremely effective lead-generation strategies for 2017.

Although the suggestion to start a blog is hardly groundbreaking, it remains one of the best methods of generating leads and one that is all too often overlooked, even today.

Publishing regular articles provides you with an opportunity to reach your audience and establish your expertise.

In addition, you can encourage readers to sign up for your newsletter or input their email address to access some high-value content. [Read more…]

Four Technology Tips To Enhance Your Small Business

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Technology has transformed the way small businesses operate, and making full use of the tools that are available can mean all the difference between success and failure in the competitive business environment of today.

Here are four tools that every small business owner should make full use of to transform how they do business.

Video has been proven to increase conversions, enhance customer trust, add personality to a brand, and educate consumers about your products and services.

In addition, the use of video on your website can appeal to the Google search algorithms and significantly improve your chances of ranking well for a given keyword or phrase. Using a video in your local Google or Google Maps listing can also provide a huge boost to your online presence. [Read more…]

Three Great Ways To Capture Feedback On Your Website

Businesses gather and utilize customer feedback in their business strategy to ensure the products and services they produce meet customer needs. Here are three ways to gather client feedback from your website visitors.

Email is an immensely valuable method of securing honest feedback from customers. However, many organizations neglect to consider the customer experience when designing email channels. There are three things you should take into consideration when communicating with customers via email:

1. Ensure you respond to customers in a speedy fashion: A recent study found that 81% of customers would be more likely to leave feedback, if they thought they would get a rapid response.

2. Develop an organized system by which customer feedback is handled. Keep track of what feedback you have received from whom and use this information to guide future customer interactions.

3. Follow up on all correspondence in an honest and open manner.

Surveys are very challenging to develop; however, they can provide extremely useful insights. Test long and short surveys to find out which are the most effective in providing with the feedback you need. Tools like Qualaroo are great for short surveys, while Survey Monkey is ideal for longer questionnaires.

Customer interviews provide direct feedback from your customers and allow you to develop a more personal relationship with them. When planning the interview process, it can be useful to focus on user attitudes toward the problems they typically encounter and employ a critical incident method to encourage customers to recall specific problems.

How to Build A Strong Online Presence For Your Business

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Statistics released by Google confirm that 97% of consumers now use online search to find local businesses. So what does this mean for your company?

If you want to reach potential customers, you absolutely must have an established online presence. This has two main benefits. The first involves outbound marketing. A functional website will reinforce your brand, explain your products and services, and communicate how you can solve your customer’s problems. Second, establishing a portal of high-quality online content, known as inbound marketing, will help you establish your brand as an authority and will attract new customers.

There are three simple steps involved in creating a functional and effective online presence.

[Read more…]

How Can You Use Google Trends For Small Business?

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Google Trends is a tool that has been around for a while, and has great potential for improving exposure and sales for businesses. It is entirely free to use, and its simplicity makes it accessible to virtually anyone with basic computer knowledge.

Here are some specific ways in which you can use Google Trends to enhance your small business practices:

Brainstorming Topics
For instance, if your business website contains a blog, it’s common to quickly run out of content ideas that will not only interest your readers but also tie into the products or services your business offers.

Choose a phrase that describes a broad idea for a blog post, and Google Trends will show you how popular that phrase is and also suggest related topics. With one simple search, you could potentially come up with ideas for dozens of different blog posts, and relevant content is the best way to build your business website. [Read more…]

Social Media Hashtags: What Are They And How To Use Them?

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

As we delve into our social media networks, like Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr, it seems that hashtags – or little words and phrases preceded by the # symbol – are permeating everything in our feeds.

This cryptic little symbol can actually make it easy to categorize posts and search for similar content, but more and more people seem to be using it outside of that purpose, which creates confusion about this practice as a whole.

Unlike many internet crazes, the emergence of the hashtag can actually be traced to its very first Tweet.

Back in August 2007, Chris Messena, a former Google employee, wrote on Twitter: “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?” Granted, this single tweet didn’t revolutionize how we navigate social media all at once, but it eventually did catch on.

[Read more…]

Making Content Marketing Work For Your Business

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Content marketing, in the form of blogs, videos, infographics, and white papers or e-books, is and will continue to be a permanent feature in the online world. The use of such tools is continually expanding as marketers find new ways to offer content to target audience.

In order to attract more people to buy your products, you must also provide useful information that will drive them to your site and build the trust needed to move them through the sales funnel.

Take advantage of social media
Act to reach as many potential customers as possible. Social media helps to boost the visibility of videos, blog posts or infographics that you create.

This can be done by scheduling updates across all social networking channels to encourage your followers to view the content you created and to share them with their own followers.

However, be aware that you are walking a fine line; multiple daily updates may alienate your audience.

Post to bookmarking sites
People trust sites that post content that has been vetted by people who share their interests.

Content which receives the most votes quickly becomes popular, so in most cases, readers will skim through the top links for the best content.

??????As a small business owner, social bookmarking sites offer a great opportunity to connect with readers you might otherwise never interact with, increasing your chances of bringing in more customers.

Visitors to your blog should be able to get quick and simple updates each time you post something new. RSS feeds are efficient in ensuring this process.

Every visitor that signs up for updates from your blog can either read them through an RSS feed or get them via email. This eliminates the problem of visitors needing to check on your blog for new content.

Measure results
There’s really no tangible way of knowing whether or not your content-marketing efforts are productive except to measure your results.

Look at your analytics to see how many visitors you are bringing to your site to see if you are taking the right steps in marketing and sharing your content.

Find out which topics people are reading the most to help you generate ideas for future content.

Google Analytics is a free tool you can use to collect data on your content marketing efforts.

You will be able to review traffic to your site over time and make sure it is steadily rising as intended.

It’s no longer enough to simply have a blog, even an active one. It is critical to develop a comprehensive plan of action that will ensure the right people are drawn to your content and ultimately turned into loyal customers.

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