Social Media Remark Management

No I didn’t listen to Bill Gates

Before MS-DOS and before Bill became rich, I meet him at Comdex, the Computer Trade show; he was telling everyone how he was going to change the world. I didn’t listen and he is rich.

Social Media has changed the way we communicate. Now that running ads in telephone books or local newspaper, radio or TV have become less effective, people want to communicate with you online. If you don’t have a website, people think, you don’t exist. People want to meet you on line and learn about you, before they even consider calling you. What others say about you, is how they gauge your “Credibility”.

Before computers, it took years of personal social interaction before you established credibility. Trust and credibility is what it has always been about. People will not put their health in the hands of someone they do not trust. Credibility develops trust and using face to face contact and it takes years, now social media can accomplish the same thing in a fraction of the time. The next best thing to face to face conversation is social media.

All of the top software companies are making investments and have been making investments in social media for many years now. Microsoft invested 245 million into Facebook in 2007. How is that for a commitment?

Bill Gates just invested in a Social Media site for Scientists… Bill Gates has added his high-profile name and dollars to the open-science movement, joining other investors in a $35 million financing round for the 5-year-old social network for scientists called ResearchGate

Vertical markets are the future of social media… engineering, arts, retail… there are hundreds of sites out there focused on a specific industry or interest now and many will be places our technology will work wonders.

Is Bill Gates is telling us something?

Torrey Russell Founder of Remarking.it

Predicting the Technology of the Future

Have you ever wished that your tablet could identify smells, or that you could upload the contents of your brain onto a computer? Perhaps you’re holding out hope for purely automated, driverless cars?

Just give it time, according to a BBC-compiled infographic about the future of technology. Predictions cover everything from automated transportation to human cloning and even a new ice age — based on data from IBM, MIT, NASA, and other sources.

Don’t worry about missing the good stuff, though.

Based on the graphic’s scale of “least likely” to “most likely” to occur, within the next 340 days, the Great Firewall of China will be knocked down, allowing the Asian country’s residents to access global information currently blocked. China did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The data also suggests that Google will acquire Pinterest before the end of the year.

Expect the next five years to get even more exciting, as Facebook is overtaken as the largest social network by a mysterious force — a feat less likely, the BBC suggested, than robots becoming widely used farm hands.

The graphic points to a day in 2015 when the nation will come to accept and use a digital currency. But society likely won’t be evolved enough yet to build a smartphone that allows users to touch another person through the device.

By 2022, when Apple will be selling the iPhone 15 and humans will be toting high-resolution bionic eyes, a successful demonstration of fusion power will have occurred, and the world will be on its way to pilot-less commercial flights (but that’s only 25 percent possible).

The BBC starts losing confidence after the year 2050, at which time the 1 percent will be able to select elements of their offspring’s genetic makeup and cars will be purely automated and driver-free. Hopes and dreams of building a NASA base on Mars or cloning the first humans carry a less than 3 percent chance.

In 100 years’ time, could at least one artificially intelligent being boast the status of an entire corporation? Nah. Not with 100/1 odds, at least.

For more outrageous-but-possibly-valid predictions for the future of technology and our world, check out the full infographic below, complete with utopian and dystopian paths and the odds of these things coming true.

BBC FUTURE_non-editable-flat

 

Source: PC Magazine

The 2013 Guide to Small Business Lead Generation

According to Sales Staff, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. This doesn’t have to be the case for your small business as long as you follow a few key strategies to bolster the success of your lead generation efforts for the long-term.

What is lead generation you ask?

Let’s start by defining what is a lead? A lead is a person that has expressed some level of interest in your company’s offerings. When it comes to your online activity, these potential customers typically filled out a form on a landing page, among other actions, to become a lead.

Lead generation is the process of optimizing, analyzing and boosting your marketing efforts to drive more leads to your web properties overtime. A company’s online lead generation strategy is crucial to ensure that there is a constant flow of incoming people, potentially interested in your product or services and ideally close to converting into customers.

turn likes into leads

This is the next generation of attracting leads.

The quality of lead generation today has drastically improved as compared to previous decades due to a shift in perspective caused by inbound marketing. Inbound lead generation is when people come to your website and become a lead since they are already familiar with your company, product or service due to content, social media, press or some other form of communication that informed them of your credibility and knowledge.

Inbound leads are wonderful for your business, easier for your sales and marketing team to manage and more likely to convert to a customer as compared to traditional lead generating methods like cold calling, blind emails or mass direct mail flyers.

How will your small business build a world-class lead generation strategy that brings the right leads to your doorstep?

Here’s a definitive guide to lead generation for small businesses.


A plan of action to generate inbound leads to your company website.

Using a combination of content, social media and email is a great starting point for generating quality leads. Begin by developing content that speaks to your audience in a genuine way.

The content produced by your company should both educate and give answers to problems your potential customers are looking for. Content comes in many forms, some more prone to generating leads than others, but nevertheless all kinds can be beneficial for bringing the right people to your website.

Content your company creates can come in the form of blog posts, eBooks, white papers, visuals, videos, slide shows, infographics and more. Create content that is relevant to your offerings as a company, gives your audience genuine insights on a topic and answers a question they may have had about your industry.

Once your audience discovers this content through social media, the search engines or through one of your emails, they’ve learned something about your expertise and business. Ideally this better associates them with your company, moving them closer through the sales funnel.

Use social media to drive attention to this content, while also concurrently hosting contests thru social that require a person to fill out an email sign up in order to enter your promotion or gain access to more original content.

After a person signs up for your email or is incentivized through social to do so, they’re a part of your email list. Members of your email list are leads that can be further engaged across the customer funnel. Email as a marketing channel is one of the most highly converting; therefore your list should be treated with care.

Once your content, social channels or emails drive traffic to your website, offer additional quality content that’s original and more valuable than other information you’ve previously released for free. Use landing pages on your website to get leads to fill out a form and provide information about themselves in order to receive more content about the industry.

Successful landing pages feature strong calls to action, illustrate the benefits of the resource that is available for download, highlight beautiful imagery of your content and spell out your company’s unique perspective. Effective landing pages come in many shapes and sizes, but their main goal across the board is to be the final touch point before a web visitor becomes a potential lead.

Understand what makes a lead qualified for your business, which makes them more likely to convert.

Using a CRM (customer relationship manager) track the journey a visitor has had with your business to better understand if they are qualified or not to pursue further. Quality is denoted by how many resources of your company they’ve downloaded, how often they’ve visited your website, how many pages across your website they’ve visited, how many touch points across your marketing they’ve engaged with and lastly, if they have ever reached out to your business either to ask a question or request more information.

The amount of times a lead has interacted with your content and web properties is a strong indication of their interest in your expertise. The number of times they’ve engaged with your company is a sign of their growing positive perception of your business because if they didn’t find your information or services useful, they wouldn’t have returned multiple times.

One off leads that interact with your business here or there are harder to define as quality because they could potentially be a one-time interaction at random, by mistake or not interested in long-term benefits your type of business could offer. Stick with cultivating leads that have multiple interactions with your company, since they are most likely to respond well to your continued communication.

Look into what actions are causing lead generation across your website by analyzing the process in which they initially interacted with your business to their last action evolving into a lead. Categorize your existing leads by identifying, which have gone through a similar process as leads that have converted in the past. Cultivate these particular leads through open communication whether that’s through personal or automated emails.

Personalization is a huge factor in determining whether your leads return as customers in the future. Take the information gathered about each lead to engage them in a meaningful way that’s personalized to their experience. If a lead interacts with content and communication you’ve provided that is personalized to their needs and interests, it is safe to say they are a lead worth working with further.

Filter your flow of leads and help the right leads become customers.

Hopefully there is a consistent flow of leads to your website that you can analyze and filter through to identify which leads are useful and which aren’t qualified. Filter your leads into groups based off of the type of interaction they’ve had or have not had with your website.

Grouping qualified leads into different categories based off of the number of engagements they have had with your business online is a helpful way of understanding where your focus should be on cultivating those leads.

Set email auto responders to reach out to your leads once they’ve completed a particular number of interactions in the sales funnel. Designate different messages and calls to action with each email responder that is setup in order to customize and personalize for each group. Common email auto responders to set are incomplete purchase reminders, weekday deals, birthday specials, follow-up after a purchase, tips about free trials, free resources and welcome emails.

Also be sure to balance the use of auto responders with personal email or phone outreach with your most active leads to help better improve the chances that they convert for the future. For instance, it is appropriate to call or email a lead if they download two to three items of content from your website over a month. This isn’t a cold call or a blind email, but messaging with a context that is personalized by the data visitors have helped provided your business.

Find the right balance in terms of frequency with your lead nurturing follow-ups whether you are using auto responders or personal messaging to make sure your messaging is timely, accurate and not cumbersome to existing leads and potential clients.

Source: Brian Honigman leadsource.com

Building an Online Reputation!

As an Insurance Agent, one of the biggest tools you have at your disposal is your reputation. If you think back, as far back as you can remember; reputation is the most important. Remember how in high school how it was always a popularity contest, from prom to homecoming and class president. Things are the same today if you take a good hard look. There are a few differences, such as what we’re competing for. Instead of prom king or queen, today we compete for business, to make more money or to b e the most successful.  So even though high school is long behind us, reputation is still number one.

Today, we have to worry about a different type of reputation. Now our online reputation means more to consumers than most fail to realize. The old habits of most productive agents are used to following with great success are rapidly becoming antique. Technology has taken over and it is not soon to slow down. We must now learn to adapt and update our techniques or be left behind. These new skills are easy to learn for those who are willing.

There are 80 Social Media Rules that should be followed, according to Jeremy Waite, head of social strategy at Adobe, to get the most out of your social media and to get the best response. I’m not going to overwhelm you with all of them at once, so here are the first five. I will explain how these rules should be followed by Insurance Agents and how they will benefit you in your industry as well.

Rule 1: Obey the rules!
Simple enough, right? These rules are here to help you be successful using Social Media and or System along with the training you have already received as an Insurance Agent.

 

Rule 2:  Social Media is all about your audience, be they consumers, viewers, fans, followers or users. It has nothing to do with you or what you think!
So, that means post things that appeal to your clients and future clients wants and needs over your own and ask their opinion about the things you post to get feedback.

 

Rule 3: The best followers lead from the middle of the pack, usually by example.
Don’t worry if you’re not number 1, 2 or 3. It’s ok to be in the middle, so don’t worry if you’re not taking the lead.
Rule 4: One active user is a BIG deal! The average Facebook user has 249 friends. And their 249 friends each have 249 friends. Therefore 1 piece of great content has the chops to reach 2.7 Million people within only 3 social media generations!
So, no matter if your first post gets likes or not, continue to post. Get the posts flowing and use these rules to help you post useful, realavant things that your fans friends and clients like and you will see leads coming in!

 

Rule 5: If you actually spoke to people the way most social media advertising speaks to people, they would punch you in the face!
I do not recommend trying it, but you need to be blunt and honest about everything you post. Do not sugar coat it, cause if you do you won’t get the response you are looking for! Ask them straight out “If you were to die today, what would happen to your children? What if you got into a car wreck or got diagnosed with cancer, wouldn’t you struggle to make ends meet? I know for a fact you would. But I also know for a fact, there is a way to know that your family will be protected in the event of a car wreck, death or the diagnosis of cancer. Want to know how?” It’s that simple!

 

Keep checking back for the next set of rules!

Who you are is Who you Become!

To grow in this industry, you must have mentors, philosophers and leaders. You must have this from beginning to end to be successful. If you as an Insurance Agent have taken any or all of these as a title, then you must be willing to give a 100% to all who follow you.

From now to the end of time, the number one problem in the insurance industry is not the products, the commissions or what company you are with. The problem lies only within you, the Insurance Agent, and that is prospecting. If anyone had figured this problem out long ago, everyone globally would be doing this. But this problem persists and remains to be one of the biggest unforeseen and unforgiving obstacles known to our industry. Only those who stand tall, day after day and face these obstacles head on will succeed.

Prospecting is the number one cause of both success and failure. Whether you prospect for agents or clients, you have to start from square one and that is with who you have made of yourself. Knowing the turmoil of this outcome, you must now position yourself for success by having mentors, philosophers and leaders to look up to. The only light you see at the end of the tunnel is the one you hung there yourself when your journey began. To make sure you have the brightest light to find your way to the top, you must make sure you take the right steps and the right path to get there. With this being said, we will now show you how bright the light at the end of the tunnel can actually be.

Here at PDS, we provide you with the mentors, philosophers and leaders it takes for you to be successful. PDS.Remarking.It is the tool you need to be successful in the Insurance Industry.  After using our program, you will not only be successful, but you will be ethical as well. Now you can proudly say you are an Insurance Agent.

  -Evelyn Morgan, September 2013

Social Media Does It Really Work

Research indicates that consumers believe reviews posted online as the second most trusted source of information about a business next to having someone tell them about it using word-of-mouth. (Nielsen Trust Study). But for some reason, a number of businesses want to try and game the system. They are even willing to pay for it.

We see too many companies on the Internet touting Reputation Management. They claim they can sweep bad reviews (we call them remarks) under the rug and out of site of Internet shoppers. The problem is that a Car Dealer, Dentist, Lawyer, Doctor or Real Estate Broker may get away with this for a short while but if you get caught… if the company that you hire, isn’t 100% on the up-and-up… your listings will be removed.

It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it. ~ Benjamin Franklin

According to recent research in the auto industry: “89 percent of car buyers read reviews online before purchasing a vehicle” (DealerRater Study). This can be a near death experience for a dealer who gets caught trying to fudge the numbers.

In a recent article in Automotive News: July 23, 2013 – “Edmunds.com has filed a lawsuit against online reputation management company Humankind Design Ltd. for attempting to post fraudulent reviews on the site.” Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20130723/RETAIL03/130729971#ixzz2ZuXY371U

Recently Edmonds.com, the prestigious automobile site caught a company doing this, is now suing them and has removed all reviews from the 25 auto dealers it caught using their service. And from this point forward, any reviews from those dealerships will now be suspect.

In the Real Estate field, a study just released by NAR indicates that: “The most important factor in choosing an agent is their reputation.”

In every field this is happening. I am doing some research into the Financial Advisor industry and have found a number of studies that are supporting assenturethis same premise…Accenture found recently that: Of the 4,000 FA Consultants they interviewed accross the board, ~75% of them answered that working with social media to engage their clients has lead to an increase in client transactions, client retention and increase in assets under management.

And another study by Cogent Research says; “Seven out of ten wealthy investors who use social media for investment research have either have changed their relationship with an investment provider or reallocated actual investments because of something they read on social media.” Read Cogent Research study here.

Playing with fire is exactly that – eventually you will get burned. Trying to buy your way out of or ignoring a bad situation is never going to work. Understand how important social media has become to your customers… even if you don’t use these tools yourself – they do!

The funny part about all this is that the little bit of extra work it takes to solicit positive reviews will more than offset any negative reviews anyone gets. All businesses get negative reviews… but it takes work to ask for and get positive reviews. Consumers are not wired to automatically write positive reviews. But often they will when asked.

Are you asking your customers about how they feel about you?

Look at www.remarking.it for guidance and further blog posts about Social Media Remark Management.