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Real Estate Marketing

Facebook, Instagram launch features to showcase local businesses

(REAL ESTATE MARKETING) New features on Facebook and Instagram allow a small business to be promoted within 1 – 500 miles if users visit their Business Nearby section.

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small business on Facebook

There is no doubt that Small business owners (estimated at 30.2 million in the United States) have been hit hard by COVID-19. They’ve had to close their doors abruptly, shift to online and contactless offerings, and some had to furlough their employees.

We don’t exactly know yet how many will not be able to re-open their doors but for those that have made quick shifts to their businesses, here are some great ways that we can support them (some for little effort and no cost to us via Facebook and Instagram, of course assuming they are on these two platforms).

No matter your feelings on Facebook or Instagram, it’s nice to see them make strides as a large tech company to push out these products and resources considering what a large amount of small businesses there are, and how everyone is hurting. This may not be the overall solution, but it can be a great step in the right direction.

TechCrunch outlines the way Facebook and Instagram launched new products so that consumers can show support for their local and small business.

What consumers can do:

  1. When logged in to your Facebook, check out their new Businesses Nearby section (it will let you set it between 1-500 miles from you). Peruse the businesses for updates, and see if there is one that you would be comfortable supporting.
  2. You can add the Support Small Business sticker on Instagram, or use the #SupportSmallBusiness hashtag on Facebook
  3. If you are a Creator on Facebook, you will also be able to easily tag small businesses

By doing these simple things, it will create additional exposure for them, and even be included in Instagram stories that will be shared via localized content. It may not feel significant, but with that many, this might be an easy thing to do at low cost and minimal effort for many of us.

What Small Business Owners can utilize?

  1. Facebook has created a specific Business section in Messenger in hopes to make it easier for them to respond to customers.
  2. Facebook has pulled together resources specifically for COVID-19, and owners can access this through their Facebook shortcuts or within their Instagram Business profile.
  3. They set up a $100 million grant program for small businesses.
  4. They added the ability to add temporary service changes.

As many businesses (begrudgingly or not) utilize social media to promote their products and services, hopefully these developments will help them continue to reach consumers and stay in business. It’s impossible to look at just these two social media channels individually without looking at their entire marketing and operations plans, but hopefully these create positive impacts since they have quite a large presence in how we connect, socialize, and share our experiences.

Erin Wike is a Career Coach & Lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin and owner of Cafe Con Resume. Erin is fueled by dark roast coffee with cream AND sugar, her loving husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs. She is the Co-Founder of Small Business Friends ATX to help fellow entrepreneurs + hosts events for people to live a Life of Yes with Mac & Cheese Productions.

Real Estate Marketing

How to make sure a client actually reviews you online

(REAL ESTATE MARKETING) Actionable customer feedback is one of the most valuable assets at your disposal. Unfortunately, it’s also incredibly difficult to obtain ratings and reviews.

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Man drinking coffee looking at phone for reviews.

Actionable customer feedback is one of the most valuable assets at your disposal. Unfortunately, it’s also incredibly difficult to obtain, as angry customers rarely leave coherent reviews and satisfied customers often avoid them entirely. Here are a few ways to achieve positive feedback without breaking the bank.

Before embarking on a crusade to pester your customers for their time, take a second to identify pain points in your services.

Are your negotiating tactics superb, or do they end up a bit lackluster from time to time? Does your customer interfacing garner largely positive results, or do you get the feeling that you’re putting people off? Knowing what to look for when asking for feedback and reviews will help you narrow the number of choices your customers have, making an answer significantly more likely.

Once you have a general idea of what you want to address, it is ideal to implement a universal online reviews strategy that all clients are asked for, and you never cherry-pick for marketing purposes, rather publish all of the ratings for an accurate picture, given that consumers want real transparency. For example, RatedAgent.

But maybe you’re a solo agent with a broker that doesn’t invest in anything (especially not a ratings and reviews strategy) and you’re on your own.

In that case, start putting together a form with specific questions targeting your established weak spots – naturally, the fewer the better, but don’t lead people – transparency is good. In most cases, you’ll want to stick to three main topics and a general suggestion area; anything more than that, and you risk intimidating your prospective critics.

Following up directly via email is a good way to catch a customer’s attention, but it’s also a good way to end up in your customers’ spam folders, and it can get expensive quite quickly. If you decide to run an email campaign, make sure your intent is in the subject line.

You might even want to pair your email with a promotion, such as a free annual fire inspection or something similar, but be careful not to skew your potential feedback.

An alternative to mass-emailing your client list is installing a pop-up box on your website. After seeing the same box multiple times, some of your clients are bound to cave eventually. As long as you keep the box clean, concise, and easy to exit, you shouldn’t receive negative feedback inspired by annoyed web-goers. You can also add your message to a modal box or a similarly less-intrusive graphic in order to account for the ad-blocker crowd if you don’t see enough feedback within a month or so.

Acting on customer reviews is perhaps the clearest way to improve your customer-facing image, as long as the feedback itself is clear. Knowing what to look for and implementing a pleasant campaign to obtain will get you one step closer to raking in the critiques.

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Real Estate Marketing

Craft the perfect cold email with these simple, awesome templates

(REAL ESTATE MARKETING) Struggling with inspiration to write those intro emails? These free cold email templates can make growing your business a whole lot cooler.

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reviews Woman seated on ground writing cold email to clients.

Entrepreneurs and digital marketers, you’ve all been there – staring blankly at your computer screen, waiting for the Muse of Marketing to smack you on the head with the perfect words for a perfectly crafted email introduction.

The struggle to write high-quality, effective cold emails for customer prospecting is a near universal pain point in marketing. Need something to help with the pain?

Behold Hunter’s free collection of best-performing cold-email templates. Their sample emails are a treasure trove of inspiration, nudges and signposts to help when you need to reach someone who may not know you or your business.

To make it easy to find the right templates, you can filter by categories such as sales, SEO, follow-up or networking, then refine it toward your offer or call to action. Want to pitch a guest blog post? Offer a free trial? Ask for help connecting with the right person? Just peruse the site to see what goodies you can use.

If you’re not even sure where to start, take a look at Wordstream’s handy tips for creating a cold-email strategy. If you’re a data person, take in the stats on sales emails that work from Hubspot. But if you need to start out with an even bigger picture, take advantage of Hubspot’s sales prospecting guide.

We’ve got some tips for you, too. Here are some thoughts on how to get the most out of Hunter’s template directory.

Resist the urge to just copy, paste and add your details. You’re not a spammer, right? Don’t waste your time or your prospect’s with bot-speak or boilerplate. Templates are your jumping-off point. Do your research, know who you’re talking to and look for ways to personalize.

Know thy business well before you dive in and start emailing. Even with the perfect template, you can’t write an effective marketing email without defining your most important digital marketing building blocks: customer personas and your value proposition. Know your ideal customers, where to find them and how you can solve a problem for them. Need help? Check out Buffer for how to define a customer persona and Sumo for how to define your value proposition.

Browse the templates for ideas on how to find and engage with prospects. Some examples: Maybe tell them about a broken link on their site and offer better content. Point out a competitors’ negative reviews and say how you can help their company avoid those issues. Notice a question on social media and offer an answer.

Help a fellow cold-emailer out and share what’s worked for you. Hunter invites users to contribute templates from their successful emails. Sharing is digital caring!

Now that you’ve saved time crafting those perfectly worded emails, don’t waste time figuring out where to send them. You can make hunting for prospect emails more efficient with another free tool from Hunter: Business email search and verification. They offer 50 free searches as well as a tiered subscription plan ranging from $49 to $399 per month.

May the Muse of Marketing ever slap you when you need her! But if she’s not cooperating, try out some templates to give her a little nudge.

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Real Estate Marketing

7 ways to maximize your email productivity and reduce clutter

(MARKETING) Emails tend to stack up and make it hard to organize and to find anything useful, here are several apps and ways to make your life easier.

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emails stacking up

Despite the availability of numerous platforms and ways to reach your customers, statistics show, and business experts know, that email still remains the primary tool that businesses use for communication and collaboration. Email is the backbone of productivity, so if you’re looking for ways to increase efficiency and make your job a little easier, optimizing your emails is a great place to start.

Just in time for the holidays, here are seven ways to maximize your productivity when it comes to email.

1) Please, please stop with the no-reply emails. If you haven’t figured it out by now, it’s time you knew – if your customers can’t reply to your messages, it sends the message that you don’t care about them and stymies communication. Instead, create a persona or department that can handle replies to your messages. If you must use a no-reply email, be sure to include contact information for customer service so that a customer can get ahold of you if they need to.

2) Don’t waste time reminding a customer that they have an appointment. Get an intelligent machine to do it for you. Remindr is an app that sends text and email reminders to clients, patients, and customers, reducing the number of no-shows.

3) Turn your email inbox into a to-do list. If you use Gmail, consider trying the app Drag, which helps turn your inbox into a super-organized to-do list by sorting your emails into To Do, Doing, and Complete categories. It makes your email box look a bit like Trello and is more efficient for tasking than using Gmail’s colorful stars system or disappearing messages into folders, only to have them forgotten.

4) Reduce inbox clutter by using a disposable email address when signing up for subscriptions and accounts. AnyAlias lets you create an infinite number of disposable email addresses, all linked to one account so that you can check them all simultaneously, while still keeping your personal email address private.

5) Track the effectiveness of email marketing with Polymail, the inbox that shows you statistics about open and reply rates and creates detailed profiles of all of your customers, among other super helpful marketing tools.

6) Find files in attachments more quickly. How many times have you scanned through pages of your Gmail, clicking on anything with a paperclip next to it, trying to find some long-missing file? Dittach is a Chrome extension that creates a sidebar specifically for displaying information about attachments, as well as a thumbnail preview. Attachments can be sorted by file type or date, making it easier to find files, forward them, download them, or print them. Brilliant.

7) Clean up your digital hoard. With the new year coming up as well, why not go Marie Kondo on your email. Make it easier to find the things you need by getting rid of all those outdated emails you no longer need. After all, digital clutter is still clutter.

Don’t overlook this important aspect of running your business. Chances are you send and receive dozens, if not hundreds, of emails per day, and may also be using your inbox to store and find files, market to customers and manage aspects of your personal life as well. Streamlining your email experience can save you a ton of time, energy, and money, and make your day-to-day tasks more efficient and pleasant.

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