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In a previous Blog post, I wrote about what Social Media customer service is and why it's necessary for your brand. But now the holidays are just around the corner, along with Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Holiday shopping stats from CMO estimate that total holiday season sales for retail in 2014 are expected to reach $863 billion, up from $822 billion last year. More sales mean it's time to bump up your Social customer service to a higher level during the holidays. 

Recently I tuned in to a Twitter and SproutSocial #SmallGoesBig webinar, Effective Social Customer Care for the Holidays. The webinar provided some great stats and insight as to why Social customer service is so important during this time of year, along with recommended ways to deal with customers on Social. Here are some of the takeaways, along with why these extra holiday efforts will benefit your brand as a whole.

Source: Twitter & SproutSocial #SmallGoesBig Webinar: Effective Social Customer Care for the Holidays

Be Prepared 
During the holidays, shoppers will turn to Social to ask more questions than normal. For this reason, it’s a good idea to take the time to compile a list of questions your customers have asked in the past as well as questions you think they may ask. Think about questions that may arise based on your holiday sales, shipping times, limited time items, and so on. Have answers for you and your Social team ready to reply for when consumers ask those questions so response time can be quick and customers can be happy!

Be Responsive 
Positive Buzz: People sharing a positive experience or message about your brand on Social Media is a powerful thing. CMO’s holiday shopping stats reported that 50% of sales will somehow be influenced by digital interaction, such as browsing online. Seeing positive reviews and experiences with a brand helps build a consumer's trust, which is why it’s important for your brand to show its appreciation. Take the time to RT, Like, Share or engage with the positive buzz in some way. 

Negative Buzz: Think you can just ignore negative feedback that comes your brand's way? Think again! An Econsultancy study reported 72% of customers expect complaints on Twitter to be answered within an hour. Ignoring negative buzz or feedback about your brand is out of the question. Polite, timely responses are what are required to turn a negative brand experience into a positive one.


Be A Human 
People reach out to a brand's Social channels for many reasons; to voice their opinions about your brand or products, to share a positive experience, general inquiries, or to share negative experiences. What's important to remember is the old saying, "The customer is always right." Whether you're dealing with a happy or angry customer, always remember that even though you're online, you're dealing with a person. People are reaching out to your brand's Social channel for a reason, so be human and deliver the most positive customer service experience possible to turn them into repeat buyers.

Whether they're positive or negative, don't let your customer's Posts and Tweets to your brand go unanswered! Contact our team of Social Media Marketing professionals and we’ll help your brand cruise through the holidays.

Author Bio 
Molly Frederick – Assistant Manager, SEO and Social Media
I graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a bachelor's degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations. I've been a part of the E-Power Marketing team since 2011, focusing on Organic Search, Social Media, Content Strategy and Branding. I have earned certifications through SEO College and Google Analytics. I enjoy researching the Online Marketing industry and keeping up with the frequent changes to help clients achieve online success! Follow me on Google+

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Digital Marketing is a vital part of today's marketing landscape. 81% of consumers who research products and brands do so online before making a purchase. You need an effective Digital Marketing strategy if you are going to increase your brand’s success.

Your business can achieve victory through proper utilization and optimization of a broad array of online tools and channels, including a strong Website, Organic Search Engine Optimization, Online Advertising, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing and Web Analytics. These tools and channels can help you stay ahead of the competition.

A well-planned Digital Marketing strategy will increase sales, customer loyalty and brand awareness. Additional advantages of a strong Online Marketing plan include:
  • Increasing reach
  • Outperforming your competition
  • Improving marketing ROI
  • Building stronger relationships
  • Influencing your market
  • Driving brand engagement
  • Measuring your progress
  • Refining and improving your strategy
  • Building long-term success
Do you want to evaluate your current Online Marketing approach? Take a step back and think about your business. Ask yourself a few business questions to gauge if your company is taking advantage of digital marketing opportunities that exist. The answers to these questions can help you determine if you are prepared to reach and exceed your Digital Marketing business goals.
  • Has an audit been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of your Digital Marketing and identify areas of opportunity?
  • Does your website contain strong, keyword-rich content?
  • Are you connecting with your clients, customers, vendors and community through Social Media and Email Marketing?
  • Have you created room within your marketing budget for valuable Pay Per Click (PPC), Social Advertising and other forms of Digital Advertising?

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E-Power Marketing is expanding and has added a new Online Marketing Account Manager to the team. Molly Jaster, an experienced Marketing and HR professional comes to E-Power with six years of professional experience and a Corporate Communications degree from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay.

Molly was invited to join the agency based on her professional history, depth of marketing knowledge and her energetic personality. The E-Power team is happy to welcome Molly on board and looks forward to introducing her to clients and industry partners alike.

Molly will be specializing in Account Management, Organic Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing to help E-Power Marketing better serve current and future clients. With an integrated approach to Online Marketing, E-Power helps brands make the most of both traditional and emerging technologies and platforms for a stronger, more visible online brand. Molly and the rest of the E-Power Marketing team is committed to effectively and resourcefully helping brands outshine their competition online.

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