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Facebook and Customer Reviews go Hand-in-Hand

Social media researchers are reporting that Facebook is becoming an increasingly important destination for those in search of business recommendations. A Social Media Today article stated, “New research indicates that Facebook is now the most trusted online source people use to get recommendations for products and services.” That makes Facebook an even more valuable asset for security dealers than it already was!

Plus, here’s something you may not have been aware of: Facebook also ties into the online review generation service we offer. When you hire our social media firm to acquire customer reviews, those reviews can help you fill up your Facebook page – or at the very least, help you supplement your existing Facebook statuses.

Here’s how it works: We acquire reviews from some of your most satisfied customers, and they are posted in multiple locations online. You guessed it: This includes your Facebook page. The more reviews you earn, the more they will fill up your Facebook page and supplement your existing status updates. So now, you can double the power of your Facebook page!

Here are some other ways Facebook can tie into your customer reviews:

It’s a forum for refreshing old reviews

If it’s been awhile since your last customer review, it’s okay to post an older one as a Facebook status update. Facebook can breathe new life into your old reviews, giving them a fresh, new audience.

It’s a destination for new reviewers

Some customers don’t want to “bother with” registering on Yelp or Angie’s List; in those cases, you can ask them to leave a review on your Facebook page. It’s easy, it’s fast and it reaches a broad audience of consumers.

It’s the perfect video submission system

Have you thought about asking for video testimonials? comScore reports that video testimonials can boost your marketing efforts by up to 25%. Asking customers to submit 60-second videos talking about your company (positive reviews only!) is a great way to get some multimedia reviews that can be posted to your Facebook page. You can even run a contest; award the winner with one month of free monitoring, an upgrade or another promo product/service. Facebook followers can vote on the winner.

The bottom line: Facebook and customer reviews go hand-in-hand. They work together beautifully if you know how to make the most of each one. If you need help with customer reviews or Facebook, ask Ignite Security Marketing  how we can help.

7 Mistakes Security Companies Make On Social Media

…unless you’re prepared to do it properly. Think about it. If you run a newspaper ad with a typo, you can fix it in the next issue. If one of your salespeople makes a mistake in handling a customer, you can follow up immediately with an apology and possibly even save the sale. If an un-proofed email offers one client a price lower than you had planned, you can absorb the mistake for the good of the company, or re-negotiate with the client. All of these things are relatively easy to fix.

But with social media – hit enter and everyone in your network gets the info immediately. Your Facebook fans all get excited when you accidently offer a lower price than planned, and your salesperson messes up on a twitter post and manages to make half your followers mad in minutes. Make a typo in your eNewsletter and it’s in everyone’s mailbox with one click and impossible to retrieve.

Here are some common mistakes security companies make when they jump into social media without taking it seriously.

 

Doing it on the cheap. Yes, the cost of most social media tools is free or right next to it. However, this doesn’t mean you should let your college marketing intern or a staff member who attended a free four-hour seminar handle your social media requirements. Like any other representation of your brand, your social media presence should be a planned part of your entire marketing strategy.

Dismissing its importance. Social media has the potential to open new markets for you, but there’s a good chance that members of your current market are also paying attention. The immediacy and unpredictability of social media can turn a minor mistake into a major error in a few hours. You need to do it right or forget about it.

Just boasting or pushing product. This is not a paid ad running in the middle of NCIS. People choose to “like” your Facebook page or follow your tweets because you provide something they find useful. Bragging about your company and constant pressure buy your services, even when combined with photos of the annual client holiday party, will not cut it. (Unless, of course, some of those shots have blackmail potential.)

Pro Tip: Mention any recognition your company has received, and provide notices of new product lines and any special sales opportunities you have. But keep the pitching down to no more than 20% of your posts. If you want an audience, you need to pay attention to what they want from you.

Ignoring or misinterpreting your audience. Who will want to pay attention to your social media efforts? Who are your current or potential clients, competitors, suppliers, and others in the security industry? Think of this audience when you develop your social media plans. Offer educational information, industry updates, and entertaining videos or stories that tie in with your company and the security field. Absolutely mention any recognition your company has received, and provide notices of new product lines and any special sales opportunities you have. But keep the pitching down to no more than 20% of your posts. If you want an audience, you need to pay attention to what they want from you.

No readiness to handle customer issues. Once you’re out there, any unsatisfied customers will not hesitate to jump in and complain about you on your Facebook page. This can range from a mild remark that they didn’t like your installer to a harsh statement that your company did X, Y, and Z to them and they hope you all go to…. What is your policy for handling unsatisfied customers? Better have one and be prepared to use it in a very public way.

Treating it as only a fire extinguisher. If you only use social media when there’s something that needs the immediate attention of your customer base or to explain your blunders, you have turned these resources into your own bad news bearers. No one will want to hear it. You want to be a valuable and steady resource. Social media can be used to help put out fires, but only if you’ve been planting the right messages already.

Expecting quick results. It takes time to build a following and develop your social media presence. Be willing to celebrate small steps, and eventually social media will be a natural part of your outreach and branding efforts.

Think social media will be easy?

It’s not.

Before you dive into the social media pool, do what you need to do to avoid the problematic deep end. Start by taking a look at some companies that handle social media well. “Like” various business pages on Facebook and see what they choose to post. Check on your competitor’s social media efforts and learn from their successes and failures. Spend time following various Twitter accounts, and get onto Google+. Read blogs from your industry, and pay attention to style as well as content.

We’re available to help you navigate the rocky waters of social media and avoid the whirlpools, escape the sharks, and keep the jellyfish from stinging…. OK, OK, I know the images were getting a bit out of hand. I’ve been thinking about the beach a lot lately.

Just give us a call if we can help.

ABOUT Ignite Security Marketing

Ignite Security Marketing is an inbound marketing agency that specializes in marketing and salesforce automation for the security industry. Since 2009, we have been the marketing partner of choice for SDM 100 corporations and SMB’s around the nation.

How To Go Viral on Social Media: A Primer For Security Companies

It’s the dream of every corporate social media expert and all social media consultants – having your image, story, video, idea go viral. 

Like the flu, viral messages spread without any effort. You just have to be unexpected, funny, witty, unusual, (UFWU) enough to capture the attention of people who have lots of friends and share UFWU things with each other.

Here’s the tough part – you never know what will catch on. This particular graphic list came from a creative bunch that needed something to replace the little animal picture they had up for Groundhog Day. 

They chose coffee after hearing about some sort of marathon that involved running a lot, drinking a dozen cups of coffee, then running a lot more – which fits the UFWU approach, although it seems like a really bad idea otherwise.

It Happens By Being Yourself

They actually copied the concept – although not the info – from other people who have done the same sort of thing. The other people’s ideas did not go viral. They put the list together quickly as a group on a Friday afternoon and one of them posted it on Facebook and Twitter. Then they had a good laugh about it and went home. Now pay attention to the following quote, it tells you better than anything else how viral really works, “We weren’t trying to make anything cute or funny. We just needed something to replace the groundhog.”

If you want to understand the difference between the accidental nature of real viral messages and the many, many attempts to create something that will go viral, watch a couple of the late-night talk shows when someone who has a reputation for being funny is a guest. Pay attention as the host lobs the guest a couple of pre-planned softballs, allowing him or her to lob some designed-to-look-off-the-cuff stories or remarks back. It may be funny, but it’s planned funny, which takes some of the zing out of it.

Pro Tip: Years ago, funny people would say funny or smart or cute things in an office environment and everyone would laugh and go back to work. Now, with social media, you have at least a slim chance to get some recognition for the joke or idea and you and your company at the same time.

Being Real

Now, go back to the old days of late night television and pick up a “Best of Carson” program. The style and humor are much less sophisticated, but there are moments on that show that would have gone viral if that had existed back then. As a matter of fact, almost anyone who worked in television back then had a reel or tape of grainy but funny outtakes collected from colleagues across the country. For an example, visit YouTube and do a search for Paul Lynde doing the Weather in Toledo Ohio. That was making the rounds long before the Internet existed.

While you’re on YouTube, look for a video about a frustrated talking dog. That video went viral and it led to a clip of that dog appearing in a commercial – no, not the dog, a YouTube clip of the dog – or at least it was made to look like a YouTube clip and it looked like the dog. (With ads, you can never be sure whether something is real or they’re just trying to look cooler than they actually are.)

By the way, did you notice how many Super bowl commercials this year involved dogs? Guess what kind of videos tend to get the most attention on YouTube? No, not those! It’s clips involving dogs, or babies, or baby dogs, or dogs and babies together, many of which are cute enough to hurt your teeth. People who write commercials are clearly spending way too much time checking out social media outlets to see what people watch or tend to like or share.

So how is this a problem?

They’re missing one of the most important ingredients of viral – the unexpected. One dog commercial is fun and memorable. Twelve or so and you’ve lost the impact.

What can you do to create something that goes viral? The easy answer: you can’t. But of course a social media blog has to provide some well-meant advice, so here goes.

When something makes you laugh – post it. When something unexpected happens and you happen to get a photo of it – post it. If you have a good story – post it.

Years ago, funny people would say funny or smart or cute things in an office environment and everyone would laugh and go back to work. Now, with social media, you have at least a slim chance to get some recognition for the joke or idea and you and your company at the same time. What’s the worst that will happen? Nothing – literally. No one comments or shares your post. What’s the best possible outcome? A mass influencer shares your post unexpectedly and it brings recognition, possibly new business and dare we say it…and little bit of fun to your security business.

ABOUT Us

Ignite Security Marketing is an inbound marketing agency that specializes in marketing and salesforce automation for the security industry. Since 2008, we have been the marketing partner of choice for SDM 100 corporations and SMB’s around the nation.

Social Media: A Golden Opportunity For Security Companies

Among all the social media predictions for social media, experts agree on only one thing: it will evolve, and faster than anticipated. Are you ready to incorporate social media into your marketing plans? To help you evaluate its role in your organization, take a look at these trends and how you can capitalize on them.

Social media will continue to integrate with traditional business outreach efforts, leading to “convergence emergence.”

Even major old-school companies realize that social media has real power, and integrating it with other marketing elements makes both more powerful.

In one example last year, one of Kohler Company’s most successful social media projects promoted their new flipside shower head by creating a Karaoke opportunity and then allowing people to post the results on their Facebook pages. (A number of these videos are still available on youtube – not most people’s finest hour!) This combination of a point-of-purchase experience and immediate posting to people’s personal social media connections helped build a strong buzz for a new product release. The cost of adding social media was minimal.

Do you attend trade shows or offer any similar opportunities for the public to learn about your services? How can you link those projects to your social media efforts?

Social influencers will increase in power.

Do you remember those kids in high school who decided who and what was cool? Social influencers are like that, but with a broader reach than ever thanks to social media. Businesses are trying to harness that energy through encouraging their projects to go viral and developing ideas to excite these influencers. As a result, social media mavens are working hard to analyze and measure the power of social influencers. Right now, the best way to start to understand these efforts is to just pay attention to what’s hot in social media and where (or who) it comes from.

Social sharing will gain power.

From on-the-spot reviews at stores such as Sears and hotels and restaurants to consumers that check the Internet for reviews of your products or services right in your office, what other people are saying about you will have an immediate and direct impact on the success of your business. Whether you want to pay attention to social media or not, it’s sure paying attention to you. Ignoring bad reviews or comments will not make them go away. Be smart and pay attention to your Internet reputation.

Niche marketing and the micro economy are growing.

Customized jeans and home theater systems are making way to the individualization of business where one-on-one connections skip the corporate marketplace. It’s so much easier to shop all choices – big and small – when sitting in front of a computer. What makes your organization a better bet than a talented individual who can get his hands on some good security equipment? You need to be ready with the answer when your potential customers start asking.

In Social Marketing, be sure to:

  • Keep your social media efforts current. If you’re not posting on Facebook every week and Twitter every other day, better not to have an account at all.
  • Link everything to everything. Your website should link to Facebook to Twitter to Google+ and back again.
  • Use images. There’s power in pictures – don’t neglect your visuals.
  • Provide really good content. The better your content, the better your search engine position and the more people are going to want to be part of your social media efforts.

There’s really no excuse for ignoring the benefits of social media any longer. It is a proven resource for any business, and chances are good that your competition is on top of it. How about making a new resolution to jump into social media with both feet, and make it your best year ever?

About Us

Ignite Security Marketing is an inbound marketing agency that specializes in marketing and salesforce automation for the security industry. Since 2008, we have been the marketing partner of choice for SDM 100 corporations and SMB’s around the nation.

3 Questions About Social Media For Your Security Business

The universal truth of social media is that it gives you the ability to build relationships with your customers and potential customers. It’s true whether you are selling high-end commercial and government security systems or surveillance products to homeowners.

How Can Use Social Media For My Security Business?

This is a common question that arises during conversations with owners of security companies. Bottom line: it doesn’t matter what type of company you are running. The universal truth of social media is that it gives you the ability to build relationships with your customers and potential customers. It’s true whether you are selling high-end commercial and government security systems or surveillance products to homeowners.

Through effective Social Media strategies, people get the sense that they truly “know” your brand. This translates into RMR for you through more qualified, better-targeted leads, more customer loyalty, and even brand advocacy (people saying good things about your company to others).

Why Should I Outsource?

Social media managers eat sleep and breathe social media. All they do every day is zero in on your target audience, actively seek out new fans and followers, and creatively engage your community with thought provoking posts and conversations. Most importantly, we are methodically leveraging this activity to drive traffic to your website, capture new leads and nurture existing relationships. This activity happens on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and on your website blog.

Whether you have 1 location or are a super-regional security company with offices and reps in multiple states – Ignite RMR can leverage the power of social media to drive new leads and nurture existing relationships.

We Have An In-House Person Who Set Up Facebook & Twitter Accounts. Can’t We Do This On Our End?

Because there is no charge to join the major networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, there is a misperception by many business owners that Social Media Marketing is free. Social Media takes time and focused attention to be successful. Whether this attention is provided by someone within your company or a Social Media expert, there is an investment involved.

The good news: done properly the return on investment (ROI) can be well worth it. Like any form of internet marketing, social media alone is not the “silver bullet” that is going to produce the results that you may hope for. That is why we have taken our most successful internet marketing programs like Search Engine Marketing and Social Media and combined them into affordable packages that almost any security business can take advantage of.

Call us today to speak with a knowledgeable expert that help you customize a plan that is right for your security business.

About Us

Ignite Security Marketing is an inbound marketing agency that specializes in marketing and salesforce automation for the security industry. Since 2008, we have been the marketing partner of choice for SDM 100 corporations and SMB’s around the nation.