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Having A Digital Presence In A Digital Age

Not too long ago, a few elite media giants controlled all the information we received. If we wanted current news, we had to go through big outlets like NBC, ABC, CBS, AM/FM radio or big print-media like Timeand Newsweek.

Fast forward to today. When was the last time you rushed to your local newspaper to catch up on the latest news and world events? I’m going to guess it’s been more than 10 years. Our daily news is now accessible on our smartphones, which have become media-creation devices and knowledge hubs rather than mere communication tools.

Today, the former kings of the media mountain have slid down the steep hill of obsolescence. The new media giants are Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others. And unlike the old media, anyone can create content and be featured on today’s channels. With enough hard work and passion, any business can gain a profitable fan base and any individual can become an influencer.

If you’re new to social media marketing, consider this your primer on the topic. Here are five tips you can take to dominate social media in the professional cleaning industry.

  1. Choose your platform. To create awareness and grow your business, several social media platforms are available. Here are a few of the most important ones to consider for the professional cleaning industry.

    Facebook: At the bare minimum, your company should have a Facebook business page. While it’s free to post content to your page, you’ll need to spend money to advertise on Facebook. That’s why this channel is known as a “pay-to-play” platform.  The good news is that Facebook advertising is very effective, and it gives you total control over how much you spend on advertising. You can also target your audience with incredible precision. 

    Instagram: This lifestyle platform is a hub for people to post interesting and motivating pictures, quotes, thoughts, and short 1-minute video content. The real magic on Instagram happens when you create daily videos of your journey and experiences. Documenting your daily activities, with tips and tricks, will intrigue your audience.

    YouTube: Using this platform to train and educate others can position your brand as a thought leader within the professional cleaning industry. When someone needs to learn how to fix their car, connect their PlayStation to the internet, post a video on Instagram—or strip a floor—this is the platform they visit.

    LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the business-to-business social network, and it offers prospecting opportunities like no other tool anywhere. For the professional cleaning industry, this platform will give you the largest return on your effort.

  2. Be Authentic and Don’t Sell (Yet). Those who use social media to sell, sell, sell usually do more harm than good to their brand. Social platforms require purposeful strategies to create engagement and form profitable relationships. Social media is more like fishing than hunting. The hunter goes out aggressively to find and conquer a target while the fisherman patiently drops bait to lure a prospect in. The more thought-provoking or interesting your bait—your content – the more your prospects are drawn in to bite.

    Your objective is to create content for people who meet specific criteria rather than going for a one-size-fits-all approach. Once you determine the age, gender, interests, job titles, etc. of the prospects you’re after, you can then create the kinds of content that resonates with them. 

    Your content doesn’t have to be in the form of written words or highly-produced videos. It can (and sometimes should) be a simple picture that creates a story in the prospect’s mind. Your content could even be a live video depicting a proper cleaning procedure in your kitchen, complete with bad lighting, no makeup, and a Sunday shirt. In the digital environment, your audience no longer cares to see highly-polished corporate messaging. What people want is authenticity.

  3. Incorporate hashtags. Hashtags can help you create authentic conversations about common interests. The interactions you create using hashtags can lead to new connections, new vendors, and new customers. A hashtag is the number (#) sign placed in front of a word or phrase. Examples of hashtags are #janitorial, #professionalcleaning, and #AdonRigg.

    A hashtag automatically creates a link that, when clicked, takes the reader to all other content that includes that same hashtag. Hashtags can be considered newsfeeds for specific audiences who are interested in the same topic. If you post a before-and-after shot of a clean floor with the hashtag #ShinyFloors, anyone who clicks the hashtag is taken to a feed of content that includes this hashtag.

    Mentioning locations in your social media posts is also highly valuable. When you post something, hashtag the city or area you’d like to target. If your focus is on janitorial businesses in Portland, OR, use hashtags like #janitorial, #Portland and #PortlandOregon.

  4. Don’t be a spectator. At a high-school dance, someone has to initiate a connection by asking a partner to dance. Those who put themselves out there were usually the ones dancing while the others sat on the bleachers, waiting, hoping. Social selling is no different. You have to engage with your prospects. 

    When someone likes or comments on your online content (videos, blog posts, pictures, etc.,) it’s important to respond. For example, you could ask them about their favorite topic in the industry or simply keep the conversation flowing. If someone comments “Great picture!” you might reply with, “Hey, thanks! That one was taken at 4:00 a.m. while stripping a floor in #Portland at the #ModaCenter. Have you ever been there?” 

    You certainly shouldn’t expect a reply every time you engage with people. But when you do see responses, treat them as the beginnings of valuable marketing-and-sales relationships.

  5. Make all roads lead to your website. To increase sales, make sure all your content includes links to a landing page or a strategic area of your website. Your leads don’t want to see a hard sell yet, so don’t be pushy. Instead, lead them to a video with an invitation to provide their email address in exchange for a “free gift.” Your free gift should take the form of valuable how-to information, created by your company and centered around the professional cleaning industry. It could be an e-book, a three-part video series, or maybe an infographic regarding “five-steps” to accomplish something. With the email addresses you gain in exchange for the free gift you created, you can now begin placing your potential prospects into a sales funnel.  

    All the emails and content you send your prospects should now be automated using a marketing-automation tool. Such tools automatically send your content to your prospects. Just create your content schedule once and never touch it again. This is part of what I call the Revenue Creation Model, a five-step sales and marketing automation process, which is:
  • Attract
  • Capture
  • Engage
  • Score
  • Convert

    Once a prospect provides their contact information, they’re automatically placed into the “Engage” step. Engagement happens when you create and send regularly-scheduled emails containing valuable content. 

    Some marketing-automation tools allow you to score your prospects’ behavior by assigning a numeric value to certain actions. For example, if a prospect never opens or reads your emails, that person remains at a score of “0.” But if they take action (such as opening an email or forwarding it to a colleague,) that prospect is now assigned a score of “5,” depending on how you’ve set up your lead-scoring.

    Once a prospect reaches a pre-determined score based on their level of engagement with your content, they will qualify as a warm lead. A strategically planned sales process can now begin to convert your warm leads into customers.

You Can Do This!

If you feel overwhelmed about diving into the world of social media, take heart. Your nervousness is a sign that you understand the commitment and work involved. Yes, the digital landscape is vast, and it can be intimidating. But the good news is that your competitors are just as intimidated as you are. With some patience and an open mind, it won’t be long before your business will reach new levels of success and competitiveness. This information was first seen on www.ISSA.com

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