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Category: Small Business

It’s no secret that social media is a huge component in many digital marketing strategies. Social media marketing expenditure in the U.S has reached $7.52 billion dollars (Statista). Virtually every business has some form of social media presence today. To avoid talking to an empty room, marketers use different tactics, such as social media contests and coupons, to measure things like engagement and conversions. But, how do you maximize your social media ROI?

Nearly 80% of social media usage is conducted on a mobile device (Marketing Land). Since social media is already a mobile activity, text (SMS) should be a key element of your social media strategy. When done effectively, Texting can provide valuable insight into how well your social media efforts are converting followers into repeat purchase customers.

Social Media and SMS are the Perfect Pair

social media ROI, social media measurement, social media, sms, social media marketing, mobile marketing

So, how do we put text messaging and social media together? Well, for the most part, it’s similar to using an 800 or vanity number. Businesses can attach a short-code for followers to text into for mobile coupons, contests, or to start a mobile club. Imagine you’re a small burger joint opening  in town. You want to encourage all the locals to try your specialty burgers and prompt them to make a repeat purchase. You can have a keyword for new customers to text in to a short code so they receive a coupon for a free burger when new customers buy fries and a drink. This keyword can be worked into all social media materials from cover photos on Facebook, to a specified hashtag on Twitter, to descriptions on your business’s YouTube videos.

 

Measure Social Media ROI Instantly With Texting

Social media is an instantaneous way to reach a large audience while text messages provides equally instantaneous feedback. While likes and comments are great, they are very passive forms of engagement. A ‘like’ doesn’t always translate into a sale. However, when customers text to your designated short code for a free burger, they are taking that extra step to committing to a purchase.

Promoting your SMS campaign via social media allows a more efficient measure of social media ROI. With a simple text, a marketer can measure a variety of different things about their campaign. A text can serve as a good headcount of active people in your contact list, a way to measure coupon effectiveness, show which keywords are most effective, and more. With True Dialog’s RESTful API, you can easily track outbound texts during the time of your social media campaign. Our API can also be easily integrated into other systems to have one, cohesive place for all marketing measurement.

social media ROI, social media measurement, social media, sms, social media marketing, mobile marketing

Have questions on what SMS can do for your media measurement? Feel free to email us at sales@truedialog.com or call us at 512-501-5940.

 

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The spookiest time of the year has descended upon on us!

While everyone is busy carving pumpkins, planning costumes, and inhaling candy by the handful, it’s fun to utilize this time for creative marketing with a Halloween themed SMS marketing strategy. Taking the time to plan your Halloween marketing strategy allows you to show customers a silly side while differentiating from stiff competitors. If you’re stuck on what to do, here are a few ideas to help you get started…

 

Send a Treat to Your Mobile DatabaseSMS Business. SMS Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Halloween

Just because consumers are too old to fill a trick-or-treat bag doesn’t mean that they don’t want a treat of their own. Create a mobile coupon with a special offer to wish your customers a fun and safe Halloween. Saving is fun, after all.

 

Host a Spooky Contest

Halloween contests can go far beyond scavenger hunts and bobbing for apples. Hosting a text-to-win contest is a fun and easy way to drive customer engagement and get people excited for Halloween. You can apply the contest to the costume contests and scavenger hunts too! Invite participants to take a photo of their best costume and text it in. For a spooky scavenger hunt, consider making it a photo-hunt where folks need to take photos of spooky stuff and text it in each time.

Scary Costumes are a Success for Retail and Restaurants

If you are looking to drive customers into your brick-and-mortar location, have a special for people who show up in costume. The most notable example of a successful costume promotion is Chipotle’s recent campaign. Chipotle offers $3 burritos to customers who show up in a particular themed costume (this year it is costumes with unnecessary additions). Push out an invitation through SMS to your consumer database telling them to stop by your store in costume, and offer a free treat to the kids and a special offer to the parents.

When in Doubt, Freak Them Out

SMS Marketing, SMS Small Business, Mobile Marketing, SMS Retail

Everyone loves a good scare so send out something for a fun fright. Just make sure it isn’t too scary for your SMS database or else you might have some people opting out. If scary doesn’t fit your particular company image, opt for an alternative with scary situations. A plumbing company, for example, could send out a message like “Imagine you’re home alone in the bathroom…and you run out of toilet paper. Nooo!”

 

Halloween is a fun time for all and companies shouldn’t miss out on the festivities. Halloween may not be as high spending or revenue generator as Thanksgiving or Christmas, but a good Halloween SMS campaign idea can leave a good impression on your customers. Find the best way to make your company stand out.

And have a happy Halloween!

 

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With such a plethora of options for entertainment, it is important for entertainment venues to make a strong impression with a well developed SMS marketing plan. Here at True Dialog, we are fortunate enough to work with several clients in the entertainment industry – from bowling and sports to live music and more. In collaboration, we’ve implement smart SMS marketing strategies. Here are some tips on how to incorporate SMS marketing into your entertainment venue business.

 

1. Make the Most of Your Mobile Club

A great sms database is an effective way to keep customers in the loop about promotions, events, and giveaways. Invite your customers to opt-in by using an incentive, and keep them engaged by scheduling a bi-monthly text message update letting them know about fun things happening at your business and special offers.

2. Keep People Entertained Between Activities

Want to have your guests keep the fun going as they wait their next turn to putt, rock climb, or bowl? Make waiting time a little more fun with interactive text trivia and polls. Create a dialog campaign so that when customers see a question on the digital signage or tv monitors, they can text in the trivia answer and see the results on the screen in real-time.

 

3. Using SMS to Stay on ScheduleSMS Marketing, Mobile Marketing, SMS Operations, SMS Business, SMS Entertainment

During peak times such as summer vacation, it is important to keep the traffic moving effectively in your entertainment venue. Set up a system where customers can receive an SMS alert with real-time updates about the next available go-kart, bowling lanes, movie showing, etc.

 

4. Try Out Mobile Coupons

Instead of having people fumble around with cutting out and bringing in paper coupons (and possibly losing them along the way), make the experience easy. When you provide customers the convenience of using mobile coupons via SMS, it increases the redemption rates and drives traffic faster to your venue.

 

5. From Text Message to Trophy

If your entertainment venue is host to a league or other competition, then consider creating a targeted SMS campaign for that competition.  Participants can receive text messages each week with rankings, highlights, and upcoming events/tournaments. Send out a “Congratulations” text message to the entire SMS database too. This can increase customer satisfaction and leave a positive reflection of your venue’s brand with the competition participants.

 

A day to the rink, arcade, or alley should be nothing but fun for the people who come through your entertainment venue’s doors. You will roll a strike with your SMS marketing strategy when you provide an easy way for customers to engage with you business both in and outside of the times they visit.

 

 

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It’s no secret that there are a TON of ways to do marketing. Even once your business selects a marketing strategy, you can still get lost in the endless options of what to do in that particular strategy. However, you are already wise to the amazing benefits of SMS and Mobile marketing. You know that your company can implement a highly effective mobile marketing strategy that can meet your marketing goals. The only thing left to do is sell your wonderful idea to your boss but, how do you go about it?

mobile marketing, SMS business, mobile business, sms marketing

1. Emphasize How Relevant Mobile Marketing Is

Mobile marketing topped not one but two separate marketing trends to watch for 2015 on Forbes, and it makes sense. The number one object we interact with on a daily basis is our mobile devices. Since people are already looking at their phones, they aren’t really paying as much attention to other forms of advertising. Companies are simply missing out by not having an excellent mobile marketing strategy.

2. Assure that Mobile Marketing is Simple to Implement

A big concern when developing a mobile marketing strategy is the how to get started. Mobile marketing comes with federal regulations and building a mobile list can be daunting. However, tell your boss to rest assured, your amazing mobile marketing can still march on strong. The rules aren’t too tough to follow and building a list can be as easy as a text-to-earn promotion. If your boss is still hesitant about going at it alone,  there are many mobile marketing companies (like yours truly) that can ease the transition into an mobile marketing campaign.

3. Social Media Only Goes So Far

Social media is like the Marsha of the the marketing Brady Bunch. It is the golden child that everyone wants to talk about. While social media can be a great tool for marketing, it has its limits. For one, it is hard to find the right  platform or platforms for your business. You can tweet to your hearts content but, if your demographic doesn’t have a strong Twitter presence, you’re not being the most effective. The best way to think about it is this: Everyone uses their cell phones to text but, not everyone uses their phones to tweet/snap/insta/post to Facebook.

mobile marketing, SMS business, mobile business, sms marketing, sms gateway

In short? Mobile and SMS marketing could be your bosses new best friend. It has high appeal to customers and a splendid ROI. A simple, well developed mobile marketing strategy could be just the fresh idea your boss never knew they wanted which elevates both you and your company.

 

 

 

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Client Communications Have Changed

How has communication with your clients and prospects changed over the past few years?  You may have noticed that your clients carry a mobile phone with them 24/7.  Most people (you know who you are) even sleep next to their phone!  Over 50% of web searches now happen on a mobile phone, and that number continues to grow month after month.  From the Boomers to Millennials, today’s communication channel of choice is the mobile phone.

Mobile Marketing for Real Estate

So how can you, as a real estate professional, maximize your clients’ time while continuing to provide them with great value for the service you provide them?  Mobile marketing has quickly become a regular practice for agents and brokers, but not everyone in the industry has jumped in yet. Text messaging and mobile websites help you generate leads, save time & money, and win new listings.

 

Refilling flyer boxes is tedious and often money spent with little or no ROI. Trying to chase down your prospects from missed calls is a poor use of your time too. Replacing the sign out front with one that reads “Text In” will make a world of difference. You can qualify prospects, reduce the wasted cost of flyers, build a database, and deliver real-time information to those truly interested in the property. In the long-run, mobile marketing is more cost effective and easy to maintain. You will see more people texting-in than calling some 800 number, and you will have more time for selling homes.

 

An effective mobile website must include:

  • Detailed property information organized into menus
  • Photos of properties & links to YouTube videos (if you have videos)
  • List upcoming open house events
  • Click-to-call feature
  • GPS turn-by-turn directions

 

A text marketing program empowers you to:

  • Deliver details about each property when someone texts in
  • Survey prospects to help them find the best home
  • Build a texting database for future messages
  • Send reminder texts about appointments

Mobile marketing for real estate agents and brokers is highly effective. We have a webinar today about the real estate industry. Watch it Now

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SXSW, mobile marketing, mobile marketing is getting personalized

Is Mobile Marketing Still Viable? YES!

While mobile technology launches were not center stage during this year’s South By South West Interactive Conference, it certainly did not go away. Some people claim that we have app fatigue or that mobile marketing is not as sexy as it once was. However, the conversations during a few panels and on the trade show floor would say otherwise. This will be the year when brands learn to personalize and customize the messages they send to consumers using mobile marketing.

Mobile Marketing is Getting Personalized

As with other channels, mobile marketing is getting personalized . This shift in messaging is particularly important for small businesses. The most active smartphones users today are very different from years past. Something has returned to these consumers – trust. To build trust between a customer and a local business is vital for the growth and sustainability of that business. Consumers are back to trusting locally and they feel good about being known by their first name.

I have seen this personalized messaging done best with text marketing, but also with mobile websites and mobile apps. Text marketing makes it easy, because on some platforms you can create text surveys for your customers and segment your future messages based upon their responses. This creates a type of preferences setup for discount offers and announcements. Ask your customers about their visits to your store:

  • How often do they visit
  • What is the most common item or service they purchase
  • Are they satisfied with customer service
  • Would they recommend you to friends
  • How is the quality of your product or service

For the people who are very satisfied or who visit you frequently, consider developing a mobile loyalty program to show your appreciation. The people who are less satisfied or who are casual customers need more of a push, so offering a large discount or free item may help to grow them into a more loyal customer. Mobile coupons have 10 times the redemption rate of printed coupons, and mobile loyalty programs are used much more frequently than those plastic cards.

South By South West has come full circle in the type of attendees – from small start-ups to huge brands, and now back to the small businesses again. Local businesses are very savvy and flexible with their marketing efforts, which is why they see the importance of mobile marketing and how they can utilize it to grow their businesses.

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The Truth About Email Marketing

I cleaned out my email inbox this past weekend. Three hours and two coffees later, I had diminished my inbox to one page. Among the discarded emails were a slew of online promotions and coupons, mostly unopened. Many of them were great deals, but I didn’t take the time to read them, so now they sit at the bottom of a cyber trashcan in an obscure corner of the Internet, never to be seen or redeemed.

Text Marketing vs Email Marketing

Email deals and coupons are a good thought, but it is important to note new statistics when planning your promotions strategy. The average open rate for email is 12%, while the open rate for text messages is 97% (CTIA Wireless Association). Why are more people opening text messages than emails? People carry their phones with them everywhere they go, both sending texts and checking email. However, it’s hard to stand out in the clutter of your customer’s email inbox. Streamline your message usiText Marketing vs Email Marketing, text message marketing, restaurantsng a more effective medium with text marketing. You will increase the possibility of coupons being redeemed by offering mobile coupons. Now, more than ever before, restaurants are taking advantage of the great potential of text marketing. It is affordable, fast, effective, and trackable.

A text marketing campaign is also mutually beneficial to a restaurant and its patrons: the business gains additional revenue and recognition, while customers get coupons or other helpful notifications such as event invitations. This relationship builds a positive brand image and, subsequently, customer loyalty for your restaurant.

Are you thinking about ways to improve promotions for your restaurant? Don’t miss out on an opportunity to drive new customers through your doors and expand your brand loyalty. Add text marketing to your current marketing channels to increase coupon redemption rates and restaurant traffic. Be smart about what channels you use to send out marketing messages. If you’re customers have email habits like mine, then they might not be reading yours.

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Mobile Strategy for Small Businesses

Fact: The #1 form of communication is done through cell phones

So why do most small businesses shy away from implementing a mobile strategy?

As a consumer we can pretty much do everything on the go with our cell phones. The fact is that there are more searches being done on mobile devices than any other piece of technology, but the reality is that most small businesses are by passing the idea of using technology for marketing, business development, and general business operations.

Mobile strategy for small businesses

WHY?

Common thoughts on mobile marketing:
1) It’s too expensive
2) It’s only for large businesses
3) It’s too complicated I would never be able to understand it

It’s Too Expensive & It’s Only For Large Businesses
Four or five years ago when the use of a mobile strategy first emerged they were very expensive.  Large businesses were paying top dollar for cutting edge technologies to stay ahead of their competitors.

Today, small businesses have affordable mobile marketing strategies at their fingertips that can give them an edge and put them on the same level as larger businesses.  Small businesses don’t have to pay exuberant amounts of money to implement an SMS (text marketing) campaign or have a mobile website.  For a small monthly payment, small businesses can create a professional looking mobile website for individuals who are searching on-the-go and send out text messages to their customers to offer them special promotions to get them back in their stores more frequently.

It’s too complicated
Individuals shy away from mobile marketing because they think it’s too complicated for them to understand and operate.  The truth is that small business owners can easily  operate a platform designed to create mobile websites and text marketing campaigns from their personal computers.

Mobile is here now.  It’s up to small businesses to step out and take advantage of affordable mobile marketing strategies to engage the fast paced consumers while on-the-go. Contact True Dialog to learn more about mobile strategies for small businesses!

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