29 Jun

Make Your Profile Your Problem Solver

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 29.06.12 by John Meloche

How does your business provide solutions to the problems of your customers. This is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Fixing problems. When you can do that, you can pretty much guarantee that you are making your customers happy. Providing a solution can be as simple as posting a great article on your Facebook page!

All week long, we have been blogging about the benefits of Facebook. Not by fluke, we post links to all of our blogs on our very own Facebook profile. This globally popular social networking site only continues to attract more attention. So creating your own profile will only serve to get your business more attention as well.

On Business2Community.com, Susan Payton writes that posting links to articles on your Facebook page is a great way to assist your customers with the problems they have. Answering questions, posting links to relevant articles and offering special discounts to those who require your products and services are all ways to use Facebook to the advantage of your company.

Writes Payton: “If, for example, you are a business consultant, you might write a series of articles on how to start a business. Then when someone is searching for an article on this subject, they find yours. The article leads to your site, and you’ve secured a potential customer.” The content that you post, by the way, doesn’t always have to be your own.

Posting links on your Facebook page has great advantages. Not only will they serve to solve some problems of those who follow you, but they just may garner you some attention from those who you have provided links for. It’s not unreasonable to believe that other Facebook users will post links to your page and website on their pages if they see that you’re not afraid to “give them some love”.

Use Facebook to set up a Q&A, suggests Payton. It can work as an excellent customer service tool. If a customer has a question about a product, you can answer it within seconds allowing other followers to read the answer as well. They don’t have to ask you the question directly through Facebook either.

You can post a little story about a recent customer experience that you would like to share. If you feel that the information will be relevant to others, it just may help bring those others through the doors of your place of business. Of course, you can also use Facebook to ask questions and start dialogues with your target audience.

Get working on “the snowball effect” that Facebook helps you to create, says Payton. She writes that “if you work to post a variety of useful updates daily, you’ll start to see more followers as the weeks pass…Just like any marketing, your social media efforts will take just that: effort. Don’t expect overnight miracles, but know that after a few months of hard work, you will see results.”

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28 Jun

Utilizing Your All-In-One Communication Tool

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 28.06.12 by John Meloche

All week long, we’ve been blogging about Facebook. And why not? Everyone seems to be on Facebook. And those who log on usually log on each and every day – and several times a day, at that. Just why is this social media platform so popular? It’s all about connections, says our staff.

“Facebook is kind of an all-in-one communication tool,” explained one of our team members this week, “It’s an email service because it lets you send direct messages to friends. It’s a photo album. It’s a video blog. When it comes to social media, there isn’t much that Facebook doesn’t let you do.”

Considering this take on the social media platform, it’s hard to come up with reasons to not use it to promote your business. However, it must be underlined that there are right ways and wrong ways to use it. If every post is a blatant advertisement, followers may be turned off. So let’s focus on the right ways to use Facebook to your advantage.

We have been looking at a Business2Community.com article by Susan Payton this week to help us reiterate the benefits of Facebook. In it, Payton lists a number of ways that business owners can help to build trust with their followers. This takes time, but there are some specific ways to accomplish this.

Post links to relevant content. On our Facebook page, we post updates about industry-related news. For example, last week we posted a photo detailing the “evolution of pads” which included Moses (with the Ten Commandments) and Steve Jobs (with the iPad). This humorous look at the growth of technology over time was our way of engaging followers into a fun thought-provoking conversation.

Respond to followers’ questions and conversations. And this would be the whole point, right? Whenever we get a question through Facebook, we’re sure to answer it. After all, as our team member mentioned, Facebook is a way to communicate much like email. It’s also important to respond to what other people post. Your comments on their pages, after all, provides links to your page!

Photos. Earlier this week, we posted a photo of Synergy Marketing VP John Meloche’s car getting washed. The headline read “Support worthy causes!”. John was getting his car washed by those looking to raise charitable funds. This picture doesn’t just reflect kindly upon our business, but even more importantly, it showcases the support we have for our community members.

We also went so far as to post a picture of an ivy-covered van that advertised a company that we are not even affiliated with. We had to give credit where credit was due. The caption here read “Now that’s marketing!”. Be sure to read tomorrow’s blog as we conclude this week’s theme of advertising your business on Facebook.

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27 Jun

Creating Your Facebook Marketing Strategy

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 27.06.12 by John Meloche

Facebook is popular. How’s that for the biggest understatement ever? Yesterday, we revisited the topic of promoting your business on Facebook as it seems to be among the most obvious no-brainers of today’s business world. The thing is, however, not every entrepreneur has taken advantage of the world famous social media site.

The key to understanding Facebook is to know that it is a communication tool. It provides a free source of advertising through the posting of comments, links, photos and other conversation-generating items. Remember that it is about connecting with people in a personal way, in hopes that they will then connect to your business.

On Business2Community.com, Susan Payton provides some suggestions to business owners who may not yet be all that Facebook-savvy. Her suggestions outline ways in which entrepreneurs can utilize Facebook to its utmost advertising-potential. Uploading videos, photos, press releases and media mentions are among her tips.

However, most people who use Facebook do just that. So how can you help for your business to stand out? According to Payton, what you do on Facebook must fall directly in line with your marketing strategy. So, of course, it’s important to have a marketing strategy that incorporates social media.

Writes Payton: “You need to create a strategy that will help you steadily build a following on your Facebook page. The key is to provide value. If a potential customer visits your page, only to find it hasn’t been updated in months, or that it lists update after update of self-promotion, that person will leave pretty quickly.”

So how you do avoid this? Share product information, offer exclusive promotions and post links to useful articles even if they are not your own, insists Payton. You can even post “goofy” photos of your staff to engage visitors. Projecting an authentic view of your brand will help to keep visitors around longer.

But Payton reminds us to have a goal when outlining our marketing strategies for Facebook. Perhaps, it’s to get your profile 100,000 “Likes”. If so, she says, “you’re barking up the wrong tree.” Remember that the goal should be about making genuine contact with existing customers in order to find new ones.

This takes time, Payton assures us. And understanding that it will take time to build trust with your followers will make a big difference in helping your business to move forward. In tomorrow’s blog, we’ll focus on a the specific types of posts you can make on Facebook and how they can help your company build its fan base!

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26 Jun

Facebook Is Your Free Advertising Friend

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 26.06.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we discussed a news story that reported that Facebook is beginning an initiative that will apparently force users into using @facebook.com email addresses. And while this news wasn’t exactly met with much fanfare – at least in the Synergy Marketing offices – it still must be mentioned that Facebook is as popular as ever.

“I’m not sure a day goes by without me checking my Facebook page,” admitted one of our reps, “It’s a way to communicate with so many people. It’s easy. It’s fun. And it makes sense. In many ways, it eliminates the reason to make long distance calls. I share stories and photos with family members and friends from all over the world using Facebook.”

It should go without saying then (although we have said it many times) that Facebook is an obvious go-to choice for business advertising. Totally free to set up, a business profile page is a great way to communicate with a larger audience of potential customers. Of course, we here at Synergy, have our very own Facebook page which we update regularly with blogs and other bits of information.

Sometimes our updates have to do with our business. They include information about new products or special limited-time discounts. Other times, we simply post photos, or provide little anecdotes based on current events and hot topics. The key, we have come to realize, is communicating and engaging others in conversations.

On Business2Community.com, Susan Payton writes that “it’s hard not to be lured in by the sheer opportunity it can provide for your business. But it’s important to understand how to use Facebook effectively.” So how can business owners use this wildly-popular social media platform properly?

Payton first recommends that you treat your Facebook profile like an all-in-one website. This may not be that easy to do as your website allows for you to provide much greater detail about products and services. But Payton notes that most online users would prefer to remain on your profile page than to have to click on another website.

While this may be true, we believe that it is imperative to include links on your Facebook page. For example, our blog posts show up as links on our Facebook page that take people directly to our website. It would simply not be space-effective to post an entire blog on the social media site.

That being said, Payton agrees that you should post links to press releases, media mentions and product pages on your website. At the end of the day, it’s all about generating more sales. In tomorrow’s blog, we’ll take a closer look at some other ways that Facebook can help you to build your business.

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25 Jun

Has Facebook Gone Too Far?

Posted in News on 25.06.12 by John Meloche

“I thought maybe it was just my computer,” recalled one our Synergy sales reps earlier today, “but when Facebook introduced the new Timeline feature, it seemed to slow everyone’s computers down. No matter where I logged in, the pages seemed to freeze and take forever to function. It was very annoying.”

Facebook’s introduction of Timeline – which includes a rectangular cover photo in addition to a new side-by-side display of activity that takes place over time on one’s profile – seemed to do more to annoy that excite Facebook users. The reason, it seems, it not so much in the launching of the feature, but in the way it was launched.

“It sort of just came out of nowhere,” remarked another rep, “and it seemed to frustrate a lot of people that they weren’t given a choice to maintain the older look of their Facebook profiles. To some, it just looks messy and confusing.” This apparent lack of choice, by the way, is the reason why Facebook users are becoming annoyed with the introduction of yet another change on the popular social media site.

As Debra Black reports in today’s edition of The Toronto Star, Facebook users are about to have their email addresses default to an @facebook.com account. An account, she points out, that people rarely use, if they use it at all. She writes that according to Gizmodo, the online Gadget Guide, the email account switch began today and is already drawing the ire of many Facebook users.

“I hope this doesn’t change the way that I have to log in to my account,” mentioned another team member, “I prefer to have things kept simple. This sounds like an unnecessary change that serves no one except Facebook itself. Why do I need a new email address with the Facebook name if I already have a Facebook account? I’m not sure I get it.”

As Black writes, “Facebook launched its own email addresses to get everyone to use the platform as an email service as well, but the initiative failed dismally. No one wanted to switch over from their own personal email accounts with Hotmail, Sympatico, Yahoo, G-Mail and not to mention work email IDs.”

Is there a way to avoid this? Thankfully, Black writes that there is. Gizmodo suggests that Facebook users go to their Timelines. They may click the “About” tab under the information bar or they may click on “Update Info”. Scroll down to “Contact Info” and hit edit.

“Then,” explains Black, “switch the crossed out circle symbols to a full circle for each box you want visible. If you don’t want @facebook.com to be your default email switch it from a full circle (Shown on Timeline) to a crossed out circle (Hidden from Timeline.)” Finally, Gizmodo also suggests that you check your privacy settings to make sure that only your friends may see your information.

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22 Jun

Have Your Hottest Summer Yet!

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 22.06.12 by John Meloche

This week, we have been taking a close look at a Steve Strauss article from the Bank of America’s Small Business Online Community website. As always, we have been adding our own bits and pieces of advice at it relates to ways that business owners can promote their companies throughout the summer season.

Contests, getting press and starting rewards programs are just a few of Strauss’ ideas. Of course, Synergy Marketing always recommends including the handing out of promotional gifts as a part of your advertising method. They help to garner what is often heralded as the best way to advertise: word-of-mouth promotion. But don’t stop there!

Ask for and get referrals. Referrals, as you may know, is among the top reasons that promotional gifts are such important advertising tools. Our clients commonly tell us that they increase their client bases through word-of-mouth promotion after giving out our gifts. Promo gifts, as you can imagine, are often well-received. So the word spreads!

It doesn’t hurt, however, to simply ask for a referral. Especially when you know that your customers are happy with your products and services as well as their experiences with your company, it only makes sense for you to ask them to tell others about it. Again, this is most often referred to as the best way to advertise a company.

Have a summer sale. Perhaps, Strauss has saved the simplest piece of advice for last. Shoppers love sales, plain and simple. They draw people into your store, creating a buzz and getting you attention. This means getting more customers who are likely to buy and not just peruse through your items.

Writes Strauss: “The secret is to take your products that are especially popular this time of year and have enough margins built in and offer them for less. Get the word out via signs, newsletters, flyers, ads and social media. Have a start and end date.” Good luck! And enjoy having your most successful summer to date.

For more information on how Synergy Marketing can help you enjoy your summer that much more, give us a call at 1-877-748-9884. Our Summer Sizzlers are probably the best items to select from during this time of year. We look forward to helping you make this summer your hottest one yet!

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21 Jun

Sweet Tips For A Scorching Summer

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 21.06.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we took a look at a Steve Strauss article from the Bank of America’s Small Business Online Community website. In it, he writes about a few ways that entrepreneurs can promote their businesses throughout the summer months. For some business owners, the summer is the most lucrative time of year.

However, for others, their companies tend to do less business during the summer. What this means is that either competition will be stiffer, or business will just be plain harder. No matter what, it’s a very important time of year to do something different in order to spice up interest for your company.

So what can you do to get noticed? Yesterday, we advised that you hold a special summertime contest in addition to getting yourself some press. Getting involved in the community, and thereby getting your community involved with your business could never be a bad thing, right? So, how do you do that?

Send reporters or producers who cover such topics emails. Be sure to follow up if you don’t hear back within a couple of days. Sometimes, persistence is what is needed for your plans to pay off. But what else can you do to have your most successful summer of all time? Don’t worry, Strauss has other ideas.

Create a summer rewards program. Writes Strauss, “many major retailers give customers rewards card to get discounts and deals. They help attract customers, especially when business would otherwise be slow. So, if it works for them, why not try it yourself?” People seem to love attaining points when they spend. It makes them feel that their purchases have greater value.

Strauss suggests that you give your customers a card or some other interesting way to track their spending. If you provide an incentive for them to continue shopping with you throughout the summer, they are a lot more likely to keep coming back. Their “points” should enable them to get special discounts, giveaways and other offers. Again, you are adding value to their experience.

Don’t forget to have an expiration date on the program, reminds Strauss. Remember that this is supposed to be a summer promotion. Your objective is to get customers to take advantage of the program all throughout the summer so that they are rewarded by its end. In the end, you will be rewarded as well.

Be sure to check back for tomorrow’s blog as we complete our look at these ideas.

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20 Jun

How To Heat Things Up This Summer

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 20.06.12 by John Meloche

Today makes it official! Summer is finally here. The season most of us wait for all year long is the one that provides us with the most sunshine, the most warmth and arguably the most happiness. Just ask any kid who is finally done with the school year and he’ll tell you! But what does the summertime mean for business owners?

You have likely read many of our blogs that insist that there really is no time of year that is particularly a bad time to promote your business. But when the sun is out, the people come out too. And that means that the beginning of summer is an ideal time to promote your business in new and inventive ways that you may not have employed in months gone by.

On the Bank of America’s Small Business Online Community website, Steve Strauss writes that “for many small businesses, summer can be a sort of feast or famine time of year.” This is because depending on the kind of business you run, things can either be picking up or falling off during the summer months.

No matter what, summer promotions, insists Strauss, are great ways to keep ahead of your competitors. They are just as likely to come up with cool ways to promote their businesses this summer. So why don’t you come up with ways that are even cooler? Strauss offers a few ideas on how you can do just that.

Have a summertime contest. Aren’t contests fun? And what could be a better time of year than summer to have a contest? This is a great way to get noticed and even more importantly, get people excited about your business. Strauss suggests that you think of a contest that ties what you do to a great prize.

Perhaps, you can offer free items or significant discounts for a duration of time at your place of business. The best part about the contest for you is that it should introduce you to a wide range of new people. Hopefully, these individuals will be people who remain part of your customer base well after the contest, win or lose.

Get some press. Strauss suggests that you come up with a newsworthy idea. The contest itself is a good start. Perhaps, you can also sponsor a local event or charity and invite the media to cover the occasion. The key is to use “the summer angle to your advantage”, writes Strauss, “whatever the case, it has to be newsworthy.”

Be sure to check back for tomorrow’s blog as we continue to take a further look at these ideas.

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19 Jun

Piecing Together Bigger Success

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 19.06.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we reviewed a Yahoo.com article by L.J. Pearce that listed a number of ways for entrepreneurs to promote their businesses. At Synergy Marketing, we enjoy taking a look at such lists to determine how close they are to the ones we verbally provide our clients. Most often, they are spot on.

Our sales reps know all too well how difficult in can be for business owners across Canada to grow their companies without big budgets. This is why our promotional gifts work so well. They provide personal connections that encourage customer loyalty – yet, they’re such inexpensive investments! What else can you do to grow your business?

Use your email signature. This simple piece of advice often goes overlooked by business owners. It’s important to always portray yourself as a top-notch professional. So utilize your business and personal emails to promote your company. Be sure to have your email signature consistently show your contacts including links to your website and social media pages.

Attend trade shows and fairs. Why not exhibit your goods to an audience you may never have met before? Trade shows and fairs provide great opportunities for you to display your items as well as your talents. Set up demonstrations and be sure to come with plenty of your promotional gifts so that they are handy when you meet the new people you’re bound to impress!

Strengthen your online presence. Yesterday, we reiterated the importance of having Facebook and Twitter accounts to promote your business. Needless to day, these free-to-set-up social media pages are all the rage these days. Keep them updated regularly, giving your online audience reasons to consistently check back.

Pearce also suggests that you utilize other online methods to keep your clients interested. Blogging – surprise, surprise – is a great way to stay in constant communication with your customers. As Pearce puts it, it provides an excellent way for you to “brand your business get people talking about it, and finding out about it on the internet.”

According to Pearce, you should only market to your target audiences. She writes that when you try to advertise to everyone everywhere, you end up wasting your time and resources. “Build desire with your marketing,” she writes, “Don’t just go for the hard sell.” And don’t forget to KISS – Keep it simple stupid!

In other words, sometimes less is more. That means staying away from cluttering your advertisements. Highlight what you do best and prove it every time you are given the opportunity. For more information on how Synergy Marketing can help you advertise your business, give us a call at 1-877-748-9884.

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18 Jun

Simple Steps To Boosting Business

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 18.06.12 by John Meloche

We’re just a few short days away from the summer season officially beginning. Here, in Toronto, where Synergy Marketing is headquartered, it has felt like summer for a number of weeks now. And we know that when the weather changes, so do people’s moods. In the case of cold transitioning into warm, those moods are usually good ones.

How to take advantage of such good moods? As a business owner, you are no doubt always thinking of ways to build your business. The truth is, it doesn’t matter if it’s summer time or not, it is always a good time to promote your business. On Yahoo.com, L.J. Pearce writes that getting your business well-known can be challenging, but definitely not impossible.

She lists a variety of ways that entrepreneurs can lure more customers into their stores. As always, we recommend that you consider these tips. The first step to promoting your business is taking the initiative to take things to the next level. You got into business to be successful, right?

Produce how to guides, leaflets and brochures. Why not share your expertise? It’s one thing to sell a product or offer a service. It’s another thing to declare that you are the best at what you do. Pearce suggests that you create guides based on your expertise in order to teach people what you k now.

Give these guides or leaflets out for free, never forgetting to include your business information. This will create both interest and awareness of your company, not to mention provide a shining advertisement for your products and services. They also make great companions for your promotional gifts!

Use social media. We’re sure that, by now, you know that this tip will probably appear on every business advice list out there. Don’t forget to keep your Facebook and Twitter pages regularly updated. But also use SMS and text messages to promote particular items or your business in general.

According to Pearce, “You can send messages for virtually nothing to your target market/potential customers. You could collect phone numbers yourself or buy lists for your target market/audiences.” Remember that it’s all about keeping in touch. Keeping in contact with your customers is a key to securing their loyalty.

Use stationery. Recommends Pearce: “Get everything you use or sent out branded, from paper to envelopes, the more the better, as they will seen by lots of people, possibly potential new customers and clients.” Check back for tomorrow’s blog as we round out this list of ways to boost your business.

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