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Casey Weinfurtner

Total posts: 2
Last post: December 17, 2018

8 Benefits of Social Media for Your Business

8 Benefits of Social Media for Your Business

By Casey Weinfurtner on  December 17, 2018

If you aren’t utilizing a variety of social media marketing benefits to build your business, we’re here to get you on the bandwagon. Over 3 billion people throughout the world are utilizing social media each month – and growing. Yes, 3 billion people. These people are following and engaging with brands daily, and reaching an audience quickly has never been easier.

Regardless of which industry, products and services you offer, or tenure of your company, here are eight social media benefits to take advantage of your business right now.

Increase Brand Awareness

You want your audience to know who you are, don’t you? With billions of social media users utilizing platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, your business has an opportunity to reach a high-quantity of new potential customers on more than one social network. By just a simple click, you can expose your content to an existing or new audience, as well as join trending conversations to make your brand more discoverable.

Connect with Customers

Your customers and prospective customers aren’t going to engage, purchase from, or follow a brand that doesn’t appeal to them. Use your social media channels to provide a human element of brand by developing a voice, values, and content that resonates with your audience. The more you can engage and strike an emotion with your current or new audience, the more your connections and brand loyalty with customers grows.

Increase Website Referral Traffic

Sharing strategic, high-quality content through organic social posts or paid social advertising is an easy way to increase traffic to your company website. Whether it’s a downloadable guide or ever-green content you’re promoting to your audience, social media is a quick way to gain traction to specific pages of your site you’d like to create awareness for. Those who find your content valuable are then more likely to come back to the site or take an action such as purchasing a product, requesting a quote, or contacting your business.

Generate Leads and Sales

Whether it's through paid advertising or organic posts, social media is an easy way to drive attention to specific products, offerings or services your business provides. It's crucial you share content that will connect with your audiences but don't forget to consider how the content you share will ultimately guide audiences to make a purchase or want to learn more about your services.

Social media is also a way for customers to express initial interest in your brand or products. For example, if you are running a lead generation paid advertising campaign on Facebook to promote 15% off a product in store, a customer that completes your form and submits their personal information in order to receive this 15% off coupon is telling your brand there is interest to try your product. If someone is willing to give up their information, this shows they believe there is value in what you're offering.

Brand Reputation Management

Sometimes, things happen that a business may not be able to plan for and your reputation may be on the line. Your social media channels are owned by your brand. Use these channels to portray your brand the way you want your customers to perceive you, and if there are times where your credibility is questioned, social media is a way to clear the air and represent the mission/values your company stands for.

Customer Service

Whether we always like it or not, customers are more likely to take to social media if they have an issue with your company or brand. They are also likely to take to social media for praise of a new product they love or a positive experience.

Regardless of whether you are dealing with a displeased or happy customer, use your social media channels as an addition to your customer support team. Take time to personally respond to customer issues and provide a next step for resolution. Take time to thank your customers for their positive messaging.

Nobody wants to talk to a robot - make your responses personalized and genuine. Your customers will notice and this can speak volumes about your brand.

Audience Learning

All social media networks have analytics that provide detailed demographic information about your audience and those interacting with your brand. Use this information to learn more about your current and prospective customers. From there, you can use the information you've gathered to better tailor your messaging throughout your social promotions and work towards accomplishing business goals.

Brand Sentiment

How your audience responds and interacts with your brand on social media can also say a lot about whether or not your efforts are working. More importantly, you can learn how customers are perceiving your brand through their own messages they share. Using social media monitoring tools such as Hootsuite or Sendible can help you better gauge sentiment of posts your audience is sharing around your brand, monitor conversations, and truly understand how your audience feels.

Business Promotion

Social media is a great way to reach potential new customers and promote your business. Through paid social advertising you can target specific audiences that fit your ideal customer base and drill down on targeting options such as geography, language, or interests. Depending on your social media strategy or business goals, you can promote specific content to that audience about your business or brand. Whether you're striving to drive leads or gain awareness for your brand, social media paid advertising is a great avenue.

Is your business looking for additional ways to market on social media? Aztek can help with building your company social media strategy, maintaining your campaigns, and analyzing the results. Contact our team today to learn more.

Categories: Digital Marketing
A Better Way to Create Content: Core Model Workshop

A Better Way to Create Content: Core Model Workshop

By Casey Weinfurtner on  July 27, 2018

Aztek is always looking for new ways to improve our process and make content creation easier. Recently our team started using the Core Model Workshop. This workshop is designed to help narrow down what kind of content needs to go on the most important pages (core pages) of the website.

Originally presented at IA Summit 2007 by information architect Are Halland. The idea is to make sure we are thinking about user needs and goals when building a website. Sound like something you need? Here's the process our team has started to use:

What it is:

A half day workshop to align users needs with an organization's business goals. The workshop focuses on thinking about how a user gets to a page, what to communicate to them while they are there, and what we want them to do next.

Why it Matters:

It drives home the idea of putting content first when designing a website. It also helps to keep both the client and agency teams aligned when it comes to what needs to appear on a specific page.

Often times the homepage is seen as the most important page on the site. The Core Model helps to remind people that there are many important pages throughout the site. In some cases, users may never actually make it to the homepage if they find what they are looking for on another page via Google.

Content can feel forgotten in favor of "pretty" design. But in actuality content is the most important part of a website. If users can't find what they are looking for, it doesn't matter how nice the site looks.

When do we do it?

At Aztek, we do this workshop once we have done discovery work, such as a competitive analysis, and also put together the new sitemap. This way, we have a good understanding of what core pages of content we will need. This gives us a good base to start from when thinking about what pages we want to use in the workshop.

We do this before the design phase because what we decide needs to go on a page during the workshop may impact how the pages are designed.

During the workshop, we:

  • Identify Core Pages for the new website - We use the new sitemap to determine which pages are most in need of important content.
  • Identify Relevant Objectives/Business Goals - In order to make sure the content we are putting on the pages is effective, it is important to understand the organization's business goals.
  • Identify the Most Important User Task - It's important to understand what users need when they come to a site. Identifying their most pressing tasks will help to determine what content needs to go on the page.
  • Identify Inward Path - How will a user find a specific page? What leads them there?
  • Identify Forward Paths - What do we want a user to do next? Where do we want to take them?
  • Identify Core Content - What actual content points need to be on the page? This is where all of the ideas come together. From business goals to user needs we want to make sure the content on the page conveys the important information.

How we do it:

  • 3-4 hour workshop
  • 1-3 participants from our team (e.g., designers, UX, content, developers, and so forth)
  • 6-8 stakeholders from relevant fields or departments in the organization
  • Printed worksheets

Sheet from Tazen

We work on one section at a time. After everyone fills out one section we come together as a group and discuss what points everyone finds important, then we move on to the next section of the sheet. This allows for some good discussion about what needs to be included.

Challenges & Recommendations:

As with any process, there is always room to improve, we have been using this workshop for a few months now and overall we really like it. We do see some challenges, however, one of which being that the worksheets can sometimes feel repetitive when it comes to the inward and outward paths.

Often when we are filling those portions of the sheets out, it's the same information each time. To get around taking up time to rewrite the same thing over again, we leave those areas blank and work from the sheets we have already completed with that information.

It can also sometimes be hard to hold everyone's attention. Often people will start moving on to another section before we have had time to discuss the current section. Sometimes this leads to good discussion, other times, though, it gets us off track and cuts into our timing. One solution we have thought of for this issue is potentially using post-it notes for each section of the sheet. Instead of giving everyone a printout, we work together on a whiteboard and have each person bring up their post-its for that section.

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We are still adapting and learning about this process as we go, but we have seen great results with the clients we have used it with so far. It allows us to get through the content process quicker, and focus on what content is really important for the new website. Need content help? Contact Aztek to learn more about our content services.

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