Posts Tagged ‘digital marketing’

graphic - public relations, blue

Are online reviews important, and should you respond to them?

It used to be that personal recommendations solidified decisions, but in today’s fast-moving digital orbit, news about your company travels differently, and online reviews—think Yelp, Google and Facebook—are a primary source of feedback.

In fact, a recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center concluded that 78 percent of Internet users conduct research online and believe reviews are the most credible form of advertising.

A 2018 Local Consumer Review Survey conducted by Brightlocal.com reported that 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and that 57 percent of consumers will only use a business if it’s rated four stars or higher.

Suffice it to say that online reviews are remarkably influential.

Not everyone responds to reviews, but there are several reasons why you should (even if they’re negative), including the fact that replying to feedback shows that you’re paying attention to your clients and customers, you’re not afraid of transparency and your business is all about building relationships.

The goal is to convert fans of your business into super-fans and offer disappointed reviewers an acceptable resolution, which often leads to a revised review or inspiration to remove a negative one. While there are multiple ways to respond to reviews – the positive and the negative – follow these tips to put the face of your business in the best light.

Be pleasant and don’t hurl insults: When a client or consumer is frustrated, they’re ready to fight. The last thing your business wants to do is fuel the fire or burn bridges, so when you’re responding to negative reviews, take a deep breath, be courteous and polite and provide solutions when feasible.

A little sympathy goes a long way in defusing an unpleasant situation. If you sense that the dialogue is taking a turn for the worse, suggest settling the matter offline, far away from judgmental public eyes. 

Keep your responses short and to the point: Social media users are looking to digest information quickly. If they want to read a novel, they’ll grab their Kindle or head to the bookstore. Keep your responses brief and genuine and stay on topic.

Thank those who post positive reviews: While handwritten “thank you” notes are, sadly, a thing of the past, clicking the “Like” button on a positive Facebook comment takes a second. Literally. Typing “Thank you for the kind words!” takes four seconds – five if your typing skills need work.

You don’t have to thank every single person, but if someone takes the time to write a favorable review, it’s a good idea to show your appreciation.

Don’t be a salesperson: When a user writes a review, it’s usually proof that they’ve already interacted with your business, so there’s no need to tell them what they already know.

If you have something new to share about your business, it’s fine to share, but make sure the content isn’t spammy or irrelevant.

Let clients and customers know that you loved working with them: Want to turn a customer or client into repeat customers or clients? If they post a glowing review, let them know how much you enjoyed working with them – and you’d welcome the opportunity to do so again.

If you want people to continue to work with your business, you need to let them know that you’re the kind of business that welcomes them back.


Real Estate Corner:
Mortgage rates are the lowest in a year and a half, but homebuyers aren’t taking the bait

graphic - real estate, gray

Mortgage rates continue to fall, but homebuyers aren’t impressed, writes Diane Olick, real estate reporter for CNBC.com.

Mortgage applications to purchase a home fell 2 percent in the last week in May and were barely 0.5 percent higher than a year ago, she notes.

And despite rates that are the lowest they’ve been in a year and a half, “High prices continue to sideline buyers, especially first-time buyers, who are a growing segment of the market.

social media orange

3 online tools to enhance and streamline your social marketing campaigns

We’ve found three tools that make it easier to manage your social media platforms.

A strong social media presence is one way to increase the visibility of your business, expand your reach and generate new leads:

Buffer: Buffer is a relatively simple web application that allows users to schedule social media posts across a variety of social network platforms. Dually mobile and desktop friendly, the app optimizes posts for peak engagement times (it also allows for customization) and best of all, its users receive salient feedback, via analytics, to view social media post performance, improve results and create data-driven reports for clients and managers.

Canva: That old cliché that a picture is worth a thousand words rings true with Canva, an intuitive, easy-to-master graphic-design creator that businesses can use to increase website traffic and social media engagement. It uses a drag-and-drop format and provides access to over a million photographs, graphics and fonts. You don’t need a background in design to use the tool, and with more than 50,000 templates to choose from, it’s easy to design just about anything,including those all-important info graphics.

Woobox: Engagement and buzz are key when it comes to social media, and with Woobox, an increasingly popular marketing platform, businesses can create contests, giveaways, polls, quizzes, brackets, photo contests and more, all of which encourage your audience to engage. Bonus: It allows businesses to seamlessly integrate several social media platforms while running campaigns, plus it collects and exports useful data that stems from those campaigns, an advantageous perk that all but guarantees robust leads.


Real Estate Corner
Millennials are flocking to smaller cities to buy homes

real_estate_orange

According to a recent study published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), expensive home prices, coupled with high demand, are driving today’s youngest homebuyers to smaller cities.

“As long as supply keeps up to meet demand, and prevents costs from rising too high and too rapidly, these identified metro areas are likely to see an uptick in purchases from millennial homebuyers,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the NAR. A robust job market and affordability are two of the main factors that impact home-buying decisions by millennials, notes the report.

plant growing in concrete

Grow your company with these marketing strategies

Federal and state regulations don’t make it easy for title insurance companies to market and grow their business, but there are strategies to maximize their marketing efforts.

Federal and state regulations don’t make it particularly easy for title insurance companies to market and grow their business, but despite the regulatory RESPA obstacles, there are strategies that title insurance companies can implement to maximize their marketing efforts.

Leverage Your Online Presence

Leveraging your online presence is paramount. By using the right technology and social media platforms to create insightful, compelling and informative content, you can generate – and keep – a captive audience.

The key takeaway is to provide value to your readership, which in turn establishes trust. And trust is key to growing your business.

Additionally, regularly updating your website with a clear mission, current marketplace trends, blog posts, analysis and data backed by research shows that you’re an expert in your field.

Authoritative blog posts and engaging social media posts generate the strongest leads, so it’s crucial to maintain a regimented and consistent posting schedule.

If you slack, you risk losing the audience – and potential clients – that you’ve worked so hard to connect with and cultivate.

Remember that homebuyers and sellers are a core element of your target customers, and they’re more educated than ever before about title insurance.

Savvy consumers compare title insurance companies, and if you don’t have a go-to resource stocked with information, services and products, you’ll miss your opportunity to connect with these people.

Good, Ol’ Fashioned Networking

As well, network at every opportunity, and taut your services with lenders, real estate professionals and others in your field.

While social media and an informative website are critical, word-of-mouth recommendations continue to generate leads.

Collecting e-mail addresses legally is also an effective way to market your services to the right demographics.

Deliver a Useful E-Newsletter

An educational enewsletter providing insight about relevant topics – including escrow, property searches and title insurance protection – is another proven way to reach your target audience and build a solid customer base.

Use graphics and photos to illustrate trends and salient points, and present simplified information that home buyers can easily digest. These are just a few ways to effectively market your title insurance company. Amanda Farrell, who writes for PropLogix, offers several more ideas to jumpstart your marketing efforts.

human-hand-unlocking-a-queue-barrier-on-white-picture

Don’t Get Shut Down Due to “Spam”

Don’t think you can download or even ask for someone else’s email address list unless you know for certain those recipients – each and every one of them – has opted into receive your content.

We’ve previously offered our thoughts on the importance of a well-built email list of customers.

While some consider email “old-school” in the face of loads of social media platforms and texting, beautifully built content contained on your website, email still connects you to your audience in ways social media platforms might not.

You need email addresses. You need new email addresses. You need an email distribution list that is constantly growing and evolving.

Why?

Because engaging your clients and colleagues in a narrative about your business, while also providing useful information, is powerful in establishing you as an industry leader and establishing your brand.

But don’t think you can download or even ask for someone else’s email address list unless you know for certain those recipients – each and every one of them – has opted into receive your content.

To do otherwise, to poach or duplicate or take anyone else’s email address list without first getting a recipient’s okay to receive – or better, without getting the recipient’s email address directly from them – is “spamming,” and the implications are not pretty.

Spamming your audience could result in getting permanently banned from your recipient’s inbox such as if she hits the “do not contact” button or flags you as spam on her email client. Spamming your audience can even result in getting yourself permanently banned from your email management service.

When you think about it, sending unsolicited emails is not even helpful toward getting your message to the masses because these recipients have expressed zero interest in your offer – they may not even know who you are.

You’re better off taking the slow and steady approach to building your email database. Here are just a few ideas for building your email database:

  1. Create an email subscription form for your blog
  2. Promote contests that require an email address for entry
  3. Offer downloads that are accessible only by volunteering an email address
  4. Share a subscribe link to your social media pages

Always tell your would-be subscribers what they should expect. Do you email once per month or once a week? What type of information is included in your distributions?

By building your email list the right way, you’ll ensure you have quality contacts who are more likely to engage with your message.

social media orange

Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Social Media Tactics

Refresh your social media strategy with these 14 ideas

Not everyone is comfortable building a social media strategy or social media platforms to promote their agency. Many businesses don’t know where to start; other businesses get it started, but can’t seem to find the wherewithal to continue.

Still others feel like they have “their arms wrapped around it” – and do it well enough – only to learn that their strategy and content is dated.

Social media is a living (almost breathing) organism. It’s something that needs tending to, needs to be revisited and, at least once a year (preferably more often) completely revisited.

The good news is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. A solid social media campaign can be refreshed with a few new thoughts.

14 things to try on social media this year
If you try new things on social this year that other brands aren’t doing, you have a better chance of surprising your audience and engaging them.


NSPS website logo

Real Estate Corner

What’s the deal with land surveys?
Land surveys are a valuable tool that help real estate deals close with confidence – for all parties. The National Society of Professional Surveys notes the value of proper land surveying.

Let’s Connect

Discover more stories and conversations on our social media networks,
or drop us a line on our contact page.


The Independent Underwriter for
the Independent AgentSM