Translate

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

5 Reasons You Need Instagram For Your Business




Instagram has entered the territory of “must” rather than “nice-to-have” when it comes to social marketing for businesses. There are a few key reasons why every business should have an Instagram account, and why you’re going to be pretty left out if you don’t get on this social platform.


1. Skyrocket Your Engagement

The data shows that Instagram is the #1 platform for getting post engagement.

That means that if you want to establish a relationship with your client base (which you do), then you’re going to need that post engagement that only Instagram can provide.

But let’s back it up for a second…

It’s an interesting time to be involved in social media marketing… Facebook is facing major allegations, and as a result—people are doing crazy things like starting movements to delete their Facebook accounts… (For my sake, and the sake of your distant relatives, please do not delete your facebook). As much as internet trolls might have you think that it’s the social media Armageddon, I assure you that life will go on.

It might be looking a little overcast in the internet landscape, but before we pack our bags —there’s still some hope. Facebook’s more charismatic and adopted little brother (Instagram) still has users entranced with its purity and boasts a pristine opportunity for brands who are ready to stir up the marketing pot.

Now, Instagram is the #1 platform for post engagement because its focus on visual content creates a very unique space for brands to interact with others—and if you’re a skeptic, the numbers don’t lie. According to a study conducted by Forrester, Facebook and Twitter organic post engagement levels are currently less than 0.1%. In comparison, the millennial-centric Instagram boasts regular engagement at 4% for brands. (That’s 40x better btw).

instagram stats

2. Grow Your Following with Ease

80 percent of Instagram accounts already follow a business on Instagram, and 65% of top-performing posts feature products. The translation here is obvious, Instagrammers want to see branded content, and they want to connect with brands.

Add the engagement levels for brands (4%) that we just saw and we have the optimal landscape for growing your branded following on this platform.

3. Generate Leads

Instagram is a tool for lead generation.

We know that social media strongly influences purchase decisions, even if that is at the subconscious level of the consumer decision-making process.

It’s 2018, and our favorite lead generation tool (Facebook) is making algorithm changes that are making it harder for brands to get heard. With engagement rates already resting around the 0.1% mark, it just might be the ideal time to expand your reach to include some Instagram marketing.

With Instagram, 60% of users have first heard of a product or service through the platform, and over 120 million Instagram users visited a website, got directions, or called/emailed/direct messaged a business as a result of their engagement with the platform (sproutsocial). That means that 120 million Instagrammers have been lead to a business through the platform.

You can easily use Instagram to generate new business and sales with strategic content and links in your bio, as well as reach new targeted and engaged audiences through paid ad campaigns through the Facebook ad platform.

4. Stay On Top of “Instagram Reviews”

A little-known fact is that when an Instagram user posts something on Instagram and uses a location tag, this tag isn’t owned or regulated by the business that owns the physical location. All location tags on Instagram, or “Instagram Geotags”,” are tied to a separate public account that Instagram will store posts under.

Instagram Reviews

For businesses, this is a blessing and a curse.

Best Case Scenario:

Say you own a local restaurant and you have numerous dedicated and consistent customers who love to post at your restaurant and have nothing but glowing words to accompany beautiful pictures of your space. When others look at your location on Instagram, this is what they see, and they are that much more likely to convert and become loyal customers as well.

Worst Case Scenario:

You own the same local restaurant, but one dissatisfied customer took it upon themselves to post a picture of your front door exclaiming their disgust with the service that they received. This post has lingered on the web and likely dissuaded other customers from posting to the location, and has resulted in the loss of unknown amounts of revenue through prospects who steered away from your business as a result.

Although you have no control over the things that users might be saying about your brand (much like standard reviews), you can still help mitigate some possible damages by having a branded Instagram account and monitoring the posts on your location. Much like negative reviews left on other review platforms, by responding to negative Instagram posts, you are much more likely to prevent harm to your reputation.

5. Don’t Get Left Behind

As of 2017, nearly 71% of businesses in the United States were already using Instagram. The release of Instagram business profiles and the ability to to run ads/analytics with ease have been large factors in driving the Instagram growth movement.

business instagram use
Source: eMarketer

You may notice that this looks like an exponential growth graph, and that’s probably because it is. Fortunately for you, just because 71% of these businesses are using Instagram doesn’t mean that these businesses are using it to its full potential.

We can make a pretty good estimate as to where this usage rate is going to reside by the end of 2018, so don’t get left behind.


Don’t wait, get started on your Instagram strategy today to generate new leads, amplify your brand, and build new business!


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

5 Reasons To Use an Online Scheduling Tool

 


Whether you’re scheduling client bookings for a salon or scheduling a meeting with a colleague in a different time zone, manual appointment scheduling is time-consuming. It’s also a process that’s prone to human error. Double-bookings can be common, which can lead to a negative online review and impact search engine optimization (SEO) performance.

In this guide, we explore five reasons to use an automated booking software, allowing you to reduce the risk of scheduling errors while improving customer experience, employee productivity, and cash flow.

1. Generate bookings and leads 24/7

Did you know 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday is the most popular time to book an appointment?With most staff typically working from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., responding to a backlog of appointment requests submitted over the weekend can take time and frustrate customers. 

A survey by GetApp found 94 percent of customers are more likely to choose a new service provider if that provider offered an online booking option.

Automated scheduling software provides the benefit of allowing customers to:

  • Book at a time convenient for them
  • Select a particular person they want to receive the service from, and view their real-time availability
  • Reschedule without needing to call

These features can help prevent you from being bombarded with back and forth messages or phone calls about booking an appointment. Plus, it can help prevent the loss of prospects who were keen to book outside work hours but lost interest because that business didn’t have online scheduling functionality.

This is supported by research from salon software as a service company Phorest, which shows nearly 50 percent of all bookings in the spa and beauty salon industry happen online when businesses are closed.

2. Impress new clients

Informing new clients and prospects about what to expect ahead of their first appointment can create a good impression and help boost productivity.

You may send the standard “thank you for booking” confirmation email, but when additional information about a customer is required, smart scheduling software allows you to:

  • Add questions to meeting requests
  • Collect key attendee details
  • Process payments

This can help save you the headache and staffing time required for menial tasks like confirmation calls and chasing up invoices.

3. Deal with fewer phone calls

Given the popularity of platforms like Airbnb, Uber, and OpenTable, customers are increasingly expecting frictionless and digitized booking experiences for services they wish to access.

Consider the following data points from various surveys:

  • 59 percent of the general population are frustrated with waiting times and the inconvenient office hours related to scheduling appointments by phone (GetApp, 2021)
  • 75 percent of Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) avoid phone calls because they are “too time-consuming” (BankMyCell, 2020)
  • 81 percent of Millennials feel anxious before making a call (BankMyCell, 2020)

These statistics are a clear indication that local businesses should be evolving their tech stack and aligning their customer journey to evolving preferences. Even better, less time spent on the phone dealing with appointment queries is better for businesses as owners and employees can spend time undertaking more valuable tasks.

4. Save costs and reduce “no-show” risk

Software consulting giant Accenture’s research found that the United States healthcare system would have saved $3.2 billion in 2019 alone if more people booked appointments online.

It takes under a minute to schedule medical appointments online, compared to 8.1 minutes on the phone, with staff transferring calls 63 percent of the time, resulting in more booking-related paperwork and less time on patient care.

“Just as consumers use online tools to book restaurant reservations or request a cab, patients want the same experience in self-booking a doctor’s appointment,” Accenture’s report noted. 

Furthermore, appointment reminder functionality typically built into scheduling software more than halves the risk of a no-show, according to a separate analysis of customer behavior by 10to8.com.

5. Increased employee productivity

In a Udemy 2018 report, 60 percent of employees said that poorly scheduled and unorganized meetings distract them from working efficiently and productively. 

That’s why meetings and how they are scheduled should not be taken for granted, especially for rapidly-growing SMBs with hybrid work environments and employees who reside across different states and countries. 

Automated meeting scheduling can eliminate behaviours such as: 

  • Employees asking each other “when are you free?” to initiate a meeting
  • The need to check calendars throughout the day
  • Attaching video conferencing links to meeting events manually
  • Manually working out time zone differences to hold meetings with colleagues across different jurisdictions

A suitable scheduling tool should handle most meeting-related logistics, including adding video conferencing links, finding a time to meet, and meeting preparation tasks.