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Businesses can track when customers vote with their feet but may struggle to find the why behind the walk away. One reason that once-loyal customers disappear is more likely about a conscious choice than fickle buying habits.

These Conscious Consumers make buying decisions based on the positive social, economic, and environmental impact of a product or service.

From Gen Z to Baby Boomers, many consumers care more about the why and how a product is made than the number on the price tag. If a brand doesn’t intentionally connect with followers’ values, it’s likely sales may drop as much as forty percent according to a study by IBM Institute for Business Value.

Conversely, conscious companies that communicate their authentic focus on natural, organic, or sustainable products and practices have opportunities to build revenue. Nielsen findings show the trend in eye-opening numbers:

To communicate to this conscious crowd, share early and often the following about your product or service:

Local companies are at a distinct advantage to sync with these seekers of sustainability. Here are 10 ways to make the conscious connection:

  1. Share your founding story and the relationships within the community.
  2. Show how you give back to the community — its schools, non-profit organizations, and employees.
  3. Watch for a shift in community need or focus for a certain purpose such as poverty, pollution, school supplies, or mental health, and direct additional resources to help in the effort.
  4. Highlight your quick and mindful distribution of products.
  5. Ask customers how they would like to see your company give back.
  6. Promote a give-back connection. For each $5 spent, your business gives a percentage to a local organization.
  7. Seek input from loyal customers on new products in which they have gained interest. Sell those products or highlight how yours connect with the same value.
  8. Highlight your people, their values, and why they support your business.
  9. Serve on community boards that serve a wide range and age of people and purposes.
  10. Actively and consistently promote the how, why, where, who and what of your company.

Another tip to attract local, regional and global-minded group from the IBM study:

Conscious consumers shop when and where the mood strikes them, in what are called “micro-moments” while performing other tasks when they may discover a “micro-need”.

Let Poole Communications help connect your company to these mico-needs at the right micro-moment to achieve macro results! We can help you maintain and grow your relevance with the rising opportunities among conscious consumers.

©2021 Poole Communications

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Sustained survival mode can shift anyone’s creativity and drive into neutral. To flip off fatigue and move forward when others are stagnant, tune into purpose and realistic goal setting.  Here's how to make the S.W.I.T.C.H out of survival mode:

S - See what is working. Moving from a day-to-day approach to our next normal is daunting. Instead of allowing the enormity of tasks paralyze you, observe what is working right now.  Write down some small tweaks that can be made to expand and improve those processes, products, and services that are moving in a positive direction.

W – Wonder about the greatest possible outcome of each task. Juliet Funt calls this approach laddering up. When confronted with something you aren’t wild about doing, ask yourself, “What is the best possible outcome of that?”   

I – Insert Incremental goals. For those small tweaks to the processes, products, and services that are working – set one or two small goals to put incremental changes into action. How can you gain one more customer? What is one step you can take to deliver a service just a little better? Consider what new markets or customer options have developed while we have been in our "survival setting."  What is one way to build on those markets or options for future benefit?

T – Take stock. Take the time to write down what has been accomplished and overcome in the last several months. The list will be long and is guaranteed to switch your team from stagnation to inspiration. 

C - Connect with others.  When possible, find your way out of zoom rooms and make a connection with a colleague or trusted mentor - in person. You'll find strength and energy in strategizing with others who understand our challenges and view things from a different perspective. 

H - Hurry. When setting realistic, incremental goals, set a quick timeline so you can experience immediate results. Then set more short goals and claim your victory by achieving sustained success. 

Switching out of survival mode may be easier than you think.  

 "Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi

Visit our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

©2021 PooleCommunications.com

If you’re reading this, you are clearly acquainted with blogs. What you may not know is how to park your expertise, personality, tips, and tricks into an online space where new and loyal customers stop by for advice they enjoy and trust. 

And, if you build this blog will it bring business or just bystanders?  

A blog will do both and is one of the most cost-effective ways to turn bystanders into customers. According to cbo.me, there are five key business benefits of blogging, they include: 

Perhaps the most relevant blogging statistic is that posting your expertise online can be more effective in promoting your company than investing in paid advertising.  

Statistics also point to the big-time benefits of blogs. The SEO Tribunal shares the following data on the booming blogosphere: 

It’s clear that opportunities abound in blogging, but where do you begin? 

How to start writing a blog: 

Where to post your blog and how: 

According to quicksprout.com, the best blog platforms are WIX, Medium, LinkedIn, and Facebook. BlogStarter.com also supplies a step-by-step guide to get you moving. 

So, what are you waiting for? Turn that blank page into a blog – it might be your business’s best friend.  Need a little help? We have writers who can provide you with blog material on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. Give us a call at 800-900-3635.

© 2020 Poole Communications

As our country grapples with social unrest, now is the time to remember that welcoming diverse points of view. Diversity is not only the right thing to do, it makes businesses more successful. So, keep in mind that open minds lead to opportunity, and here are a few ideas to make your business more diverse:
Diversity Drives Innovation, Efficiency, and Revenue

First, According to 2020 data from SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Businesses), companies with above-average diversity earned 45% of revenue from innovation. Those that had diverse management teams achieved 19% higher revenue based on their progressive leadership. 

Because diverse teams focus on facts, SCORE’s data found that such teams make decisions twice as fast in half the number of meetingsPlus, the decisions made in those meetings deliver 60% better results

Grow Diversity in Small Places

Second, the size of a company or its location may appear to be a roadblock to achieving a diversworkforce. However, planting the seed of creative thinking can yield new options, products, and results long term.

An article by Takeflyte.com asks businesses to consider age, race and ethnicity to encourage diversity. It also challenges companies to widen the definition to realize that existing differences among employees can bring value to the organization.

Consider the following ideas from Thrive Global and Takeflyte.com to open the doors of diversity for your business:

Find Diversity Within Current Staff

Third, many small businesses may not be able to hire a more diverse workforce right away.  However, diversity can always be found within your existing team, if you listen for it.  

Here are ways to find diversity from Inc.  and the Young Entrepreneur Council:

Finally, keep in mind that open minds lead to opportunity. Companies can choose to conduct business as usual or open the door to a more inclusive and diverse team. We hope you choose to step through that door to experience the growth and opportunities that diversity can bring.
When you're done go to our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

Use Chatbots to grow your business.
Meet Cathy. She is cheery, has the patience of a saint, is freakishly knowledgeable about your business, works 24/7, anticipates customers’ needs, and knows when to ask questions and when to leave people alone.
Right now Cathy is charming the pants off your competitor’s customers. Darn you, Cathy!
Whoa, no need to get chippy. Cathy can work for you too. In fact, Cathy is in the market for a new gig and you can snag her for free.
Cathy is a Chatbot. And in an hour from now, she can be chatting with new leads on your website and Facebook page.
Really. No heavy tech lifting or pricey software. And P.S., customers expect Chatty Cathys. 
Sixty-three percent of people surveyed by Oracle said they prefer to message with chat bots and it’s because of the many benefits Cathy offers including 24/7 service and instant answers.
In 2020, chatbots will drive 85% of customer service, and why not? Just think of it, while Cathy is chatting up customers, answering routine questions and presenting new products and services based on their needs you are planning and developing new product lines.
And, oh yeah, Cathy is doing all of this at an hourly rate of $0. 
Wondering what Cathy should be talking about with your customers?
Simple things like:
“What brings you to us today?”
“Can I interest you in a discount?”
“I see you are looking at this service, we can tailor it to your schedule and deliver it for free!”
With time, Cathy can even get into some deep conversations with customers. Check out some other messages for chatbots and how some big time brands are using their own Cathys to increase the bottom line.
Now’s not the time for chatting, though. Now is the time to learn how to use Facebook’s free messenger chat bot to benefit your business. Cathy is waiting to serve you.
Need help with Chatbot Charm?

Use chatbots to grow your business. Set up a chatbot on your site or social media page, or give us a call: 800-900-3635. While not free, it may be much quicker than setting it up yourself... and we're happy to help.

When you're done go to our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

Here is an example of my video conferencing set up at my office.

Below are some video conferencing best practices to help you look good on camera:
SHINE, and be concise!

Download a printable copy here: PCZoomWhitePaper

When you're done go to our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

© 2020 Poole Communications

Consumers are looking for an experience and they want it to not only be good, but to be outstanding. How can you make your customers' experience outstanding? From the bank that provides fresh baked chocolate chip cookies to the custom coffee at your local Starbucks, it’s all about you and your customers’ experience in your business. You control this.

How can you offer more? In what ways can you make it better? Figure out how you can you wow your customers.

As I am constantly saying to my staff, “Under promise and over deliver.”

“Experiential and event marketing are seeing a big resurgence, and brands will lean in even more to those types of marketing activations. I think that music tour sponsorships will have new life because of this — brands can do even cooler venue activations that audiences interact with, and they’ll get broadcast out to a much larger digital audience.”
– Sherry JhawarBlended Strategy Group

What can you do?

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Walk into your office like you’ve never been there before. What needs to be changed? The unsmiling receptionist? Maybe she’s a better fit in bookkeeping. The smudged windows and leaf strewn sidewalk? Tackle them now. These are the simple things. They can be easily changed.

What else?

What is more difficult is to hire people who really think of others and try to do what is best for each one. I like people who think ahead to the next step, people who own their projects and feel gratitude toward the person bringing the work into the office.

Summary

Finally, what is the experience at your office? Now is the perfect time to clean house, clean up your staff and make your office run light a tightly run ship. Take the helm, be the captain and steer that ship in the direction you want. Make your customers' experience outstanding.

When you're done go to our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

© 2020 Poole Communications

Just when you think you have the current social media scene figured out, a new platform, updated feature and enhanced algorithm makes you feel like you are in the dark again. Instead of searching around the social world with two hands and a flashlight, try using five W’s and an H.  Find out the WhoWhatWhyWhen and Where of each of the six significant social channels’ key audiences and How you can create content to make an impact with them.  Search no more.  Here’s the current social media scene. 

Facebook  

Who: Two billion users are active on the platform each month, with Generation X and Millennials leading the way according to the Spredfast Social Media Audience Guide 

What: According to the same research, Facebook is the best platform to grow a small business and is most useful to retail, media, financial services, and healthcare industries.   

Why: The audiences on Facebook go there to discover new products.  In fact, 30% of retail shoppers who recently made a purchase discovered a new product on Facebook. 

When: On average, the Spredfast guide says that users hang out on Facebook 35 minutes per day and Sprout Social shared that by far Wednesday is the best day to post on the platform. Specifically, businesses should make their move at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on hump day.   

Where: More Facebook users view content on mobile devices than they do a desktop.  

How: Based on Spredfast and Sprout Social research on the 5 W’s covered above, businesses can reach Facebook’s key audience base by launching new products on the site through images, videos, concise descriptions and links to buy within the same post.

Instagram  

Who: Of the 800 million monthly active users on the platform, ladies and teens comprise the majority of the Instagram crowd according to Spredfast’s research. Females between the ages of 18 to 29 make up the largest demographic and 53 percent of teens use the platform to learn about new products.   

What: Retail, sports and automotive businesses can find their niche with Instagram.  

When:  According to Sprout Social, the best times to post on Instagram are Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday between 10 and 11 a.m.  

Where: Most users view Instagram on mobile devices. 

Why: This highly visual platform is the place audiences look to learn about new products, follow brands, and check in with influencers to see what they are saying, learning, doing, wearing and buying. 

How: Announce new products, show influential people in your industry and community using and talking about those products.  Better yet, become an influencer in your industry by sharing how your products and services make their lives better.

Twitter 

Who: There are 317 million active users tweeting, and the majority of them are men.  

What: Best platform for sports, media, financial services and healthcare industries, but not the place for retail.  

When: Businesses will have the best results by tweeting on Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 a.m. according to Sprout Social. 

Where: Contrasting with its social cousins Facebook and Instagram, Twitter faithful tend to check the site on desktop devices more than they do on mobile screens.  

Why: Audiences head to the platform to get scores, news, reviews, deals and ideas.  

How: Post coupons and news about your business and link to your website.  When they have more time, they may switch to your Instagram and Facebook feeds to buy your products

Linked In  

Who: LinkedIn is the place to reach other businesses, business owners and professionals.  The largest demographic on the platform is between the ages of 25 to 34. 

What: A key industry served well by this professional platform is financial services.  It’s also the place for business to business marketing and not so much for retail traffic.  

When:  According to Sprout Socialthe best times to post are Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to10 a.m. and at 12 p.m.  

Where: Given its professional niche, more users check the platform at home or work, which means their use is on desktop rather than a mobile device. 

Why: The audience links in to make job searches, research companies and network.  

How:  Connect with this platform’s users by posting open positions and sharing research on your product or service.  While you are at it, link up with like-minded businesses or research your competition.

YouTube  

Who: This is the space to connect with the guys.  Males between the ages of 35 to 44 are the largest user group. Another fun fact Spredfast found is that YouTube’s channels reach more 18-49 year olds than any cable network in the United States.  YouTube is second only to Facebook in monthly active users boasting a healthy 1 billion each month.   

What: Industries related to media, sports and automotive sectors are served well by this platform.  

When: YouTube’s myriad channels draw in users an average of 40 minutes a day.  

Where: People are tuning into watch on mobile devices more than desktop computers.   

Why: Tubers hang out on the site to interact with brands and follow content creators. 

How:  Businesses can publish video content showing the benefits and uses of products and services to directly engage with audiences and push them to a website to convert into sales.

Snapchat  

Who: The ladies love Snapchat. 

What: Retail, media, and sports sectors should snap away with this platform’s audiences. 

When: The ladies (and others) open the app 25 times each day.   

Where: Snapchat only lives on mobile devices. 

Why: Snappers use the platform for its privacy - they control how long and who sees their posts - and of course for the pretty filters and lenses.  

How:  Use filters for your business and create quick and fun content that is lighthearted and hip. If you want more tips, follow Snoop Dog and Spencer Pratt, they seem to have it all figured out and have the largest following. 

Need more help with the current social media scene? Need a strategy or ideas for posts? Give Poole Communications a call. We can help. 800-900-3635.

Sources:  

https://assets.khoros.com/content/tipsheets/2018-Social-Media-Demographics-Spredfast.pdf  

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/best-times-to-post-on-social-media/#times-fb  

When you're done go to our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

© 2019 Poole Communications

When fishermen find a honey hole, their smiles are big and their mouths are shut. But when they catch the big one, it’s all about the show and tell. Social media is the new word-of-mouth honey hole; so let's use it to your best advantage.

In business, everyone has access to the honey hole of social media, and the fish swimming in it are free for the taking if you have the right bait.  Reel in your own word-of-mouth marketers ready to show and tell tales from your business with the following lures:

Show Others With Their Trophy Fish

Everyone has happy customers, but if you don’t show them off, you might lose the next big one. How can you catch more fish if they can’t see what they are missing?

Lure: Post a smiling customer holding one of the last products on the shelf along with a FOMO (Fear of Missing Out ) message like, “Sam got one of the last She-Shed lock openers! Stop by today to get yours and find out what the wife has inside that place.”

Give Them a Secret to Share

Your social channels should be chock full of exclusive visuals and crave-able content. Everyone is searching for a new honey hole, so make your channel the next secret to share.

Lure: Post behind-the-scenes pictures of new product being delivered, share a new trend from one of the “coasts,” or snap a shot of your team prepping a new service to save customers’ time and money.

Find Your Big Mouths

Pay attention to your followers. It’s likely you have loyalists who like your posts, comment, and share information. They can influence hundreds more, so lure them in with your best bait.

Lure: Give them a free sample or service and ask them to take a picture or share the experience on social media. Follow up by inviting them to a VIP referral club that offers a big discount if they bring fresh fish to your pond.

Open Your Mouth

If you don’t open your own mouth to engage with your following, they might get away. Worse yet, if your fish flip and spew bad information, you need to dive in to rescue your reputation.

Lure: Comment on a recent customer’s post and include a specific detail about your encounter with them. Follow up offline to see how the product is working. Also, be sure to engage immediately with bad reviews and negative comments. Thank customers for bringing the issue to your attention and ask if you can connect privately to find a solution.

Release the power of your customers’ word-of-mouth on social media and watch the flow of free marketing and new fish swim your way.

Need help with your social media posts or planning, give us a call at 800-900-3635 or email us at: info@poolecommunications.com

When you're done go to our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

© 2019 Poole Communications

Poole Communications
108 North Third St, Suite 100
Hannibal, MO 63401
573.221.3635
info@poolecommunications.com
 ©2021 Poole Advertising, LLC DBA Poole Communications
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