Issue 008 September 2013 – Grow Smart Growth Bites

Welcome to the latest issue of the Grow Smart Growth Bites, your monthly newsletter dedicated to business growth and development. In this issue:

✮ What We Can All Learn from Kuwaiti Entrepreneurs
✮ Dealing with Bad Reviews So They Don’t Hurt Your Business

What We Can All Learn from Kuwaiti Entrepreneurs

Kuwaiti entrepreneursDon’t you just love it when a new technology comes along and becomes very useful for your marketing whether it was intended to be used that way or not?

This seems to be the case with Instagram, the photo sharing platform that is growing by leaps and bounds daily. Not only has it been purchased by Facebook and has now surpassed 100 Million users (FSLocal) it has become the newest playground for marketers seeking ways to get their message out. And as what come as a surprise to many, nowhere is that more true than in…Kuwait!

Kuwait’s Love Affair with Instagram

While Kuwait’s economy is still largely powered by oil exports, (nearly 50%) some enterprising Kuwaitis have taken to selling nearly anything you can think of on Instagram. All you need is an account, a smartphone, and you’re good to go!

Some recent examples include clothing, manga, makeup services, dried fruit and… wait for it… sheep. You read that right! Now, the regulation may be a tad different in the States, but you get the idea. People are using this platform to reach out and sell someone, and apparently it’s been a huge hit. There was even an “InstaBusiness Expo” held in April by the Entrepreneurship and Business Club of the American University of Kuwait.

Ingenious Kuwaitis are finding things to sell, making them their own, and slapping a price tag on it. While there is currently no payment processing available on Instagram, that isn’t stopping anyone, as they make arrangements by phone. I’m sure you’ve probably already thought of a couple of ways around that as well.

What can we learn from the Kuwaiti Instagram economy?

The number one lesson to be gleaned here is that we as marketers need to constantly be thinking outside the box. Marketers are now dabbling using Instagram to send traffic to their Tumblr blogs, which are direct linking (as of this writing) to CPA offers. This is but one example of how people are monetizing this type of traffic.

Sending Instagram followers to an optin page is yet another way innovative marketers are using to get targeted followers onto their lists.

Connecting the dots from your Instagram account to the destination of your choosing is the nut you have to crack. Make the content and offers, seamless, relevant and logical. Anything less will avail you little, as it does n most any social media platform you can name.

The time is now, and the market is huge!

If this sounds like a market you’d like to exploit, then you need to strike while the iron is hot! A massive number of users and little regulation equal opportunity! But remember, Facebook owns Instagram, and change is inevitable. But for now, get out there and sell some sheep!

Could your business be generating more customers online?

Contact us today for your free marketing assessment!

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Dealing with Bad Reviews So They Don’t Hurt Your Business

dealing with Bad reviewsSome things never change. And one of them is the importance of good worth of mouth advertising. A good reputation amongst your pool of consumers can make the difference in profitability or the poorhouse.

In a pre-internet world, a bad review or experience could take a while to make the rounds before it had any real effect. However these days, we are blessed with the ability to share our views and complaints instantly, and that’s why you need to be extremely proactive when it comes to managing your online reputation. One bad review mishandled can have a magnified effect that can a long time to reverse, if it can be at all.

A look at the numbers…

Don’t think it’s all that important? Let’s take a quick look at the numbers.

Here are some sobering statistics:

  • 72 percent of consumers report that they regularly investigate companies through social channels before making purchases (Cone Communications)
  • 59 percent will use social media sites to air their frustrations about your customer service (Cone Communications)
  • 89 percent of consumers are of the belief that these online channels are trustworthy sources (Society for Communications Research)
  • 80 percent changed their minds about purchasing after reading a negative comment or review (Society for Communications Research)

Now that we have your attention as to how bad online reviews can hurt your business, let’s look at 3 ways to head them off at the pass!

Make stellar customer service a priority

Probably the most important thing you can do to make a difference is to take customer service very seriously. You may think you do that, but in a world where a negative review can be shared thousands of times in a few hours, taking a week or so to try and rectify the problem could be the death knell you hear ringing. Contact the customer, privately if possible, (most review channels like Yelp have this facility) and subjugate your ego. The customer is always right, especially when they can do so much harm.

Encourage and reward positive reviews

You can’t please all the people all the time, and one of the best ways to help negate the effect of the occasional poor review is by encouraging and rewarding good reviews from your happy customers. This has several benefits, among them creating a positive culture surrounding your online persona, as well as by pushing the negative reviews further down the search results, where they most likely won’t be seen. You might even go so far as to social bookmark positive reviews, giving them links that the negative reviews won’t have.

Respond publicly

If you’ve done all you can do and the customer still won’t amend their review, you can make a public entry to state your side. Use this wisely, and only to present the facts. Don’t flame, and don’t use this as a way to appear as anything but humble. Just the facts, Ma’am. Getting defensive and unprofessional will only make the situation far worse.

Make it your business to deal with your online reputation just as diligently as you would any other aspect of your business. It’s that important!

Thanks for Reading!

We welcome your ideas and feedback to make our content more applicable to your needs. Contact us anytime!

Best wishes for much success!

Neil Gass
Grow Smart Marketing