Tag Archive | "Facebook"

Digital Air Strike Announces Facebook Integration

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Digital engagement company Digital Air Strike today announced it has integrated with Facebook to deploy its artificial intelligence (AI)-powered real-time messaging solution, Response Path, on Facebook Messenger.

Response Path allows businesses to deploy “Facebook Assistant” on Messenger to communicate with customers, route leads to the proper sales staff and respond anytime. This is especially important for companies selling items and advertising on Facebook Marketplace, where Messenger is the preferred communication channel for customer interaction.

“The way people engage with businesses has changed,” said Alexi Venneri, CEO and co-founder, Digital Air Strike. “We developed Response Path to accommodate that change while also being very aware that businesses don’t have the time or staff to manage multiple communication channels day and night. That’s where intelligent messaging comes in as it asks qualifying questions to move consumers farther down the sales funnel before a person needs to step in.”

Response Path automates much of the initial lead nurturing process so that salespeople can focus more attention on in-person buyers. It can schedule appointments, collect contact information and, for automobile dealerships, deliver customized vehicle quotes within minutes. Staff members can then take over a chatbot conversation at any time and view all messages through the tool’s intuitive inbox.

The platform is highly secure and authenticated through protocols such as SHA, TLS and policy designs such as server isolation. It is also HIPAA compliant for clients using it in the healthcare sector, as well as being cost effective and delivering a measurable return on investment.

Digital Air Strike’s Response Path platform was introduced in March 2018 following Digital Air Strike’s acquisition of the privately held Eldercare Technology (d.b.a. Path Chat), an AI chat technology business. The combination of the messaging technology with Digital Air Strike’s social media, consumer engagement, and lead response solutions create a complete digital engagement experience.

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Study: Dealerships Missing Out With Facebook Messenger, After-Hour Leads

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Only 16% of the 1,500 dealerships mystery-shopped by Digital Air Strike responded to internet leads within 15 minutes and 18% didn’t respond at all. The findings are part of the social media firm’s 2018 Mystery Shop Study, which was conducted over a four-month period and included leads submitted on a dealers’ websites and through Facebook’s Messenger app.

While the remaining 66% of dealers did respond to the test leads submitted, Digital Air Strike noted that industry best practices indicate that a customer is three times more likely to visit the dealership when a lead is responded to within 10 minutes.

“We wanted to get a better understanding of how dealers truly respond to leads,” said Alexi Venneri, co-founder and CEO of Digital Air Strike. “The results reveal a tremendous opportunity for dealerships and manufacturers to improve their lead responses, including increased use of Facebook Messenger combined with the power of Facebook Marketplace, and to leverage more engagement tools such as financing calculators, vehicle photos/video and after-hours quoting tools that can bridge the gaps we found in automotive consumer interactions.”

As part of its mystery-shop, the social media firm sent tested dealers a specific vehicle request that included questions that required specific answers. The top dealership ranked by OEM that responded with the information requested and did so within 15 minutes included Fiat at 34%; Toyota at 20%; Mercedes at 18%; Ford at 17%; and BMW at 16%. The average time across all stores and all OEMs to respond to a lead was more than 24 hours, with some dealers taking up to four days to respond. Additionally, only 36% of dealers shopped responded to requests submitted afterhours.

“This potentially represents lost business as multiple manufacturers have stated that up to 40% of all consumer leads are submitted when dealerships are closed,” the firm noted in its press release. “Consumers are shopping after work when no one is at the dealership to respond; however, there are innovative tools that can provide intelligent responses to consumers even after hours.”

The mystery-shop also revealed that 64% of dealerships didn’t respond to leads on Facebook Messenger, which 1.3 billion consumers use as a direct line to reach business. Making that connection even more relevant is Facebook Marketplace, which allows pre-owned vehicle inventory to automatically be showcased to consumers closest to dealerships.

“Whether it is a lack of knowledge or ability to leverage this powerful tool, many dealers are missing sales if they don’t respond to consumers on Facebook,” the firm noted. “Consumer use of Facebook Messenger is exploding and, according to Facebook, “autos” is one of the most popular categories on Facebook Marketplace with millions of Americans looking at vehicles each day.”

According to study results, only 25% of dealerships provided pre-owned vehicle options, and only 15% provided additional new-vehicle options. That means that 85% of dealerships are missing the opportunity to give customers options that may be better suited to their budgets.

“According to multiple industry sources, up to 45% of all consumers end up purchasing a different vehicle than the one they originally inquire about, so providing multiple vehicle choices in a response to a consumer has been shown to increase the chances of closing a deal with that consumer,” Digital Air Strike noted.

Additionally, 53% of dealerships shopped by the social media firm did not respond with a price or any vehicle information despite requests for that information. And only 31% of those that did provided included lease and rebate information.

As for content included in dealers’ responses, only 19% included vehicle photos and only 1% included video in their response. The firm pointed to findings in its sixth annual Automotive Social Media Trends Study as evidence that content does matter, with 48% of car buyers saying a faster and more detailed response that includes actual vehicle photos and video would make them buy from one dealership over another.

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Richard Branson: How To Create Fantastic Company Culture

Richard Branson’s article on company culture according to LinkedIn.

When recently looking at images of the impressive new Facebook offices designed by Frank Gehry, I was struck by the accompanying comments of Mark Zuckerberg. “Our goal was to create the perfect engineering space for our teams to work together. We want our space to feel like a work in progress. When you enter our buildings, we want you to feel how much left there is to be done in our mission to connect the world.”

That statement, along with its realisation in physical form, is fitting with the vision of the company. It wouldn’t necessarily work for other organisations, but you’re left in no doubt as to the thinking behind the design. Many other businesses would do well to follow this example of creating workspaces to complement and enhance their brand’s ethos. The same goes for embedding a strong company culture.

What works for one company culture may be unsuitable for another. The key is working out what’s best for the team and creating something unique in order to be able to deliver even better performance.

Embedding a company culture that’s unique to your business is something I’ll enjoy raising with Sheryl Sandberg during next week’s live Virgin Disruptors debate. Much like Virgin, Facebook have been making headlines as a result of some rather different employee wellness policies.

Although many would argue that what Tony Hsiesh and Zappos are building in downtown Las Vegas is even more adventurous than free fertility treatment and unlimited annual leave. “We want Zappos to function more like a city and less like a top-down bureaucratic organization,” explains Tony. “Look at companies that existed 50 years ago in the Fortune 500 – most don’t exist today. Companies tend to die and cities don’t.”

This is another genuinely unique take on the idea of company culture. There has never been a one-size-fits-all solution to making sure your staff are happy and healthy, but that doesn’t stop people trying to apply tired and ineffective motivational tactics or perks. Offering something that will set you apart from the competition can be your greatest asset, especially for new companies trying to break into competitive markets.

I saw a great example of this in action at our new Virgin Hotels Chicago this week. We have one hotel so far, but we’ve managed to embed a company culture from the start which has enabled us to attract a fantastic team to run it. The hotel industry doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to how staff are treated, so by innovating in this area we have been able to make the next Virgin Hotels a place where everyone would want to work.

Fun and healthy activities such as yoga and a company softball league have proven popular, but they only work alongside more meaningful offerings. You can’t open a business in the most culturally diverse city in America and not see that fact reflected in either your workforce or policies. Our partnership with Voxy – the English language learning platform – means that those staff who don’t have English as their first language can improve their abilities. All these things not only benefit the individuals in their private lives, they boost the company’s performance as well.

There’s no right or wrong way to go about creating a company culture, as long as you keep the staff that it’s designed for in mind every step of the way. What do you think helps to create fantastic company culture, and improve workplace wellbeing?

Written by Richard Branson of Virgin Group

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The Best Way to Network on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

First impressions are lasting impressions – even online. Networking is an essential aspect of business in person and through social media. Whether you know it or not, your clients and customers judge you on your website, blog and by what you post on social media sites, reported Entrepreneur.

Social networks including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are exceptional avenues to meet potential clients, customers and socialize with professional colleagues. Regardless of which social media sites you utilize, all will go a long way toward growing your professional network.

Here’s some advice on how to use each site:

Facebook is an effective tool for those who wish to stay in touch with friends, family members and colleagues, but it’s also a great place to exchange ideas and share opinions. For example, whenever I need help solving an unusual etiquette dilemma, I pose a question on Facebook and my friends and followers happily give me their opinions.

Facebook is a great place to promote your professional brand. I use Facebook to post informative articles, follow trends, and connect with my audience on a more personal level. Photos are also strategic way to personalize your brand; however, keep in mind that anyone can view the pictures you post to Facebook. Similarly, exercise some restraint when you post updates to your wall. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t post on the front page of your local newspaper. Use discretion when you decide to share what you’re doing, thinking or feeling. Or adjust your privacy settings if you want to keep your posts or pictures private.

Twitter is valuable because it allows you to tap into a community of people from around the world who share similar interests. Join the conversation and connect with people you know and whom you’d like to know. Look for opportunities to share your ideas, opinions and interests with people you respect professionally.

Twitter connects strangers and friends alike. For example, if you’re about to head off to an industry conference, search Twitter for the associated hashtag. Discover which of your colleagues will be there as well. Introduce yourself to new contacts you want to meet and reconnect with old acquaintances. Use the opportunity to coordinate when you’ll be able to meet with people for breakfast, coffee or dinner.

Drive traffic to your website through the promotion of your own content. Share advice, ask questions, and stay informed about trends in your industry. Re-tweet someone’s post if it’s informative, entertaining or relevant. Twitter is also a great social tool to introduce yourself to someone who might not otherwise follow you on Facebook or LinkedIn.

You can profit immensely from the use of LinkedIn as a professional networking tool to grow your business. Update your profile with your career accomplishments, company information and education. Remember to keep your information up-to-date so your connections will be able to track your progress and support your accomplishments. LinkedIn is also a great place to share articles, join professional networking groups, and exchange ideas with others.

Connect with people you know and trust. Only endorse individuals you would refer to a client, colleague or friend. This will protect your reputation and grant credibility to the recommendations you make.

When you request a connection, write a personal note in lieu of the template greeting. Remind the person who you are and how you know each other. To make an introduction, write a note to each individual and explain why you think they should collaborate.

Bonus: Your website
The majority of people research companies and individuals online before they ever contact them. Though your website may not be as “social” as some of your social networking profiles, it’s just as critical. The best websites and blogs are timely, informative and entertaining.

To make the best impression, ensure your website reflects your business, industry and brand. The information you provide on your site should be credible and brand you as a reliable source. The more user-friendly the website, the easier it is for visitors to find what they need. Finally, keep your website up-to-date and include content that’s relevant to your customers.

Display your contact information — including your email address — prominently as well as links to your social media profiles. This will help you connect with potential customers and other professionals through multiple channels.

Finally, you know your social media efforts are working when a person says, “I feel like I know you even though we’ve never met in person.”

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4 Reasons Small Business Owners Should Overcome Their Fear and Embrace Facebook

Via Huffington Post

Facebook has become an indispensable tool for large brands, but many small businesses are still sitting on the sidelines. Many – if not most – small businesses have Facebook Pages, but one recent study found that 70% of such pages are inactive, meaning they haven’t been updated in the last month. As Facebook continues to gain users at the astonishing clip of 250,000 per day, this inactivity is an increasingly important missed opportunity.

Local businesses fear Facebook for a number of reasons, from concerns about losing control of their brand and their customers, to the simple fear of wasting time. To calm those fears, consider the following.

#1 – Facebook is an unparalleled resource
The single best part about Facebook is its scale. With over 1.1 billion users, more than 2 billion connections between local businesses and people, and record-setting engagement measured by time-on-site, Facebook is the single best place to interact with customers online. It’s the only Web site that you can safely assume your customers use on a regular basis. By contrast, traditional business Web sites, while arguably necessary to provide information and show legitimacy in the 21st century, usually get very few visits and see very little engagement.

With the introduction of Facebook Graph Search, people are increasingly searching for local businesses on Facebook. At a minimum, you should ensure that they can find your branded Page, complete with vanity URL, hours of operation, contact info and other basic details. In today’s world, anything less is negligent.

#2 – The power of referral networking
For most small businesses, a large percentage of new business comes through referrals. In some industries, like financial planning, business owners consistently report that more than 90% of their new business starts with a referral. If you’re not prioritizing tapping your existing client base for referrals, you’re missing the best available opportunity to grow your business.

The average person sees around 400 advertisements daily. Word of mouth cuts through the noise, but as society becomes increasingly reliant on Internet resources, it’s ever more important to convert word of mouth to online reviews that people can find, especially in high-stakes businesses that depend on a high degree of trust between professionals and their clients. Facebook has a huge role to play in the process of bringing genuine word-of-mouth referrals to the web.

#3 – Facebook can help protect you from brand risk
Everyone knows that sensational news stories sometimes take on a life of their own, and when that happens to a major brand, franchisees and other local business affiliates sometimes pay a hefty price. For example, Chick-Fil-A franchises around the country were recently left scrambling to do damage control after President Dan Cathy made controversial anti-gay comments. A strong Facebook presence can help protect your business from such bad publicity by creating a meaningful distinction between the national story and your local branch, and by giving you an avenue to reach out to customers directly with the message that you want them to hear.

#4 – You can no longer effectively opt out
Like it or not, as a business owner, you’re a public figure, and people can and will talk about you on Facebook regardless of your participation. You can fight it, or you can recognize that the sharp distinctions between friend, colleague, prospect and customer are disappearing, and that for many small businesses, the personal and professional spheres are converging.

A broad network of supporters who care about a business can make the difference between its success and failure, so just as you’d give an important client your personal cell phone number as an indication of your commitment to their satisfaction, it’s only natural that you should open up on Facebook in the same way.

Many successful businesses are adopting an “open book” policy where they share both the good and the bad about their business publicly in an effort to build trust with customers, and for independent professionals like real estate agents, it’s even possible to display business reviews on your personal Facebook profile.

Bottom Line
Facebook is not going anywhere, and as a small business owner, it’s one of the few place where you have the ability to take control of your business’ story and reputation. Embrace that advantage, and you’ll be well-positioned to succeed going forward. Resist, and you will inevitably fall behind.

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Study on Social Media ID’s New Auto Purchasing Model

New York — Social media and mobile access have an overwhelming influence over the consumer decision journey associated with a vehicle purchase, concluded a new study commissioned by Starcom Media Vest Group and led by its social media agency Big Fuel. The findings point to a new automotive purchasing model the two firms said could unlock new and expanded marketing opportunities for dealers.

The study used advanced social listening and conversation segmentation to analyze more than 10 million automotive conversations and other consumer engagements. Over a 12-month period, data was collected from social media platforms including Twitter, public Facebook posts, blogs, forums, YouTube and blogs.

Study Findings and Implications for Marketers
Finding No. 1: One of the emerging trends the study identified was how social media has expanded the “during purchase” phase, which the firms say reflects the rise of social check-ins and status updates via mobile devices and the addition of a “post purchase satisfaction and dissatisfaction” stage.
Implication: The firms said this creates new messaging and brand experiences. It also means dealers may need to consider adding dedicated brand ambassadors or customer service representatives to monitor social media sites for post-purchase dissatisfaction.

Finding No. 2: People in the U.S. market are having conversations about their auto purchase journey, on average, 30,000 times per day, 1,250 times per hour and 21 times per minute on social media. Twitter alone generated 184 million potential impressions per day.”
Implication: Use the social data to amplify the impact of all marketing activity based upon learnings from listening and measurement.

Finding No. 3: The single largest type of conversation in the new journey resides in the “consideration” phase at 29 percent. Brands not included in this phase rarely make it to the final stage of the auto purchase journey.
Implication: Influence make and model decisions by managing the copy rotations and media placement decisions. Align copy and placement to when and where the “consideration phase” conversation is taking place when launching new models.

Finding No. 4: “Declaration of purchase” represents 19 percent of total conversation. People feel compelled to show off their new cars to their social networks and express how excited they are to have taken ownership. When declaring their car purchases, new owners are 2.4 times more likely to attach a photo of their new car to add visual appeal to the excitement than to check-in or self-identify as at a dealership.
Implication: Utilize social direct marketing during the much larger-than-expected “declaration of purchase” phase. Connect with consumers in a meaningful way by offering relevant added value benefits and amplifying the joy generated by the purchase to other potential buyers in the area. Advanced photo tracking can help automate this process in order to scale effectively.

Finding No. 5: “Post purchase satisfaction” conversation occurs three times more often than post purchase dissatisfaction conversation. When discussing dissatisfaction, conversation tends to be more passionate and has higher levels of emotion than in positive conversation.
Implication: Continuing the relationship and the “post purchase satisfaction” conversations with buyers can potentially lead them through to their next purchase journey. The balance of emotion vs. rational statements suggest the relationship gets stronger and can be optimized via extended conversation and relationship marketing.

“These findings identify opportunities for marketers to engage at pivotal times in the purchase funnel,” says Laura Desmond, global CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group. “It gives us the insights needed to connect with real-time, contextually relevant content that can positively drive engagement and influence at various purchasing stages. From customer service and offering timely added-value benefits, to optimizing scheduling media placements for when and where the conversation is taking place, the findings identified clear implications and opportunities for marketers engaging through social.”

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