Archive for the 'Networking' Category

10 Tips for Social Media Management

Posted on November 28, 2017

While having a regular posting schedule is important, many people think that social media management simply involves posting content regularly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.  Management of your social media involves much more than that if you want to see results.  Here are 10 things you can and should be doing to truly manage your social media.


1. Develop a strategy

develop a social media strategy

Before engaging in a campaign, have a detailed social media strategy in place. This is an outline what you are hoping to achieve.  Is it brand awareness?  Is it driving additional traffic to your website?  Is it to actually increase sales?  Is it to engage readers?  What exactly are you trying to do?  Once you have made this determination, the rest of the planning will come easy.

2. Update your branding

Review your branding and make sure it is clear and consistent.  This includes logos, tag lines, mottos, colors, type style and “flavor”.  It must be the same everywhere you post as well as other areas such as letterhead, envelopes, printed marketing materials, traditional advertising etc.  Your logo should be your profile photo.

3. Create a monthly calendar

Instead of posting on a whim, add some structure to your postings by creating a monthly posting plan list. This can help you gather content in advance and plan for important dates in your company such as sale dates, special event dates, guaranteed sell-out dates and other dates that are important to share with your clients and audience.

4. Schedule posts in advance

While some social media sites allow you schedule in advance, if you use one that doesn’t, consider an automatic posting system such as Hootsuite.  It allows you to schedule posts weeks or even months in advance so even if you are on vacation, your messages will still be posted on schedule.

5. Respond to comments

Make sure you’re responding to all messages or comments from followers within a reasonable time frame. Even if it means simply “liking” a comment.  People want to feel that you are responsive.  You can even create a document with standard responses you can use to copy and paste.  For instance, a compliment response could be: “Thank you for taking the time to share your compliment.  We always appreciate when people take the time to recognize the great effort we put forth to make sure your experience is a positive one.”

6. Listen to conversations

In addition to scheduling posts, Hootsuite can be set up to search the internet for mentions of your company name.  It is important that you chime in to conversations involving your business or your industry that could result in landing a new client.

7. Paid Advertising

You can sit around and wait for people to come to your site or you can draw them to your site by paid advertising.  Facebook has a particularly robust advertising program that allows you to target exactly who you want to connect with.  You will pay for the click of an interested party but if they clicked through to your website, let’s face it, they are an interested party.  The more you pay, the more your ads will be served to others.

8. Run competitions

Although it may not be right for every business, competitions and prize draws are very popular on social media. They can help to increase engagement levels, get more followers and help you to develop an email database. Photo contests such as The Cutest Pet Costume can drive throngs of people to your social media site.

9. Create a monthly report

Check to make sure your strategy is working by creating a monthly tracking report. Look back at how your site as performed over the last month to identify how you can improve.

social media management

10. Stay up-to-date with social media developments

Social media is fast moving, so it’s important that you actively keep abreast of new tools, feature changes, best practices and even updates to social search algorithms.

Promotional Products Speak for Your Company

Posted on September 20, 2016

put your logo on your trade show give aways

Attend any trade show and you are bound to walk away with a bag full of loot. The goodies range from cheap pens to nice ball capsThere are Post-It note pads, rulers, letter openers, paperclip holders and a myriad of other products.

So many logoed cheap items end up in the trash can of hotel rooms and never even make it home from the showThen, there are the practical items of high quality that actually serve a useful purposeThe latest promotional trend is the cellphone holder as shown This practical device cradles your cell phone on your desk allowing you to see texts as they arrive without picking it upIt forces the user to look at the logo of the company each time their phone lights upSubliminal messaging at its finest.

If you end up going the cheap route on a promotional product you are basically making your company look cheap You do not want promotional products to reflect badly upon your company as it is counter-productive and leaves people with a bad image of your company or worse yet, no image as the items ends up in the trash.

Another favorite practical promotional product is the envelope openerIt is of high quality and includes a business card from the person who gave it away Her name and the company name are seen every single business day since not a day goes by without mail to be opened The one shown is a nice heavy duty plastic version that will last for years While many people give away letter openers, may buy the cheapest, most inexpensive version on the market These are usually so small they are hard to hold in your hand and frustrating to use and end up in the garbage like other cheap items Not that there is anything wrong with cheap but there are just so many varieties given away at trade shows that it’s not practical to keep them unless you have a lot of desk space available.

The baseball cap is probably the most coveted of giveaway items However, think about what the goal of the giveaway is Are you giving them the hat simply to have something to give away or do you actually want them to wear it? Look at the two hats shown in the photo The one on the left is a high quality Flex Fit hat The material is good and the color stands out This is a hat that anyone would be proud to wear The hat on the right is of such low quality that even the manufacturer doesn’t attach their name to it It is not a hat that most people would want to wear Spend the money on a good quality premium gift and it will be used day in and day out

The Way to a Customer’s Heart is Through Their Smartphone…

Posted on August 2, 2012

A recent article in Travel Weekly, the largest of the travel trade publications, discusses travel bookings made via smartphone.

According to the article by Danny King, new research suggests that U.S. travel bookings through smartphones may have doubled in the past year, as more travelers buy the devices and more suppliers and travel intermediaries produce a broader range of travel apps.

Almost 40% of the smartphone users surveyed by Atmosphere Research Group said that they intended to use their mobile device to book a hotel stay, while 27% indicated a willingness to use their mobile devices to buy airline tickets.

“More than a third of online travelers are interested in actually sealing the deal [through mobile devices],” said Jeffrey Breen, president and co-founder of Atmosphere Research Group. “Those numbers are only going to increase.”

The article clearly points out that the survey indicated that smartphone owners are still more likely to use the devices to perform same-day travel activities, including restaurant reservations and buying theatre tickets.  We are sure that “ground transportation” was not included in the survey – as an industry, we need a concerted effort to build more visibility in the travel trade press.

Why? At stake is what’s expected to be a growing chunk of the expanding U.S. online travel market.  Annual U.S. online leisure bookings, which account for about 40% of total bookings, will jump to about $124 billion in 2012, from $109 billion last year, another industry research company, PhoCusWright, predicted in a report released last November.

The takeaway of this article is that suppliers – including ground transportation/limo companies have a real opportunity to boost reservations through mobile devices by appealing to their loyalty members (you do have a frequent ride program, right?) and having a smartphone booking application readily available to provide to your customers.

There are a ton of surprises to come with new technologies that are coming to market and there is going to be a tremendous effect on operators and other travel vendors as time goes on.  “Disruptive technologies” are changing behaviors and preferences for both the leisure and corporate traveler and those companies that embrace technology will be far better off in the future.

Please visit www.thelimousineapp.com to see the smartphone app that is available to operators.

Industry’s Powerhouse Marketing Company, Create-A-Card, Inc. becomes the largest full-service traditional and digital marketing company with its acquisition of Innovative Marketing Concepts

Posted on March 7, 2012

[March 7, 2012, St. James, NY] — Create-A-Card, Inc.’s Founder and President, Arthur Messina announced today that his company has acquired its long-time competitor, Innovative Marketing Concepts (IMC).  This acquisition enables Create-A-Card to further advance its position as the pinnacle of global marketing in the chauffeured transportation industry.

According to Mr. Messina, the acquisition will fuel what has already been exceptional business growth in revenue and market share. “This acquisition is just a part of Create-A-Card’s continuing expansion,” he said.  “With the technology and creative talent of our team, Create-A-Card, delivers the full spectrum of marketing services and support – from corporate identity development and public relations, to cutting edge digital projects and social media.

Already positioned to lead the industry in innovation, Create-A-Card will provide the companies’ combined customers a wider range of services and value.  Create-A-Card brings superior strengths and assets that you won’t find available at any other company.  According to Messina, “This is a great opportunity to leverage our market position to address customer needs in new service segments and technologies. By focusing purely on the delivery of marketing services to the chauffeured transportation industry and always delivering expert advice, this acquisition is a strategic move that we believe will position Create-A-Card for additional expansion and sustained growth.”

IMC brings world-class marketing people and an established client base to Create-A-Card, Inc. and the acquisition assures their clients that they are in excellent hands.  More importantly, Messina believes that combining the resources of both companies will provide an important strategic fit. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with such a high quality organization. We look forward to the positive sales and earnings contributions that this acquisition affords now and in the years ahead,” said Messina.  IMC feels that that this acquisition is in the best interest of their clients and feels that they will have the opportunity to be working with a superb organization.

About Create-A-Card, Inc. Create-A-Card, Inc. has, under the leadership of Arthur Messina, evolved from a specialized printing company in 1986 into what is, today, the industry’s leading full-service marketing strategy and solutions provider. For over two decades, Mr. Messina has taken a leadership position in ground transportation and has built a reputation as an industry innovator and the preferred partner for market-leading transportation companies.

For more information, please visit the www.createacardinc.com company website, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, or contact Arthur Messina @ 631-584-2273.

TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE LIMO DIGEST SHOW

Posted on November 11, 2011

The 2011 Limo Digest Show is off to a roaring start with some excellent seminars and a big turnout. The mood is very positive among the nation’s premiere transportation providers and all are optimistic for the immediate future.

There are some concerns about excessive regulation and the tendency of the current administration to “Creatively interpret” existing laws to institute draconian requirements on transpotration providers instead of going through the Congress to pass new legislation.

It has never been more important of operators to join and support their local and state limousine associations as well as the NLA.
The formation of Two new Limo Associations was announced at the show

  • Minority Limo Association of America (MLOA). The President is Maurice Brewster of Mosaic Global Transportation in California. They had a good turnout for their meeting yesterday with people standing in line to join. Our best wishes to them. www.mlooa.org
  • Coalition of Transportation Associations (COTA). This goup is primarily in the New York/New Jersey market. Former TLC Commissioner and now President of the IATR

Matt Daus made the announcement.

In a room filled with New York people, he dryly introduced it as “A new organization comprised of the five families”. This term has an unmistakable resonance in this part of the world. He was, of course being facetious in this allegory.

The five “Families” are the Limousine Associations of New Jersey (LANJ), Limousine Associations of New York (LANY), Luxury base Operators Association (LBOA), Long Island Limo Association (LILA) and Black Car Assistance Fund (BCAC).

COTA will focus on legislative issues and work to ensure that licensed operators can pass though various jurisdictions without having to be over-licensed. Our best wishes to them as well.

CADILLAC is the major sponsor of the Limo Digest Show.

They are very proud of being among the top 40 Most Favorably Described companies in the JD Power Survey. They are focusing on customer satisfaction and being one of the top luxury car brands in the world.

They feel that the Limousine Industry is an extension of their branding strategy.

The new large-body sedan that will be the cornerstone of their limo fleet is the XTS.

It is not slated for debut until next week for the Los Angeles Auto Show, so no XTS cars will be here for operators to view.

JEFF HARGETT FROM THE RITZ-CARLTON LEADERSHIP CENTER.

Jeff gave a very good presentation on outstanding customer service. It was a fast-moving and lively presentation. He is an excellent speaker, used no notes and shared our concerns about providing “Wow” service to a demanding clientale.

Cadillac had sent many of their people to Jeff for his courses. Some of his gems:

a) Ordinary people doing ordinary jobs extraordinarily well.

b) Competent employees do their job; passionate employees love their jobs.

c) Separate who you are from what you do.

d) A lack of emotional intelligence can ruin your business. (example:while 9/11 was happening, a hotel manager in NYC kept a staff meeting going)

e) You want your service to produce, “Joy, gasps, tears and a lifetime customer”.

f) Annual Employee turnover in the hospitality industry is about 65%. Last year, the Ritz Carlton only had a 16% drop.

g) Purpose creates passion. Communicate it.

h) Some people can be described by the acronym CAVE: Continually against virtually everything (Totally negative people who suck the life out of everyone around them).

i) Emotional Intelligence is comprised of self-Awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social kills.

Who is Your CCO?

Posted on September 21, 2011

By Guest Author, Randi Busse, Workforce Development Group, Inc. www.workdevgroup.com

CCO? Do you mean CEO? COO? CFO? CLO? CMO?

No, I mean CCO. Chief Customer Officer. You do have one, don’t you?

A chief customer officer (CCO) is the executive responsible in customer-centric companies for the total relationship with an organization’s customers. Your company is “customer-centric”, isn’t it? This position is a relatively new addition to the C-suite and was developed to provide a single vision across all methods of customer contact. The CCO is often responsible for influencing activities of customer relations throughout an organization, whether in the call center, sales, marketing, finance, fulfillment or post-sale support. The CCO typically reports to the Chief Executive Officer and is charged with improving the customer experience.

Chief Customer Officers may be known by many titles, however, according to the Chief Customer Officer Council, the CCO is properly defined as “an executive who provides the comprehensive and authoritative view of the customer and creates corporate and customer strategy at the highest levels of the company to maximize customer acquisition, retention, and profitability.”

Over the past five years, Forrester Research has observed an increase in the number of companies with a single executive leading customer experience efforts across a business unit or an entire company. These individuals often serve as top executives, with the mandate and power to design, orchestrate and improve customer experiences across every customer interaction. And whether firms call them Chief Customer Officers (CCOs) or give them some other label, these leaders sit at high levels of power at companies as diverse as Allstate, Dunkin’ Brands, Oracle and USAA.

When companies with CCOs made the decision to establish such a position, it often was because of a mass exodus of customers. However, other reasons included a change in leadership, a desire to accelerate growth, a reaction to a competitor’s actions or a response brought about by rapid growth.

The key role for the Chief Customer Officer is to lead Customer Experience Management:

  1. To learn what customers value and how they feel about your organization and the current experience you provide.
  2. To interpret this feedback and prioritize the most important issues.
  3. To enact change that closes the gap between customer expectations and the actual experience delivered.
  4. Finally, to monitor key metrics to ensure that your organization continually improves the customer experience.

Despite the many successes resulting from the creation of a CCO role, it’s also important to recognize that a chief customer officer is not a silver bullet for a company’s customer experience problems.

A 2009 study of over 860 corporate executives revealed that companies that had increased their investment in customer experience management over the previous three years reported higher customer referral rates and customer satisfaction (Strativity Group, 2009).

Think your company is too small to have a CCO? Think again. Those big companies started small.

Stop Hiring Employees and Start Hiring Owners

Posted on May 13, 2011

By Guest Blogger, Randi Busse
Workforce Development Group, Inc.

Imagine if all of the people that are representing your company were thinking and acting like owners of your business.  Do you think they might do their job differently?  Do you think they would take more pride in their work and make sure the job was done right the first time?  Is it possible they would come into work every day with a smile on their face excited about helping customers and solving their problems?  What impact do you think that would have on the experience that your customers have when they deal with your company?  Do you think they would feel valued and appreciated?  Would they be more loyal to your company?  Could that have a positive impact on your bottom line?

Many employees are just working for a paycheck.  They have tasks and functions that they have to do every day and many of them go through the motions detached from the people around them, whether they are customers or co-workers.  They act like robots, doing the same thing over and over again with no enthusiasm or passion.  What impact are these people having on your customers?  Do you think your customers are excited to speak with people that don’t care about them?  Do you think they are rushing to tell their friends about your company?  Or have they already left and gone to your competition?

Think about when YOU are the customer.  Who would YOU rather have taking care of you?  An employee or an owner?  Who do you think would provide you with a better experience?  Who would make sure you were happy?  Who would apologize to you if a problem occurred?  Who would genuinely thank you for your business?

Take a look around your company today.  Observe and listen.  Figure out if you have owners working for your company or whether they are “just” employees.  Your customers have already done that.  And perhaps they’ve decided not to do business with your company anymore because they don’t feel important and special. 

The next time you need to fill a position at your company, don’t get so caught up with how many years experience a candidate has.  Focus more on their attitude.  Do they have an “ownership” mentality?  If they do, that’s the person you want to consider hiring.  Employees are a dime a dozen.  Owners are the real prize.  Don’t hire employees, hire owners.  Your customers will be glad you did!

Prom Season Is Here…Are you ready?

Posted on March 21, 2011

 

There are too many proms on the same date. There are too many kids taking buses or driving themselves. No one is spending money anymore. Forget the na-sayers and start thinking about what you can do now to promote your company and book more jobs this season.

Start off by knowing your market. You are now selling to the 16-19 year old age range. At the same time, you are also selling your services to the parents of the 16-19 year olds. The students still want exciting, lights, loud sound, new, fancy, unique, one of a kind, and cool chauffeurs. While the parents are looking for safety, reputation, reliability, rules and a fair price.

So how do you accomplish this? 

You need to promote to both categories in a way to get their attention. Sell the excitement and fun experience to the students and sell the safety and reliability to the parents. This can be done by the means of a post card mailing, hand outs (fliers), a Facebook page, Youtube videos, referrals, website, prom showcase or your prom advertisements.

Post Card MailingsMost Effective. At this age group the students are receiving large quantities of mail from colleges. 

An oversized post card stands out more amongst the other clutter and also gives the parents the opportunity to see the card as well. 

Hand Outs (Fliers – Brochures) – A great way to showcase your company services and fleet. Be different, be unique, promise only what you can offer. Leave them in stores, pass them out at showcases, give to friends, hire some young sales students to help you in exchange for a discount for themselves.

Facebook Page – Youtube – Need I say more! If you don’t have one, start one up today. Every teenager is on Facebook and using Youtube and so are most of their parents. 

Prom Showcase – Display your best vehicle, most unique, brand new or perhaps a one of a kind type of vehicle. Decorate the interior to show fun and exciting, Have a younger driver and/or sales person that the kids can relate to, but not too young, where the parents are concerned. Make sure that you represent your company well. What people see is their first impression of you and your company. Have take away materials and promotional give aways so they can bring them back to show their friends and parents.

As a final note, package your prom pricing as an all inclusive price. This will make it much easier for the students and parents to understand what the cost will be per person. Example: offer your prom pricing as low as $79 pp (based on the vehicle size) to generate attention.  As most of them will be sharing the cost for your service. If you follow this simple tips for attracting more prom business, you will end up booking more jobs.

Three Common Trade Show Mistakes

Posted on February 9, 2011

www.createacardinc.comTrade shows are great way to market your business, but if you don’t handle situation correctly they can be a monumental waste of time, energy and money. Below are three common mistakes that many exhibitors make that compromise their ability to make the most out of a potentially lucrative situation.

Cheesy Booth Presentations

Too often businesses are tempted to skimp on the backgrounds for their trade show booth, but since the overall eye appeal is a major factor this should be a priority number one in your budget. Invest in slick, a professionally generated graphics, logos and banners on durable materials that won’t show wear and tear after a few shows and make sure your staff knows how to assemble them properly.

People are not in the mood to read a lot of text in a trade show atmosphere, so come up with crisp, concise language that has a playful tone. Instead of handing out tons of literature, create catchy giveaway items with your contact information — especially your website — prominently displayed. Any tasteful “special affects” that you can add to attract the eye are fair game at a trade show, so be bold and experiment with contemporary colors, rotating displays, flashing lights and alluring audio.

Expecting Too Much

Don’t think just because you invest a bundle on your presentation and have a lot of catchy giveaways that your clients will show up at your booth if you haven’t let them know you are going to be at the trade show in the first place. It is crucial to have a broadcast strategy that starts at least one month before the event to notify all of your customers, affiliates and interested parties about your participation in the trade show, what information or special deals they can expect to find and general information about the area where the trade show will be held.

Devise some intriguing trade show coupons or special local offers for visitors to your booth in your pre-trade show literature. Also be sure to provide internet links to relevant web sites that could help them do their own research and hopefully encourage them to attend.

Losing the Sale

Don’t calculate your trade show success by how many brochures your hand out or business cards you collect, but instead by how well your staff harvested crucial contact information, interacted with potential clients and were able to listen to their concerns and answer inquiries from attendees. Data collection techniques should be established, tested and double checked before every trade show and be constantly refined to capture maximum data in a minimal amount of time.

Another mistake too commonly made is that a lot of material collected is mishandled after the trade show. Be sure you have a staff member delegated specifically to establish professional follow-up procedures and respond quickly to contacts, questions and any loose ends. Make sure that no potential customers get overlooked and your collection and retrieval methods are constantly streamlined for better results in the future.

Create-A-Card, Inc. CEO Arthur Messina’s Video Interview With MyPathBuilder

Posted on October 25, 2010