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http://www.InterneetSales20Group.com 267-319-6776

Jason Manos , General Manager of Toyota Manhattan Reviews The Internet Sales 20 Group in New York…

Jason says that when he was told from the VP Of Operations he had to go to a 3 day workshop, he was not to thrilled. Like all other General Managers, there is a lot going on in a dealership… not rot mention in New York City. But Jason goes on to say how he was BLOWN AWAY and Highly recommends the Internet Sales 20 Group for ANYONE but he also suggests that senior management and owners should definitely attend.

Toyota Manhattan is part of the BRAM Auto Group which generate over a Billion Dollars!

If you want any information for #IS20G, please call me on my persona cell phone # 267-319-6776

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DealerSynergy

Just had Anthony Alagona come in and do 5 day of intense training.  Both Sean and Anthony were the best.  Got great help with scrips, inbound, outbound, special finance, price, availability you name it they had it.  Also got a lot of help with the motivation.  Thanks for Sean and Anthony I pulled a book out of closet that I got years ago and never gave much thought to.  The Secret.  I'm deep into it now and just within the last couple of days have experience a change in my attitude.  This is all thanks to DealerSynergy. 

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AutoUSA recently completed its 2013 auto dealer Internet Marketing survey, in which we asked "What is the most common sales objection you are hearing from customers?" We summarized results from 147 respondents, including Internet sales managers, sales managers, BDC managers, marketing managers and senior management.

According to our survey, these are the most common sales objections:

  • Our price not in line with customer expectations (28%)
  • Customer can't get financing (19%)
  • Consumer confidence with economy (14%)
  • Customer can't afford a new vehicle (12%)
  • Customer doesn't have time/too busy (10%)
  • Dealership didn't have desired model available (5%)
  • Customer didn't like dealership sales process (1%)

When we include other answers such as "customer wanted price before coming in," "need to talk to husband/wife," "not offering enough money for trade-in," it’s evident that affordability and pricing are key to the decision-making process. So how can we deal with affordability objections?

It starts with understanding the customer’s process. Thanks to increased transparency on the Internet, and to the numerous e-commerce sites out there, today's consumer is used to being in control of the purchasing process. If we want to buy something, we use the Internet to conduct research, read product or service reviews, do some comparative price shopping and then finally, click a button. Purchase complete.

When it comes to buying a vehicle, the consumer attempts to follow this same path. For the most part, they can. There are sites that provide information in abundance, reviews of both vehicles and local dealers, and pricing guidance. When it comes to detailed affordability options, like finance or lease payments, those sites often fall short and customers either target the wrong car or seek out the dealer for answers.

You can help the consumer by giving information they can’t reliably get anywhere else. As dealers, we understand that many factors go into giving a price quote - it's not always an easy, cut-and-dry number to give. It’s OK to educate your customers on this, but you also have to give them information, and proactively at that.

On your website, include real payments using payment-quoting tools such as Payment ProSM. When you receive phone calls, answer questions about pricing directly and be prepared to follow up with key questions that will help you shape the conversation and identify if the customer is on the right vehicle. In the showroom and on the lot, don’t be afraid to have conversations about payment ranges or even post them on cars.

Today's consumer feels entitled to information. If you can help the customer find the information they are looking for instead of stonewalling them, you build trust. And trust is the key to overcoming objections and gaining the sale.

I'd like to hear from Internet sales managers and sales managers. What are the most common objections you are hearing, and how do you overcome these objections? What has worked and what hasn't?

 

Come visit us at booth # 3514 at NADA and ask for a demo of Payment Pro!

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http://www.internetsales20group.com 856-546-2440
Congratulations Kristen Buckley For Winning The Internet Sales 20 Group's "Best Idea Contest" $1,000 CASH Prize Sponsored By Dealertrack Technologies

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Take Our Survey for a Chance to Win $300!

It's that time again! AutoUSA is collecting responses to its annual Fall Internet Marketing survey. Sales Managers, Sales Directors, Internet Sales Managers, BDC Managers, Internet Directors, General Managers, dealer principals and others involved in auto dealership Internet Marketing are invited to participate.

 

The survey is just 15 questions and will take less than 15 minutes to complete. When all responses are collected, we will randomly select one survey participant to receive a $300 Visa gift card. But you can't win if you don't answer the questions! Please click on the link below to get started, and in less time than it takes to finish your cup of coffee, you will be entered into the prize drawing. In order to be eligible for the prize, you must work at a dealership and be a resident of the U.S. or Canada.

 

Thank you so much for your time and participation!

 

Click here to get started:http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AutoUSAFall2013AIS

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Are you a "Hater"?

Listening to Grant Cardone, I have determined that I am 100% a "Hater". Hard thing to say and repeat out loud. I am a hater. So are you, too? If so, what are you going to do about it? I'm learning that sitting around hating on your job does nothing but kill you. If you want to increase your business, stop hating your job and do something about it.

Sean talks about the "3 Minute Book" in a lot of his references and especially today in "Make Money Monday". It's not hard to do. Make your binder and create your path. I'm learning that you must track 100% of your opportunities. Learn from your mistakes. See where you need to improve your numbers, and you'll find why you hate your job. Make yourself increase your numbers. Train yourself to be better. Strive to be the best in your store. Strive to be the best in your area. Strive to be the best in your State. Strive to be the best in the country. Set your goals. Keep your goals updated. Beat your goals. Create a better life for you and your family. 

Stop being the "Hater" we all talk about. Stop infecting the whole sales floor and look to dominate your business. Maybe you don't know you're the hater -- like me -- but just look at your numbers and see where you are and where you want to be. Make it happen. 

Go to work to WORK -- Not Hate. 

Zach 

@yourautoguyzach 

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Facebook has been a promising venue through which to market a dealership ever since it reached a high level of popularity back in 2008. Back then, it was just breaking the hundred million user level and was showing signs that it would be able to be business-friendly in contrast to its rival MySpace. Now, it’s 10 times bigger and commands more time of humans than any other website.

The problem is that it’s not the easiest marketing platform to master. Unlike Google, Twitter, and other players that are used on a daily basis, Facebook has algorithms that keep dealers from finding success. Google has an algorithm, of course, but because people go to it to find businesses, they make it very easy for those willing to pay money or play by the optimization rules to get the exposure they need. On Facebook, users aren’t going there to engage with businesses so trying to “sneak in” marketing and advertising is an act that goes contrary to the desires of the users. This is why the algorithm can be so harsh.

It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible. There is plenty of advice on the internet that tells businesses and marketers how to have success on Facebook. Unfortunately, some of it is poor advice. Others are simply antiquated. Most make general assumptions. There aren’t very many specifics that small businesses can use to make an impact.

The best way for a local business to move the needle is to get to a point of local exposure and built up trust that allows them to give their marketing messages exposure and that promotes communication with customers and potential customers through the network itself. Accomplishing this takes a process.

The first three steps in the process are the easiest, the ones that can all be described in a single blog post. The stages beyond the first three get much more complex, not because they’re so much harder but because they become very specific to the goals of the dealership as well as the personality of the team. We can’t go into those, but the first three should be enough to get you going:

1. Grow locally

Here’s the bad news. If you have accumulated a ton of fans outside of your market area, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to dump everyone and start over. It’s not fun. It’s not easy (unless your following is so extended that you have to delete the page altogether and start from scratch – that’s easy). It can be one of the most gut-wrenching decisions you’ll ever make pertaining to your social media marketing, particularly if you’ve been doing it for years. All that effort, wasted. It hurts.

The good news is that building back up from scratch isn’t as hard as most think. It requires money – Facebook advertising is the best way to get a local following built up – but not much. Many businesses are already through this stage and can boast having a mostly-localized following. Regardless of how you get there, this is the first step – get your following up to acceptable level.

2. Get engagement

This is always the scariest piece of advice and the most challenging stage to implement. First, the term “engagement” is so overused and misunderstood. To so many, it means cats. The internet is loaded with cats. People post pictures of cats all the time. It seems like a great place to start.

On a local business page, there should be no cats allowed unless you’re building a page for a veterinarian.

Every business has some sort of relevant content that can be posted. No business is so boring that they can’t find interesting things to post that pertain to what they do. This is paramount – car dealers should be posting cars, automotive tips, and localized events because that’s what the people who liked their page expect. There’s no need to get too clever. Strong content doesn’t have to be contrived. It doesn’t have to be shared from George Takei’s awesome Facebook page.

Keep it organic. Keep it real. Keep it relevant. Your fans will like it and become engaged (whatever that really means).

3. Earn the right to market

There was a question asked on a forum about how to judge success on a Facebook page. They had built up to a nice number of fans. Their fans were mostly localized. They had engaging content on the page (though there were some cat-like posts that we don’t recommend, but otherwise it wasn’t bad). Now, they wanted to see where the ROI was.

Unfortunately, there was none, at least not that was noticeable. They had made it through to stage three but hadn’t taken it to the next level.

Facebook users aren’t as silly as we often believe. They don’t like a local business page without the understanding that they’ll likely see some marketing materials cross their feed from time to time. If they don’t want the marketing content, they wouldn’t like a business in the first place.

Some take this to the extreme and post only marketing stuff. This is a huge mistake based upon what was mentioned above – the algorithm. Marketing content does not perform very well under most circumstances, so having only marketing content won’t work. You’ll lose fans. You’ll move down in the news feed based upon poor EdgeRank. You’ll be broadcasting messages that nobody will ever see.

In stage three, local businesses have to earn the right to post marketing content by doing a couple of things. First, they have to be very proficient at step 2 and have an audience that is engaged. Then, they have to craft their marketing content in a way that can get the message out there while doing minimal damage to EdgeRank or following. There is no way to post marketing content that won’t turn some people off. You simply want to minimize the damage. Done right, there are more positive effects to EdgeRank from the right marketing material than any of the negatives that are bound to happen.

It must be timed appropriately. That timing is based upon the activities on the page on a regular basis, but the right mix of conversational and converting content should be worked in. Too much and you lose too many fans. Too little and there’s no ROI. Finding the right mix is the key and it’s something that must be diagnosed on an individual basis rather than prompted in a blog post.

* * *

These are just the first three stages. There are more, but again they are really dependent on more factors than that can be described in a post. Whatever you do, don’t jump ahead. Engaging content is worthless if you have 20 fans. Marketing content is worthless if you have the fans but they’re not engaged. If you start here, you can get to the next level which is true return on investment. You have to start somewhere.

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Thanks to the crew at Digital Dealer for the opportunity to speak on Reputation Management at Digital Dealer.

Digital Dealer may have presumed Reputation Management would be the most sought after topic at the conference.  Ah-no.   I was shocked at standing room only in some sessions but not for the topic of reviews and reputation mgmt.

The lack of butts in seats for all rep mgmt sessions reveals many dealers simply view it and the truth of what is reputation best practice as a nice to have, not a have to have. 

I likened it to hearing your smoke detector go off in the middle of the night—and you get up and remove the battery! The irritating beeping sound stops, but the fire is still raging, and you're not addressing it!

The reputation industry scandals are the clue phones that are ringing with warnings. 

For instance, Forbes released news of “mug shot extortionists” who targeted a man who had gotten a DUI.

His arrest and mug shot quickly surfaced online and his wife received an email from a service provider letting her know that for a small fee, approximately $400, the service would get the posting and photo back down. Horrified of what the item might do to her business if it were seen by distributors, she quickly complied. Problem solved.

Then several weeks later the item appeared on a nearly identical site and she received an identical offer: Pay $400, and the new item could be removed from the web. By now my friend realized she was in an endless loop of extortion. But her initial $400 is gone, and for now, at least, the damaging item lives on.

Forbes also provided this news from a source in the U.K., who asked that they not be identified by name:

“I am aware of the extortion used by most of the biggest ORM firms out there, to name one, it is [redacted]. You will see a huge list of websites they claim they are able to remove bad reviews, reports, affair complaints and trade complaints from. Our team became aware of a scandal where we found that many of these sites have either been setup by the company themselves, or have created financial relationships with the owners of the sites to remove content when paid.”

“Most of the biggest [ORM] Online Reputation Management firms are involved in this kind of mafia extortion. A client of ours who refused to do business with [redacted, but a different company than the first] found a slew of negative listings about themselves appear online just a few weeks later. The company called again and remarked they ‘knew about them,’ offering our client a reduced contract of $25k a month to remove or demote the results.” “What a racket!” said Cheryl Conner, contributor for Forbes.

There isn’t any industry or person exempt from being attacked in this way, hence proactive review building and short circuiting complaints is now mandatory to survive as a business.  Many decision makers are unaware of the dangers of reactive reputation management, versus proactive reputation management, and that is a bit frightening. 

The search engines will shift algorithms again and Dealers Google scores will soar or hit the floor, based on using honest and unbiased steps to building reviews or manipulative means to publish reviews preferentially. 

The worst practices and the impact of unbiased and dishonest reputation mgmt practices have yet to hit a dealers bottom line. Meaning, dealers have been sold worst practices, veiled as best practices that in the short term can satisfy a dealers appetite to get reviews posted and manage  negative sentiment.  Fact is, a number of our new dealer clients stopped following what they thought were best practice, fatigued from low review response rates, the hemorrhaging of removed reviews or de-ranking penalties.

What about the Google slap in August that was symptomatic of not paying attention to best practices?  Perhaps Google was elusive and sent all of us mixed messages and failed to strongly sway dealers from setting up a review kiosk in the showroom. Regardless, that's not my point. My point is unbiased and honest review building has powerful meaning. 

What I want to know is...could the next Google slap have been avoided had dealers followed the Google rules of how to harvest honest and unbiased reviews in a non manipulative proactive process. For example, will Google slap dealers who use, in my opinion, a biased process where the dealer sends a feedback survey and IF the customer is satisfied, customers are sent an email to post a positive review?

The unpredictable giants; Google and Yelp.  Will they continue to throw down the reputation gavel and sentence dealers to review purgatory who do not pay them or fail to nudge the customer to post on yelp if they are a yelper [10 reviews or more] or on GLocal if an active Google-user? Will they say, we warned you, again!  Will penalties only apply to those whose violations are the most extreme; for example, allegedly hiring for reviews,like Samsung did recently. 

Please revisit the conflict of interest page from Google and define how you define honest and unbiased in terms of how you manage your reputation and build reviews or negate complaints.

Dealers with a biased or dishonest control of reviews may see a slow decay in their reputation scores and ranking.

Will dealer decision makers shift their consciousness to a more proactive understanding and do what Google says about honesty and unbiased review building, literally!  Perhaps, we humans are wired that way; we need a good slap to our reputation before we wake up to that beeping sound, and finally call the reputation fire department to put out the review destroying fire
.

Jerry Hart
President
eReputationBUILDER
Schedule a free demo
888-810-0441

 

 

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Picture the following scene. You're throwing a party. You have even sent out invitations. You have allowed your guests to each bring a +1 or even +2. Fastforward. It's the party. You're standing by the door, casually talking to a friend of yours. Every so often another one of your guests strolls in with one or two people you have never met before. And, you completely ignore them even after they've extended their respective hands to greet you. That party isn't going to last very long. 

When your Twitter account receives new followers, whether it's two or ten, are you ignoring them? Or, are you reciprocating their virtual handshake? It should be custom for any dealership or business to at least thank their newest followers. They have, after all, taken the time to check out your page and click the "Follow" button. You should be grateful that someone cares what you have to say. This may seem like a silly topic to discuss, but it ties into the larger problem that most dealerships face when it comes to social media. The anti-human tweeters, I like to call them. J.D. Rucker recently touched on this (See here: Dealer Should Posts Fewer Links and More Interactions, Text, and Images

It's so simple, yet many fail to do it. When we were children, we were always taught to say "Thank you" upon receiving something from a friend, family member, neighbor, and so forth. On Twitter, it should be no different. It only takes a few seconds to tweet to "@ILOVEFORD123" and say "Thanks for following!! Looking forward to connecting." Depending upon the person, you may not even hear from them ever again. But, that's not the point. The point is that you're building an online community and the evolution of your virtual network starts with a simple handshake. 

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It took listening to my own words in a Twitter conversation for me to realize that I had barely brushed over the most important aspect finding the right times to post on social media for business.

This is Part IV of the series on timing. Please read Part I, Part II, and Part III first.

While engaging with @Activyst, one of @MariSmith's Twitter fans, the ideas surrounding the differences in opinions about the best times to post became clear...

That's how the conversation started, but in my head I took it further. How would time zones affect timing? Audience type clearly affects it, especially when considering local businesses versus worldwide businesses. It's easy to simply say, "test it out," but are there best practices that can streamline the process and come up with conclusions faster? These questions led to these ideas...

 

Establishing a Baseline

Technically speaking, "test" shouldn't be the very first step. You must first analyze what's happening with current posts before trying to improve on them, so analyzing to create a baseline is an essential start. Social media analysis comes in many forms for brands, particularly on Facebook where success can manifest in different ways. Likes, comments, and shares are one measurement. Reach is another, and while it's often affected by the comments, likes, and shares, there are other factors that come into play. Those using Sponsored Posts, for example, may find that their ads perform better at different times than non-sponsored posts.

 

Facebook allows you to look back at the posts that were most popular. If you're using static posting times, it's possible to look back. You will have to count the posts to determine the exact times; for example, if you know you post at 5:30am, 10:30am, and 7:30pm, then you'll have to isolate the three posts during a particular day to know which was posted at what time since Facebook only shows you the date they were posted once it gets beyond 24 hours.

There's good and bad to the way that the Facebook news feed and advertising algorithms work. Because your past influences your future, it's often hard to go back too far to find success because the influencing factors have changed. You have more or fewer fans, you have been removed or added to news feeds, and the way that you posts become popular is in a constant state of change. Still, you'll need to start somewhere.

Once you have an idea of both the type of content that was most popular as well as the times that they were posted, it's time to make your first adjustments and start...

 

Testing

This is the easy part, actually. Start posting at different times and see what works best at which times. Keep track of your results, of course, and keep in mind a few factors:

  • It's not just about times but also days. Posting times differ from day to day, between weekdays and weekends, etc.
  • Take note of external factors. For example, if there are large trade shows in your industry at the time, it can affect what people are seeing and talking about on social media.
  • As long as the external factors are minimal, use a week for each test component. For example, this week you can post at 6:00am and 2:00pm. Next week you can try 5:30am and 2:30pm. Then, the following week you can go back to the initial 6:00am and 2:00pm, but this time you'll flip-flop the post types such as posting images in the morning and links in the afternoon.
  • Avoid analyzing in real time. There's no need to monitor your stats constantly. Wait for the week to be over before looking back at the data.
  • Stay consistent with your use of Sponsored Stories. The test won't work if you're promoting the Monday morning post one week and not promoting it the following week.

This entire process should be ongoing for a while. A month if often not enough to get a real feel for what works. Mix and match. Throw in additional posts every now and then. Most importantly, don't let the testing get in the way of business needs. If you have a big sale in a couple of weeks and you really want to make it successful, post more, advertise more, and make it happen.

 

This isn't very hard. It just takes patience and persistence. It's your business. They're your customers. Focus on your goals and let the data guide you. If it works, stick with it. If it can work better with some adjustments, try them. Analyze your results regularly and you'll have a much better understanding of how to reach the most possible people.

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Poor Writing Is No Laughing Matter

The title of Lynne Truss’ runaway bestseller Eats, Shoots and Leaves (Gotham Books, 2003) illustrates the impact of a wayward comma:

A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots into the air.

“Why?” asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

“I’m a panda,” he says, at the door. “Look it up.”

The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.

“Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”

Although Truss’ anecdote is humorous, poor writing by employees is no laughing matter, and in fact can cost your company millions—or billions—of dollars in rework and misunderstanding. A 2008 white paper by International Data Corporation (IDC) showed that businesses in the United States and the United Kingdom were losing an estimated $37 billion as a result of “employee misunderstanding.” The term is defined as “actions or errors of omission by employees who have misunderstood or misinterpreted (or were misinformed about) company policies, business processes, job function or a combination of the three.” The authors wrote,

Employee misunderstanding is a very different proposition to a deliberate disregard for the rules or a plain mistake, whereby an employee simply does something that they didn’t mean to (like forgetting to back up computer storage or putting a decimal point in the wrong place)…. The financial cost of employee misunderstanding is immense…. Of the industries we researched, banks suffer the greatest losses and transportation the least. Loss of business due to unplanned downtime was the largest area of loss attributed to employee misunderstanding.

What causes employee misunderstanding? Poor, unclear, or no communication, leaving employees without the knowledge they need to do their jobs correctly.

There is more evidence. An SIS International Research study prepared for Siemens Enterprise Communications in 2009 explored and quantified communication difficulties experienced by small to medium-sized businesses, up to 400 employees. The researchers concluded that waiting for information, unwanted communications, inefficient coordination, barriers to collaboration, and customer complaints caused productivity losses estimated to be $26,041 per knowledge worker per year.

Unfortunately, even college graduates are not getting the preparation they need to communicate effectively in writing. In Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses (University of Chicago Press, 2011), authors Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa concluded that 45 percent of students “did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning” after two years of college; and that 36 percent “did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning” after four years!

In an article about the book, Scott Jaschik of the Chronicle of Higher Education wrote,

[The authors] review data from student surveys to show, for example, that 32 percent of students each semester do not take any courses with more than 40 pages of reading assigned a week, and that half don’t take a single course in which they must write more than 20 pages over the course of a semester.

What are employers to do?

Clearly, there is a case for businesses hiring for potential and training for skill in writing. But do you know what you are getting? Does your company administer a writing test to job applicants? You should, says Kyle Wiens, chief executive officer (CEO) of iFixit, the world’s largest collection of online repair manuals. In a July blog post entitled, “I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why,” Wiens wrote,

Everyone who applies for a position at either of my companies, iFixit or Dozuki, takes a mandatory grammar test. Extenuating circumstances aside (dyslexia, English language learners, etc.), if job hopefuls can’t distinguish between ‘to’ and ‘too,’ their applications go into the bin.

Admittedly, he says, he and his colleagues “write for a living.”

But grammar is relevant for all companies. Yes, language is constantly changing, but that doesn’t make grammar unimportant. Good grammar is credibility, especially on the internet. In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have. They are a projection of you in your physical absence. And, for better or worse, people judge you if you can’t tell the difference between their, there, and they’re.*

Writing skills are important now more than ever in this age of digital communication, says consultant David Silverman, contributing editor to the Guide to Better Business Writing, 2nd Edition (Harvard Business Press, 2011). “With text messages and emails, most business communication nowadays is written,” he says. “Unfortunately, our reliance on written communication, which is increasing, is inversely proportional to our abilities and our willingness to learn.” Yet written communication, he emphasizes, makes up the private and public faces of your company.

Silverman helps employees in government agencies and corporations of all sizes develop better written communication skills. The worst mistake we all make? Writing too much. “Being succinct requires time and effort, whereas including everything under the sun seems safer,” he says.

Many companies see good writing skills as an indicator of leadership potential, Silverman says. So what should knowledge workers be able to do?

“Tell a story that people will remember,” Silverman says. “Tell a story with pictures, and remove extraneous information.” In other words, think about what will be in your reader’s mind as you write. Is it cluttered, or is the path to the crucial information straight and clear?

Naturally, the rules for good writing depend on your goal, Silverman notes. Are you striving to instruct, or just to entertain? “The only viable reason to send a business email is to request action,” he says. To write emails that people will read—and act upon—use clear subject lines and include your call to action at the top. “Your messages must answer the reader’s questions, ‘What do you want me to do?’ and ‘How will I know I’ve done it?’” Silverman emphasizes.

We all make mistakes. So for critically important email messages and other documents, Silverman recommends these three steps:

Proofread carefully.
Have someone else read your work.
Wait an hour and read it again before pressing Send.
As you prepare your training budgets for 2013, consider devoting some of your expenditures to developing your employees’ writing skills. After all, even if you only cut that lost productivity of $26,000-plus in half, that is a pretty significant return on investment (ROI).

*Although the word “grammar” may seem yawn-inducing to some, it is a hot topic: Wiens’ post has generated more than 3,200 comments since it was published.

Source: http://www.clarityconsultants.com/learning-resources/poor-writing-is-no-laughing-matter/?bms.tk=BzAEqwsEk20Fk21Vr30Wp33Rr26Js17Ek20BvfrFtg

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I know it's the heart of football season and the beginning of basketball season, but baseball is the sport that truly helps to illustrate this particular post. On social media, not all times are created equal. It's important to know where and when to place your pitches to let your fans and followers hit home runs for you.

 

There have been much more scientific studies that detail this. I have to disagree with most of these because they ones I've seen have missed an important aspect or two. For the most part, they're basing their research on when people are most active on social media and the volume of posts happening at that time. Unfortunately, this is an incomplete data set. I've based my research strictly on business engagement - when are people willing to interact with the companies they like and follow.

 

Also, I've taken into consideration the science behind the Facebook feed itself. For example, one of the "sweet spots" that nearly every study I've seen skips the dead zone of 5:00am-5:30am. Fewer people are up and about checking their social media at this time, so it's not on the list. This is a huge mistake. Getting in line to appear on Facebook and Twitter feeds means posting at the moment or right before people pick up their smartphones, flip open their tablets, or switch on their computers to hit social media. Posts in the dead zone performed exceptionally well for businesses as they weren't shoved down on the feeds by the ever-important friend posts.

 

In other words, people saw and engaged with these posts first thing in the morning, setting up a nice day with quick likes, comments, and shares. This helps with posts throughout the day.

 

It's important to understand where this data originated. Since May, 2012, I've been researching with actual business pages about times, content, tools, etc. This has been a real-world study based on trial and error as well as result tracking. I've read the studies. I've guided my research around them and improved on them with months of testing. These aren't theories. I've seen it all working in action.

 

With that out of the way, let's go straight into the sweet spots:

  • 7:30pm-8:00pm - While most studies considered 5am as too early to post, most of them also considered 8pm as too late. Data shows differently. This wasn't the case in the beginning of my research; the times when people are engaging with businesses on social media has elongated. On 37 of 42 pages posting at this time, we received the highest number of likes and comments as well as retweets and reblogs for posts that happened between 7:30pm and 8:00pm starting in August. Prior to that, the numbers were better from 7:00pm to 7:30pm. This is contrary to daylight trends and did not see a change after the most recent clock change, so I can say with a near certainty that the change is based upon people either staying on social media longer or starting later in the evening. Either way, this sweet spot is a must-time to post, particularly with messages that are either not time-sensitive or relevant for the following day.
  • 5:00am-5:30am - Again, this time is contrary to other studies, but as I mentioned above it's shown to be an amazing time for businesses to post. Strangely, this was not the case for my personal posts; things that I personally post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and my other individual social networks do not perform as well as the business posts.
  • 5:30pm-6:00pm - Depending on the study, this is either too late or right at the end of the best times to post. Engagement was high for these posts and helped to set up the engagement on the later post.
  • 10:00am-10:30am - This falls well within the recommended posting times on most studies I've read and performed better than posts done earlier or later in the morning. Videos did better at this time than other times, something that makes one wonder what people are doing a couple of hours after they get to the office.

One glaring omission is early afternoon. Nearly every study I've seen proclaims this time as social media gold. It is if you're posting pictures of little Timmy sliding into 3rd base. It's not if you're a business. Your posts get lost, particularly with recent changes to the Facebook news feed algorithm. We ran afternoon testing on over 120 business profiles and found that they simply didn't reach the audience the way that morning and evening posts did.

 

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This post has been coming for a long time. For the sake of transparency, I should note that I've been "sitting on it" for a while and relishing in the poor data and bad studies that are guiding many others in the industry, but guilt won out and it became time to come clean.

 

At the end of the day, the best thing to do is to find your sweet spot. Just like in baseball, not every batter likes it right down the middle. Some like it high and inside. Others go yard to the opposite field when they get pitches low and away. Your business, your demographic, your fan base - those are the things that should determine when you post. This is only a guide.

 

In the next part of this series, we'll discuss ideas surrounding the types of things to post at different times as well as the importance of understanding the days. The weekend can be a flurry of activity for your business profiles, while Wednesday in general is awful - surprising facts when you consider that businesses generally post more on Wednesday than Saturday and Sunday combined. Stay tuned.

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Aspen Photo / Shutterstock.com

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