A New Hashtag Tool- That is Pretty Cool

Twitter HashtagThe hashtag allows us to filter our message and reach audiences outside of our “follower” circle. It puts our words into larger conversation pools and allows us to gain exposure while networking and connecting with like-minded/interested audiences.  It is how we categorize messages, host chats through social media and focus our marketing campaigns.

But what is even MORE awesome is when you use THE RIGHT hashtag. When you hit a tag popularity jackpot and your social media influence takes off! That is when you really start communicating with your target audience and the dialogues open up.

Meet Hashtag Scout: http://www.hashtagscout.com

Hashtag Scout allows you to “Find related, recent, and relevant Twitter hashtags with ease.” All you have to do is enter your keyword or proposed hashtag and Hashtag Scout will generate popular hashtags related to the word(s) you entered. There is no charge to search and it is extremely user friendly- the minimalist design really makes for stress-free navigation.

This program should help you get your message out on twitter without the hashtag guess work.

Check it out and let us know your thoughts!

SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats

When was the last time you sat down and wrote a S.W.O.T Analysis for your company?

A year? Two years? Never? Don’t think it’s necessary?

BROCCOLI Consulting- Swot Analysis Template
BROCCOLI Consulting- Swot Analysis Template

I beg to differ.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with S.W.O.T, it is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is a brainstorming tool that allows you to evaluate your company’s current standing both internally and externally. It’s important to review your company’s S.W.O.T on a regular basis because things change. The economy, your product/service, customers, trends and competition… nothing is guaranteed and you really need to be aware of where you stand amongst it all.

Some questions you should take into consideration when completing the analysis are:

  1. What are we doing well?
  2. What can we improve on?
  3. Can we expand?
  4. What is our competitor doing better/ next?
  5. What is our next step?
  6. How is our workforce?
  7. How are our facilities?
  8. How is our product/service compared to our competitors?
  9. What is our reputation like?
  10. Are we affected my emerging technology?
  11. How is our web presence? SEO?
  12. How is the economy right now? How will it be in a year?
  13. What current trends could harm you/ help you?

Ask yourself the above and categorize your answers under strength, weakness, opportunity or threat on a S.W.O.T diagram. For your convenience- please feel free to download a free, blank S.W.O.T .PDF sheet below.

Click Here to Download a Free S.W.O.T Analysis Template

Put some time aside in the near future to complete the assessment and use your findings to improve and develop your business strategies moving forward. You may be surprised with the results- sometimes the simplest alteration to your current disposition will send positive ripples throughout your organization!

Have fun!

Crystal Lengua

How Well Do You Know Your Target Market?

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

Bill Cosby

Every product/service has its ideal target market. If you try and please everybody? You may end up pleasing nobody. Target markets are important because they shape the way we do our business, influence the way we create our product/service, what language we use to describe our product/service, how we market/advertise, where we reach out, our price point and possibly our hours of operation! Target markets really influence the way we do business which is why it’s important to know them as well as you possibly can. That being said; the group you are targeting may change from time to time, season to season, campaign to campaign-and that’s fine- the important thing is that you know who you are talking to at all times or your efforts may fall flat.

MARKET RESEARCH

This is a really fun activity for me- it’s a ‘target market brainstorm bubble’. You may or may not have done one before, maybe you call it by another name- I am going to show you how I break down my target market initially to get to know them superficially. This is just a quick example- the bubbles could go on & on depending how in depth you want to go.

For this example, pretend I have shoe insoles tailored to benefit senior citizens so I want to get a better grasp of their day-to-day.

Click the diagram below to enlarge it.

So that’s how I get the initial stereotypical information. Now to take it one step further, you reach out to get the facts. It helps if you have a budget (or employees to help) but it isn’t necessary, it just takes time.

  1. Online: Search Engines, census bureaus, analytics, social media insights- all of this information can help guide you in the right direction.
  2. Surveys: You can send out online surveys to your potential market (I will cover how to create a successful survey on another blog- it needs its own day) using free sites such as ‘survey monkey’ or if you already have an email marketing package you can add on surveys with your provider. If you want to research for the future- you can include a website link on your invoices/receipts and offer something in return for their participation in your survey.
  3. Cold Calling: If you don’t know what this is, it’s when you pick up the phone book or filter an area online and conduct a survey over the phone. You will probably get hung up on… a lot… but you never know!
  4. Face-to-Face: You can approach people on the street and ask them for their opinions. Old school guerilla style. (You will notice throughout my blog that I am a big fan of guerilla marketing for small businesses). Perhaps you can have a company coupon or giveaway in exchange for their time. You have to have a thick skin for this one.
  5. Mail Outs: This is where a budget really comes in- rather than cold calling, online or in person- you MAIL your survey with a paid return to your audience in hopes that they will complete it and return it. I am not a huge fan of this tactic- I think it’s a long shot.
  6. Publications: You may be able to find information which may track demographics, sales information, trends and other customer information.

What can you add? As always I urge you to participate in the comments section below!

-Crystal Lengua-