Marketing - made easy
Here you will regularly find new articles on various marketing topics, written by the experts of ACISO Fitness & Health Consulting.
Select your topic:
- The 10 best tips for your Facebook fan page
- The annual marketing plan for health clubs
- How to sell fitness online - a guide for gyms
- What to do when members quit
- When "should" becomes "must"
- Body language - Your body speaks
- How the habitual brain helps you to stay number 1
- 4 fabulous do´s and dont´s 4 Facebook
The 10 best tips for your Facebook fan page
Facebook is still an essential tool for marketing activities, especially for the fitness and health industry. On the one hand you can easily provide your members with useful information and interact with them. On the other hand, Facebook is also an ideal and cost-effective platform for acquiring new customers. The basis: The Facebook fan page!
10 TIPS FOR YOUR FACEBOOK POSTS
- Added value, added value, added value!
Since last year, Facebook's algorithm has been adjusted so that posts from companies and brands receive less attention in the news feed than before. For health clubs, this means that you have to pay even more attention to the quality of your posting content.
- A look behind the scenes
Your fans like to identify with your company. This is easier if you allow a look behind the scenes on your fan page. Simply use your smartphone to post a snapshot or a short film of people working out. Or post a short story from the last aerobics class - or from the last team meeting. Or a picture of your chief trainer at lunch. It will make your gym more approachable. Attention: do not exaggerate! The mix brings success.
- Publish videos and live videos
Videos are viewed significantly more often and for longer than pictures. Tip: Place your company logo in the bottom left corner of the video. The branding effect is unbeatable! 6 times more interactions can be achieved with live videos. They lead to more interaction among viewers and are therefore preferred by Facebook.
- Members as stars
Use your satisfied customers as testimonials and post a success story every week with a picture (also before/after) - or a short video. Tag (=mark) these members, if they have a Facebook profile. Often their Facebook friends react - and your community grows. Here you must first obtain the permission of your members.
- Small gifts for motivation
We all know it. Once you reach a goal, you usually reward yourself. This is exactly what you can now show your users. "When we reach 5,000 Likes, we'll give you a free Pilates weekend." The one or other fan will then surely know someone else to whom he would introduce your site.
- Say thank you!
No matter whether the 100, 500 or perhaps the 10,000 likes mark was just cracked. Never stop being grateful. It's the fans/users you have to thank for your coverage.
- People want to see people: Group postings
Nothing unites people more than common activities or interests. A group picture brings out this emotion in a targeted way. The Like is given out of the emotion that is highlighted by the picture. Use the marker option for group pictures and tag all recognizable people. Make sure that all persons visible on the picture agree with the posting and the tags.
- Charity via Facebook
Fundraising for charity is always well received in social media. Information about the event and pictures of the donation handover are gladly shared and liked by fans.
- Use emoticons
Small characters - big effect. The use of emoticons is proven to increase interaction: 52% more responses, 57% more likes, 33% more comments and the post is shared 33% more. So use emoticons regularly! But be careful not to overload your posts with them.
- The most important thing at the end: Interaction and dialogue
This point is one of the most important. Because: not every fan sees all your postings. Facebook works with an algorithm that nobody knows in detail. The fact is that the importance and thus the range (visibility) of your posts increases if your post receives many comments and reactions. The more communication between you and your fans, the more successful your fan page will be. Therefore, enter into a dialogue with your fans: Comment on comments and likes of your fans. Ask questions, e.g. "What home remedies do you know for colds?" or "What do you do to stay motivated" or "Who knows delicious dishes under 500 calories?" Do polls, e.g. "We want to offer another boxing lesson. Better to have Monday 7 p.m. or Thursday 6 p.m. , what do you think?" Write about current affairs on which your followers are sure to have an opinion.
A health club offers numerous possibilities to fill a Facebook fan page with content. You as the owner, your employees and also your members are full of exciting stories that are suitable for Facebook. Always make sure to ask the people who are visible for their permission. Ideally, you can even tag the people in the photos so that their friends can also see your posts. In addition to personal stories, you can also establish yourself as an expert on specific health topics or training theories. Encourage to take actions such as "like", "comment" or "share" and also stimulate a dialogue by responding to comments and asking questions.
Author: Julia Aschenbrenner
The annual marketing plan for health clubs
Suppose you want to explore Sydney or New York by using public transportation. It quickly becomes clear that without a specific (timetable) plan that shows you the fastest way to get from A to B, chaos is inevitable. You would make mistakes that cost time, money and nerves. With a clear plan in your hand, everything is easier. Because it will lead you straight and economically to your goal. If you were in competition with others, those with a plan in hand would have a clear advantage. Therefore: Plan your marketing year with all the measures that will ultimately take you where you want to go: Success!
What must an annual advertising plan contain?
In the following you will find out what the minimum requirements for your plan should be.
Schedule a time period for each activity, preferably divided into:
- Time for planning/preparation
- Period of implementation
- If necessary, time for post-processing (for example, for lead processing tasks)
Ideally, you should define the time required for each activity and adjust your staff planning (resource planning) accordingly. When planning, always take into account holiday periods, local events (e.g. city festivals) or special theme days (e.g. Black Friday, Valentine's Day...) - these can influence your schedule positively or negatively.
In the end, it's a simple calculation. To maintain the previous year's result, you have to win as many customers as you lose. If you want to grow, you can or must influence customer loyalty and new customer acquisition. You will surely know this, but: Most of the time it's not knowing that fails, but doing. So let's be honest: Do you really have these figures permanently in view - and also your team? Hence our recommendation: Keep the figures transparent. Every employee should know whether the company is on target. And this should be done month by month, week by week - preferably day by day.
Here too it is simple: Per recruited new member you need about 100 Euro advertising budget (this is the average value; it differs between 60 and 150 Euro depending on
positioning, image, size and location). For example if you should win 380 new customers in 2020, this means a necessary advertising budget of approx. 38,000 Euro. You divide this budget among the planned actions. As a rule, internal recommendation campaigns are more cost-effective than external advertising campaigns with billboards, online advertising, flyers, etc.
Your annual advertising plan should furthermore be divided into the 5 main advertising phases (good resolutions/ spring/ summer/ autumn/ Christmas).
Online or offline?
When it comes to advertising media (channels), more and more budgets are drifting towards online marketing. This is a good thing. With ACISO's Online Marketing Service and the Online Lead System, you will achieve a constant number of online prospects month after month. Just don't forget: It's the mix that does it! Don't put everything on one horse, but invest about half of your budget in classic advertising, e.g. posters, newspaper ads, outdoor advertising, flyers, promo campaigns, direct marketing, recommendation marketing with vouchers etc. Your ACISO consultant plans the layout and organization.
Year-round, seasonal and national campaigns
In your plan, you should distinguish between seasonal campaigns (e.g. Easter campaign, 20th anniversary campaign) and year-round campaigns (e.g. member recovery cards, outdoor advertising booked all year round, etc.). A perfect advertising mix includes at least one nationwide campaign per year, e.g. ACISO's "Painless" campaign. For once, the focus is not on your gym but the program itself and the associated consumer benefits . Such campaigns bring new target groups into your club, which you usually cannot reach with classic advertising.
Author: Michael Heining
How to sell fitness online - a guide for gyms
Probably everyone has already made online purchases. This is exactly how gym customers will buy in the coming years. We predict that health clubs will generate a major part of their sales online in the future. Sell your memberships, packages, campaigns, vouchers, individual services etc. via your homepage. The easy way from a prospect to a member with savings potential for everyone who signs up online.
Nowadays the willingness to buy online is much higher than it was a few years ago. And it is becoming more and more self-evident. Year after year, more is being bought and consumed online, even in the fitness industry. Almost all fitness discounters are selling their contracts, services and other products online. But also "normal" gyms and especially premium clubs are already using this channel.
What can health clubs sell in their web store?
- Special offers and campaigns
- Packages (nutrition and slimming packages, Slim Belly etc.)
- 4/6/8-week programs
- Tickets for a certain amount of workouts
- Bonus cards
- Value and gift vouchers (Christmas, birthday, last minute)
- Day tickets, weekly and monthly passes
Why should a health club sell online? The advantages are obvious:
- To generate additional sales
- To address new customers, new target groups
- For the products no storage is necessary and there is no expense for shipping
- The personnel costs are low
- For a maximization of turnover and profit
- One is open 24/7
- Customers is offered flexible, stress-free purchasing
Who buys online?
- People who got a recommendation from a friend or acquaintance. They buy in a webshop, even if they don't know the gym yet.
- Interested parties who have not signed a contract at the initial contact, but who return online to buy.
- Former customers and testers who already know the club and buy memberships or monthly tickets from time to time.
- Customers who were unable to come to the gym on special offer days, such as an open house or Black Fitness Friday, but who want to secure attractive offers online.
Why should users buy online?
- To enjoy the discounts of an online purchase
- To benefit from time-limited offers
- To use combination offers with hardware, such as Slim Belly belts
These advantages can be optimally presented in ACISO's new online shop, as the system has been programmed under the premise of maximum flexibility.
Emotions are extremely important in online sales, because the gut often decides in the first few seconds whether something is bought or not. In a good webshop the wording is according to emotional aspects. For example, in the order process you do not display "select means of payment" but write "save online". Name and present the products already after what the user wishes to achieve , e.g. "lose weight membership". Work as much as possible with positive elements. Preferably, FAQs (questions & answers) can be added to the shop, as memberships in particular require explanation at one point or another.
Sale of additional services
Your webshop should be able to offer any additional services. These can be a beverage flatrate but also products like fitness watches or Slim Belly belts. When creating an offer with a membership or a campaign programm, it must be determined which of these ad-ons can be booked in addition. From a sales point of view, it is better to display these extra's pre-selected and the user has to deselect what one does not wishes to buy.
And, of course, the shop automatically sends an e-mail with all information and documents to customers and the health club after an order has been completed.
The trust in a shop or its provider is an important feature and arises with the user on a subconscious level. That is why it is important to work with confidence-building parameters at points where you are directed to the shop with:
- SSL encryption
- Active addressing of data protection
- Payment via Paypal as a well-known brand
- Customer testimonials.
Added value and customer loyalty
In ACISO's webstore for gyms, the user is not left alone after buying. Assistance is offered and one is motivated to take action. For this purpose an appointment calendar is integrated, through which the first appointment is booked. On the thank you pages after completion of an order, different texts can be entered, e.g. because a different message is appropriate for a membership under 18 than for a 6-week weight loss program. At the end of the purchase, different documents are displayed for download, depending on which product was bought or whether, for example, the direct debit form was filled out when the order was placed.
Integration of online sales into online marketing
Of course, your webstore should be integrated directly into your website and displayed and linked at various places and additionally advertised via pop-ups or banners. Furthermore, the shop can be advertised via social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Google etc., and also newsletters. ACISO's webshop can be seamlessly integrated into the online lead system. Two important functions are programmed for this. Firstly, each product can be directly linked without the user having to go through the product selection. And products are showed that do not appear at all during the normal ordering process and are only accessible as a landing page for special offers.
Good luck with your sales!
Author: Erika Sekula
What to do when members quit
"I have members who have been training with us for 30 years. Only those who move away or die, quit." This is what a very experienced customer recently said to me. "If we did everything wrong, we'd be out of business long ago." When I asked him about his fluctuation, he said, "I don't measure that. I always have about 10 notices per month. You always want to know the numbers. I feel my business."
That's what I keep hearing. Personally, I agree with it completely. But in business terms, I think it's a matter of blind faith not to work with numbers. "The members are so ungrateful." "In our city, such a high number is normal." These are other phrases I regularly hear in connection with fluctuation. The point is, you must be comfortable with your figures. You don't need to justify yourself to us or anyone else. But if you say that you want to change something in the return on your investment or in the number of members, increase your market share or simply do an even better job than you already do, then it is also about measuring and checking the fluctuation in numbers.
When we talk about fluctuation, it makes sense to work with these figures:
- Fluctuation (notices per year / annual average of members *100)
- Drop Out Rate (notices in the initial term / total terminations * 100)
- Reactivation rate (withdrawn notices / total terminations *100)
- Rest periods (Average of paused memberships / Annual average of members *100)
These figures provide a statement on the current status of your termination situation. With the following benchmarks you have a comparison and can check your performance directly
- Fluctuation - good rates start at 20%, the industry average fluctuates between 27 and 29% annually.
- Drop Out Quote - only very few measure these figures. Very good clubs often have drop out rates of 50% and more. Also 70% is a number I have often encountered.
- Reactivation rate - 10% of reactivated terminations is achievable for everyone who is actively working in this field. Up to 20% is achieved by clubs that are doing very well. Only exceptions exceed this.
- Rest periods - The rule of thumb is 4% or less. However, some gyms like to buy themselves a lower fluctuation through longer rest periods and then lie above this. If your result is above, it is essential to check the reasons for this.
So there is no way around a meaningful analysis of your current situation. You can also speak of "measuring fever". We have to find out whether your figures are on a good or bad level compared to others. If you like to track numbers, you not only have the possibility to check the current status, but you can also use early warning systems to react before a wave of contract terminations reaches you. I have put together a few examples:
Check In Numbers
They show you if your members train regularly. Since most cancellations are submitted with the reason "too little time", a good "benefit - price" ratio can be assumed for the customer with an average frequency of use, making noticing less likely.
Your additional sales in the bar, shop, solarium, etc. show whether your members like to stay with you around after the training, and thus feel comfortable. I could observe that increasing expenses in this area are accompanied by a decreasing fluctuation.
As you probably also experience, health clubs show the lowest fluctuation in the class area. So if you manage to get your members into the classes, this will probably have a positive effect on your situation as well.
Average duration sold
During my work as a club manager, I noticed that a higher average duration sold had a positive effect on the drop-out rate and thus on fluctuation. My colleagues in other fitness clubs confirm this effect. While the shortest duration was extended less than once on average, the longest duration was extended over three times on average.
So if you like to work with numbers, these are 4 examples to help you advance in the long run. If you are not a numbers person, I would like to give you some ideas how you can positively influence your members to stay with you in the long run.
Especially at the beginning it is determined whether someone feels comfortable with you. Have you ever experienced that a prospective customer has registered with you and then never returned? Maybe he did not feel comfortable at the closing or the briefing and made the purchase decision as an expensive mistake. Help your members to get a professional start and don't just think about the fact THAT someone closes, but also HOW. After the first meeting, pass on the information you have gained to the coach as well. Introduce the new member to other people and make sure that he or she does not feel like a newcomer and constantly has the feeling of doing something wrong.
It has been shown that the majority of terminations occur in the first three months. Especially during this time, help your customer to motivate himself. There are many ways to do this. Examples are a more closely meshed support, bonuses for reaching a defined or individual goal, setting up goals and milestones, successive training development and much more.
Term of contract
If you choose a short term of, for example, three months, you have decided to take a test. If something negative happens during this period, the decision to do sports tips over very easily. If you commit yourself to a long-term relationship, you are also prepared to make fundamental changes in your mind. Support your customer in this respect as well. A alternative can be the active approach to membership prolongation.
Shopping makes you happy and puts you in a good mood. When people like to spend money with you, they associate your club with good feelings. Wherever you feel comfortable, that's where you like to go. Where one likes to go, one does not quit. Therefore, show your new member with discounts, free samples or buying chances that it is worth spending money with you.
Reactivation after notice is a matter of attitude
Nobody likes to lose customers. Nevertheless, we have to deal with this issue and take a close look if we want to change something. Here are a few questions before we can deal with the topic:
- Do you like to process terminations?
- What is the team's attitude towards terminations?
- Is there currently a notice processing structure?
- Who processes the notices?
If a customer has noticed his membership, you can only win with reactivation. Show someone who was your customer for years your appreciation and fight for him/her.
Author: Michael Winter
When "should" becomes "must"
Everyone has a list of things they think they should be doing. I SHOULD lose weight, I SHOULD do sports, I SHOULD spend more time with my children, I SHOULD work harder, I SHOULD make more calls, I should, I should, I should, I should ...
But you know what? All too often people do not put their "should's" into practice - both in business and in private life. Result: they become angry at themselves and increasingly frustrated. And get a guilty conscience about it. What really changes people and companies is when their "SHOULD" becomes a "MUST". Only then do you really change. Typical problems that run like a red thread through many conversations with fitness entrepreneurs:
- Too little attraction on the market
- Staff performance and shortage of staff
- Strategy for succession or expansion
Translated this can mean:
- Should I arrange my online marketing professionally?
- Should I send my employees on professional development courses?
- Should I become more attractive as an employer?
- Should I develop my business in such a way that it becomes interesting for potential buyers/successors?
- Should I prepare the business plan for my expansion and/or reorientation?
But is there even a plan or strategy?
"It is not difficult to develop a strategy. Our problem is implementation" - a club manager said to me the other day. I have heard this sentence often - but that doesn't make it more correct. It's the other way round: implementation is easy when the strategy fits. Finding these begins with the asking right questions. And at this point it is good for every entrepreneur to have lateral thinkers in his ranks who exactly do this.
Today, the gap between innovation or quality leaders and laggards does not amount to several years. We're talking months, sometimes weeks. A single good idea from a lateral-thinking entrepreneur or employee is enough to completely change the rules of the game in your own market segment! Frightening? Maybe. One thing is clear, less than ever a fitness entrepreneur can rest in his current comfortable situation. Waiting until someone comes along and destroys your own business cannot be an option. But why is this very situation arising over and over again? In many initial talks with entrepreneurs I find that there is no lack of knowledge, but a lack of strategy and consequently a lack of implementation. As different as the reasons may be, the solution is simple:
Put a fire under your club's ass! Before somebody else does, you better do it yourself. Start with this:
- Question everything
Instead of philosophizing in the strategy meeting about how to polish up your club's image, awareness and performance in homeopathic doses, question everything in your mind completely. Lock the door and talk about it! Until everything is on the table.
- Go to work
Immediately make sure that your strategic aha experience is reflected in the reality of the club. Once the urgency has become clear, come to action. Turn the "we SHOULD" into "we WANT." Set days or at best weeks for important changes, not months or years!
- Questioning and rethinking as a permanent condition
Create possibilities and structures that not only enable but also demand questioning and creative rethinking. Avoid that the club and team go back into a mental descent with a soft landing in the comfort zone! It's vital.
Sounds simple, doesn't it? It is. And hand on heart: does hesitation when making important decisions sometimes not get on your own nerves?
Author: Peter Intveen
Body language – Your body speaks
Body language in sales
A smile says more than a thousand words, the popular saying goes. In fact, we instinctively pay more attention to the language of the body than we think. Even before the first word has been addressed to us, some people seem likeable and trustworthy right from the start. Others seem to have difficulty making it. Sales conversations, negotiations with members - body language influences the content more than we are often aware of.
Those who recognize and understand the non-verbal signals of their counterpart and consciously use their own body language will get very close to the needs of their customers, employees and fellow human beings. Our verbal statements receive effective support through the use of gestures and facial expressions. Saying "I am glad that you are here today" with crossed arms, averted gaze and the corners of one's mouth pulled down, triggers a feeling of unwelcomedness in the person addressed - no matter with what enthusiasm and what intensity the verbal statement was spoken. We intuitively accompany our statements with movements of our arms and hands. Gestures with the palms open upwards are inviting in situations of negotiation or application and support the flow of conversation.
Negative hand movements such as raised index fingers or clenched fists have an aggressive effect. Nervous gestures should be avoided when acting confidently. These include, for example:
- rub one's hands
- play with a pen
- look at the clock
- cross your legs.
In return, a slightly tilted head and an upper body inclined towards the partner appear concentrated and interested.
Facial expressions: The body language
The use of facial expressions is a particularly sharp sword. Our facial muscles can express countless different feelings. We are able to use them both spontaneously and in a controlled manner. In important situations, an open facial expression and eye contact signals our willingness to engage in a dialogue and that we are showing interest and attention to our conversational partner. The best prerequisite for a good discussion result.
We achieve the opposite with the so-called "poker face". With unmoved facial muscles, we unsettle our counterpart and provoke skepticism, distrust and distance. Through our facial expressions we transport many strong feelings:
- a critically wrinkled forehead,
- a disgusted, wrinkled nose,
- raised eyebrows.
In professional discussions, a well-dosed or conscious and economical use is recommended. Because "derailed" facial features quickly appear unrestrained.
How you consciously use your body language
Using the position of your hands as an example, I would like to illustrate the effect in a sales consultation. If you turn your palms upwards, you signal openness and appear inviting. You also seem harmless and safe. If you hide your hands behind your back or in your pockets, you give your conversation partner an unpleasant feeling... You could be hiding something or even have weapons in your hand.
In addition, an open palm of the hand tends to lift the conversation partner upwards. At the beginning of a sales talk, open palms in combination with open questions have an inviting effect on the prospective customer. Hold your hands slightly to the side of your body. The interested party starts chatting and also expresses possible concerns. At the end of the sales talk, just before the closing, it is advisable to turn your palms down. This has a calming effect, signals authority and competence that you have everything under control. Never point your finger at the person you are talking to during a conversation. This gesture has an aggressive and oppressive effect. Active body language has a significant effect on the success of your sales. A firm handshake signals that you are ready for a productive conversation.
Polite manners can be intensified by the correct use of gestures and facial expressions. You should also pay attention to the following points during the conversation:
- Are you sitting or standing up? An asymmetrical posture appears relaxed
- Are you making eye contact with your counterpart?
- Is your face relaxed?
- Do you signal understanding by nodding your head?
- Does the position of your hands, arms and legs express openness and self-confidence?
- Does your body language match your statements one hundred percent?
Less can sometimes be more
Being aware of your body language also means using it in a well-dosed way. For example, if you disagree with a statement made by your potential customer, you should make sure that your body language does not reveal itself too clearly. In addition, excessive gestures and facial expressions can have a deterrent and intimidating effect on your conversation partner.
Body language has an unconscious effect on all people and has a significant influence on the course of communication. Particularly in the sales process, it is important to use body language consciously and specifically as a tool to guide a conversation. Good sales managers are very aware of the effect of their facial expressions and gestures. They apply this stylistic instrument actively and skillfully in the course of negotiations and thus achieve very positive results.
Author: Astrid Holz
How the habitual brain helps you to stay number one
In this article I want to introduce you to a very interesting assumption of Craig B. Wynett. Wynett is responsible for behavioral research at the American consumer goods company Procter & Gamble Company. His theory explains what makes a competitive advantage last for generations.
In the next step we add the common opinion about a competitive advantage: Successful companies are (hopefully) characterized by a clear positioning. You focus on a target group and create measures and activities to serve people optimally. The aim is to retain customers and make them repeat their "purchases" again and again. Companies want to achieve this by, among other things, adapting their value proposition as closely as possible to the needs of their customers. Through constantly developing uniqueness and personalization, the company can prevail against competitors and achieve a lasting competitive advantage.
This definition is based on the assumption that customers make conscious, perhaps even rational decisions. The reasons for buying products and services may be emotional. But they always spring from a more or less conscious logic. The cause lies in the fact that the brain likes habits. The task of a good strategy is therefore to understand this logic and react to it.
The idea that a purchase decision is a conscious process runs counter to many findings of behavioral psychology. It has been shown that our brain is not a pure analytical machine, but a "gap-filler": It takes unadjusted, incomplete data of the environment and adds missing pieces based on past experience. The result is intuition. Thoughts, opinions and preferences that come to our minds quickly and without much thought, are strong enough and we use them as a basis for action.
But it is not only the inserted pieces that determine our intuitive judgements. Another decisive factor is how quickly and easily "filling the gap" is done. Psychologists call this procedure processing liquid. If we justify a decision by saying it "just felt right and good", then the processing liquid was good. The processing liquid results from experience. It inevitably increases the more often we have this experience. If we have already seen an object or used a service, we find it easier to perceive and identify it.
When an object is seen or used repeatedly, the neurons that code non-recognition-relevant features dampen their reactions. And thus the neural network identifies a object more and more selective and efficient. In other words: Repeated stimuli have lower perception and identification thresholds, are registered with less attention and can be named or read faster and more precisely.
Above all: consumers prefer familiar stimuli to new ones. Why does someone choose the market leader, such as Ariel, which has been present on the German market since the 1960s and is one of the best-selling detergents in Europe? Because it's the easiest decision. This product will be the most prominent offer in any distribution channel. It will always have a dominant position on the shelf - from supermarkets to department stores to drugstores. Furthermore, the customer has probably already bought this product and taken it from the same shelf. Repeating this purchase is the easiest decision.
Even more: It becomes easier with every further purchase and our brain likes that. Buying the biggest, most convenient brand creates a cycle in which the lead in market share is constantly growing. It is not claimed that consumers never make conscious decisions or that the quality of the value proposition is irrelevant. On the contrary: customers must have a reason to buy a product.
A good choice of market and competitive concept remains essential for the strategy. A company whose value proposition is not superior to the competition has nothing to build on. If you want to build up an (initial) competitive advantage, you should ensure that buying the offer is changed from a conscious decision to an automatic habit by the customers.
Facebook did it. The network has built a cumulative advantage from day one. It started with a superior value proposition in the form of function. But even more important for the success was the uniform line in appearance and impression.
The users submit to the rigid rules. Facebook does not submit to anything or anyone. In the now famous expansion from desktop computers to mobile devices, Facebook ensured that the mobile user experience was very similar to the desktop experience. Facebook has also changed the design from time to time to make better use of the functions. The social network had to take harsh criticism for this. But on the whole, innovations do not endanger either comfort or familiarity. In the beginning, these changes were often offered optionally. In other words, Facebook has built up a cumulative advantage through consistent familiarity, which has turned the company into the social network with the world's largest addiction factor.
So how can your company use a protective cumulative advantage to maintain and expand its competitive advantage? By following these four business rules:
- Become/be popular early
The idea is anything but new. It can be found in many of the best and earliest strategic approaches and is also evident in the thinking models of Bruce Henderson, the founder of the Boston Consulting Group. Rely early on a sophisticated pricing policy to "stay one step ahead" of the experience curve and to reduce costs by having a sufficient market share. In this way, you increase relative market share and boost profitability.
- Set on habit
Here the comfortable BRAIN animal comes into play again. Ideally, the use of a particular service is second nature to consumers. You should actively strive for this goal, not just passively hope for it.
- Innovating within the brand framework
Companies must of course always keep their products and services "up to date". Relaunches, new packaging or new platforms become dangerous when they force customers to abandon habits they have grown fond of. Changes in technology or other product or service features should always be made in such a way that the new version preserves the cumulative advantage of the old one.
- Simply communicate
Remember: The BRAIN animal likes to be lazy. It does not want to concentrate on a complex message with great effort. True to the motto: Keep it simple and smart.
Competitive advantages are just as durable today as they were in the past. The only thing different nowadays is that in a world of unlimited communication and innovation, many strategists seem to believe that a lasting advantage is only possible if they make the value proposition of the company the rational or emotional first choice of the consumer. In doing so they have forgotten or not understood that the unconscious influences our decisions more than the conscious. Resist the temptation to constantly change your value proposition and branding. Any company - from the incumbent market leader to the niche player to the newcomer - can maintain a lead based on a superior value proposition as long as it heeds the four basic rules for cumulative advantage.
Author: Simon Wirth
4 fabulous do's and don'ts 4 Facebook
Facebook continues to grow internationally and has billions "monthly active users" worldwide. Every company knows that today there is no way around having its own Facebook page. The days when CEOs and senior management had to be convinced of the added value of social networks are long gone. Internet users are looking for companies and organizations on this platform as well. If they don't find your company there, it has a similar effect to a non-existent website: You are outdated!
Do's: There are news from your industry? Experts who have something to say? Then post it, short and sweet! Your readers will be grateful and in the best case your post will be shared by other fan pages.
Don'ts: Posts like "The spinning class is cancelled today or the sauna is out of order". This not only causes frustration, but also does not benefit your image. Ideally you should post when your readers are online. Of course not at three o'clock at night and please don't make a novel out of it.
The bottom line: people like to buy from people they consider competent, reliable, hip or just likeable. Be approachable and humorous. Please communicate colloquial language and negative news via another channel. The right time of day depends on your audience. When will your fans be online? The answer is easy to find out: Click on the "Statistics" tab in your Facebook history.
2 Funny pictures, comics and clever sayings
Do's: Share little tips and wisdoms that are not known yet or ask your fans what moves or motivates them. This also increases the interaction on your fan page. Your readers will react much more to you if the content is communicated positively and you don't spread a bad mood.
Dont's: However, you will not achieve anything in the long run with niceness and clever words of wisdom alone. So just leave out the cat or animal videos. Profound sayings or a collection of quotations will not benefit the reader.
The bottom line: Start a discussion: Ask your users for their opinion! If you find a topic that fans are intrigued by in combination with a picture or video, then you can look forward to many comments. So if you want to be taken seriously by your fans, you have to pay attention to what you post.
Do's: Post a "Find the error picture" or start a Facebook competition: Be creative! Ask your fans why they should win free tickets/VIP upgrades for your event. The comment that gets the most "Likes" wins! This is how you ensure that all contestants share your event with their Facebook friends by asking others to link their comments. This is how you combine the contest with the event.
Don'ts: Absolute No Go: posting pictures for the competition from a third-party website on your own page. In this context, the histories of your users and outside hashtags are also taboo. The basic rule for image selection is to motivate instead of manipulate.
The bottom line is that most of the pictures on the web are protected by copyright and simply may not be used. So be careful! In addition to the legal requirements, Facebook regulations must also be observed. Games or lotteries offer many pitfalls, which can have negative effects. Even the deletion or the blocking of the Facebook page by Facebook itself can happen in relation to incorrectly conducted lotteries.
Do's: Postings for an open house or maybe even an open house night. It's like with the press: You have to hit the spot at the right time. To prevent the event from being automatically posted, simply check "plan" or "save as draft". Don't forget to invite your members and pin the post to the top of your Facebook page so that the customer/interested party doesn't have to search.
Don'ts: It makes little sense to create an event months in advance. Who is interested in July about what will happen on a day in December?
Bottom line: Events need visitors that Facebook actually brings. The ability to create events on Facebook is a very effective way of advertising. They are created quickly and offer good chances of viral distribution. Users can also add events from Facebook pages directly to their calendar.
At first glance, social networking seems simple: I make friends with another user or click the "Like" button on their page - and from now on, Facebook shows me what that user has to say. In fact, it's not that simple. Zuckerberg and his engineers have come up with algorithms that determine whose and what posts a user gets on the screen and how often.
Only those who have something to contribute will be read!
Author: Jessica Mumdey