Cintia Miranda

Cintia Miranda

edge contributor

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The greatest challenge of social media marketing is finding a way to quantify its marketing value. Actions such as likes, shares and retweets shed insights on which kinds of content make the biggest impact on your target audience, but where and when does that translate to monetary or conversion values? In terms of concrete numbers, how can businesses actually measure the success of their social media marketing efforts? 

The key lies in remembering that social media is about engagement, not sales. To evaluate the effectiveness of a social media campaign, don't focus on measuring the activities themselves. Instead, figure out how those activities tie in to other marketing objectives you can measure. 

By this time of the year, most kids have a pretty good idea of what they'd like Santa to bring them for Christmas. When it comes to small business owners, though, the same question can be a puzzle. Bigger budgets and ROI aside, what should industrious, innovative marketers ask for this season? Since Santa has an age limit to his North Pole gifts roster, here are a few gift ideas to help diligent entrepreneurs reward their inner marketers.  

Shiny new wrapping. Every business has its challenges don't bang your head against the wall over the trials you faced this year. Even major setbacks can be opportunities to boost brand loyalty and support in the long run. This year, instead of looking back on your mistakes, focus on looking ahead for the best ways to turn these valuable learning experiences into positive growth.

It's a common practice for small businesses to bring their marketing efforts in-house. After all, why pay outside agency fees for services you can do yourself with just a little extra time and effort? Unfortunately, though, many businesses don't fully realize the time, energy and hidden expenses that even simple marketing projects can involve. For businesses with limited resources, in fact, it can actually cost more to manage these activities in-house than to hire a professional marketer. 

Marketing is an ongoing activity (like accounting), not a one-time project. Professional marketers don't just add gloss to a brochure or polish to a sales pitch; they ensure that every component of your marketing strategy from market research to distribution is integrated into a strong, consistent program that reaches your target audience and reinforces your brand image. Having a professional handle such integral part of your business not only saves money by getting the work done efficiently and accurately, but also yields a much higher return on your investment. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013 23:18

Honesty is your best marketing tool

The holiday season means a spike in sales for most businesses. At the same time, though, honesty is never a more powerful marketing tactic. Customers often value a comfortable experience, with a brand they can trust, more than they do product features especially when they're already rushed during a busy shopping season. 

How can honesty improve your marketing strategy? 

Wednesday, 04 December 2013 13:36

Who exactly is this Cntia Miranda?

It's interesting to be an immigrant in Central Maine.  While I've been labeled 'alien' for most of my life (and I kind of like that exotic name), people seem to be more intrigued by my Brazilian nationality here in Bangor than anyone ever was in Boston (other than my Boston-native husband and his family, of course!). 

I think most people envision Brazilians as exotic people who love to party during Carnaval like it's 1999, wear tiny swimwear (well, some do, but not all Brazilians), and roam the Amazon Jungle swinging on tree vines like Tarzan and Jane. I've also had people ask me if we had elephants in the village where I came from.

Let's face it: we're all busy people, and time is a rare commodity in our lives. However, I am a stickler for customer service, and believe that it starts at the top of the organization at the C Suite. There's nothing that turns off a prospective business partner faster than the feeling of being ignored, or worse, of being used. I am often amazed when my clients, prospective clients and business partners thank me for being prompt. After all, isn't that how it should be?  Business etiquette is a huge portion of brand development, and it's often overlooked by many, including small business owners and decision makers.  

To ignore a message that someone sent you in good faith is a blunt sign of disrespect, which doesn't paint a positive picture of the brand you represent (especially if you are a decision maker). I am not suggesting that anyone should spend time answering spam emails or returning calls to recorded messages. However, if your business has engaged with someone at some level, you owe that person the courtesy of a response, even if the answer is simply, 'Thank you for your message, but I'm not interested at this time.'

Every entrepreneur asks themselves this same question from time to time, and although we all have different goals and ambitions, the answer is always something along the lines of, 'When you're doing what you love while getting paid for it.' The key there, however, is that you do need to get paid for it otherwise, you're a hobbyist, not an entrepreneur.

Most entrepreneurs are visionaries, and often have great ideas of how to do things differently or even better than the current status quo. Being a visionary is a great trait, as long as we're able to focus and follow a strategic path to success. Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Liliberte has a great mantra: 'Do what you love, but follow the money.' Even a clown can become a billionaire, if their goals are truly entrepreneurial (and Guy's fortune is currently estimated at $1.8 billion no clowning around)!

I was recently interviewed by a local magazine, and the reporter asked me if I had ever planned to build a big company. The question surprised me. As a small (more like micro) business owner, I want to see my company grow and prosper but being big has never been the focal point. Instead, we strive to be great at what we do, and to make sure that we provide quality service and real value to our clients.

I think of business growth as the natural reward for doing things right. Too often, big business owners and higher-level administrators lose touch with what goes on at the bottom of the pyramid. In my agency, my goal is to 'wow' my clients at every interaction. It is very important that my clients feel that they are getting value from their relationships with me and my employees and that we are ultimately helping them grow.

Wednesday, 06 November 2013 23:25

Should you follow your competitors' footsteps?

I often hear people tell me about something their competitors are doing that they'd like to do as well. Interestingly enough, though, many times they don't have a clue whether or not this new thing is actually helping their competitors grow or make money.

Jeff Bezos once said, 'Don't focus on the competition; they'll never give you money.' I am pretty sure Bezos knows everything he needs to know about his competitors, but he doesn't model on them.

Website designers know that people aren't going to spend much time on a website that's difficult to use. Good designers, in fact, pay attention to the ways their sites are typically viewed and adjust their work accordingly. In earlier days of the web, this meant restricting a site's width so that people with smaller monitors wouldn't have to scroll sideways to see everything, and avoiding the use of effects that were only available to users of a single browser (for example, Netscape Navigator was one of the only browsers available in the 1990s that supported blinking text).

Beginning in the 2000s with the introduction of large, flat-panel monitors and stable CSS, designers could breathe easy. Sites grew by leaps and bounds, and were able to do some amazing things. What's more, a single, static website could serve desktop and notebook computers equally well as had been the case for years. The rise of mobile browsing, however, has once again changed everything. Today, as much as 40 percent of all internet traffic takes place on mobile devices [Source: Marketing Land], and that number is only going to increase with each passing year. 

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