Social Media

Social Media- What matters now

»Posted by on Apr 19, 2014 in Social Media | Comments Off on Social Media- What matters now

Social Media- What matters now

Small Business Social Media Best Practices   There are a myriad of things you can do, but one small business social media best practice stands out above the rest.  In the midst of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google + and everything else you feel you must be doing, your website is your best marketing strategy.  Don’t get caught up in a fad that may be gone as soon as you figure out how to use it.  Keep your website up-to-date for everyone who wants to visit it.   Think about it!  You spent a lot of time and money getting your website up and running.  Then you found Facebook and Twitter.  They were free.  Why not use them.  You have heard all about building relationships on social media.  You have heard that you should post articles on your sites.  But in the meantime, you have been forgetting to update your website.   There is nothing worse than going to someone’s website to check on an event only to find out the event took place two weeks ago.  Or maybe someone saw something you posted on Facebook about an event you are having and they went to your website to find more information.  But you haven’t had the time yet to post that information on your website.  How does that make you look?   A website is where most people look first for information.  Make sure yours is current.  Take the time to update it regularly.  Your clients will appreciate knowing they are getting the most up-to-date...

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+3: Three Tips for Google+ Success

»Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Social Media | Comments Off on +3: Three Tips for Google+ Success

+3: Three Tips for Google+ Success

You have a Google+ account, but are you using it? The new kid on the block in social media made a rather large debut over the past year. With Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and other platforms already chewing up your online marketing time, the idea of introducing another platform can be a bit overwhelming. That said, there is no need to abandon the online communities you have built on other platforms, but here are a few tips on what you should be doing now to make your presence known on  the newest one.   Make sure your profile is up to date: –     Add a tagline: This feature reminds people who you are and what you do. From the tagline others can decide what circle  to include you in. A vague headline that doesn’t state what your page is about may lead to confused visitors – so use your creativity to catch some new eyes. –     Add photos: This gives you a chance to give your audience an inside look at your company. Most post product images and there’s nothing wrong with this, but along with product images, be personal and show your company behind the scenes – as research suggests that people like pictures of, well, people. –     Recommended links: In the ‘About’ tab you’ll see Recommended Links near the bottom. Add links to your blog and your company homepage for users to visit and to drive traffic to your e-commerce points of sale or prospective clients to your contact info. Take time to understand the +1 feature: +1 has an indirect effect on your site’s search rank. This does not mean the more +1’s a link has, the higher rank it achieves in traditional search results. A Google +1 can indirectly lead to a better page rank. The bottom line is, the SEO effects of a +1 are very indirect, which means traditional SEO practices should not be ignored, but that a +1 may positively affect your results for people connected to those in your circles. Join hangouts and add to Circles: The Circles feature allows you to segment your followers and the people you follow. This means that businesses can send out select messages to select people – such as partners, customers or community members. Hangouts can be useful for brands because they gives users a chance to engage with the people in your company through video chat. These tips will keep you on the social media bandwagon and help to improve your business’ web presence.  Utilizing platforms such as Google+ can improve the way we communicate our brand to others because of its unique feature set. As with any social media channel, it is important to have an integrated plan, be patient and focus on using the platform to reach new customers, create engagement and ultimately drive your sales or client...

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Five Steps for a Foolproof Social Media Plan

»Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Social Media | Comments Off on Five Steps for a Foolproof Social Media Plan

Five Steps for a Foolproof Social Media Plan

We know two things about social media – that it is here to stay, and that it is always changing. Whether it is the presence of new technical tools or a strategy swing from your key competitors, what is proven effective and what is possible via social media marketing today will surely be different tomorrow. As a result, creating a plan can be challenging, but these timeless five steps should help you stay connected with your core audience and generate a solid return on your investment, regardless of your organization’s size and budget. Identify and Focus on Your Audience’s Core Channels – Marketing to moms? You may want to focus on Pinterest. Focused on college students? Twitter is where it’s at. Regardless of who your audience is, there is probably a channel you will want to identify as your key area of focus. Of course, that is not to say you should only invest your time in one of the channels, but rather find your audience’s favorites and start to target them there – without ignoring other platforms. Whether it’s Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, Yelp!, Foursquare or Instagram, find the channels that fit your organization best and use them to stay visible with your audience. Initiate Engagement – Remember, remember, remember – it’s safe to assume that no one wakes up in the morning seeking to connect with your organization. Make an active effort to get your name out there by targeting the people and organizations that can get you noticed on social media platforms. You can do this by asking for support, but a better strategy is to start a conversation with these publics. Set a goal to target a set number of these publics per week or month and get a return on a certain percentage. If you can get these influencers on your team, you’ll find those they influence coming through your digital doors. Use Your Time Wisely – In the abyss that is the Web, it is easy to spend your entire day scrounging content. Resist this urge! Find the people that can benefit you the most, locate the best sources of information and dictate how much of your content will be conversational, shared and promotional and formulate a path to follow within a set window of time. We start with promotional, partner and conversational posts at the beginning of each week – schedule the content to go out at specific times when our audience is the most active and then go from there. Use an in-depth analytics website, such as crowdbooster.com to track analytics for individual posts or tweets and discover when your audience is the most active. If someone engages you, pick a time that works each day to prepare a response – or set your mobile device to alert you and then respond, if you have a flexible schedule. Repurpose Your Content – A Facebook Post and a Tweet are apples and oranges in appearance, but that doesn’t mean the message can’t be similar. Find a way to minimize your time spent by taking your content and shaping it for each platform. This is a great way to cross platforms without changing your entire messaging strategy and content. Have a new product or a great link to share? Adapt it to the technical differences and get it out there across all of your key platforms. Don’t Let Your Other Marketing Suffer – Social is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean traditional PR and advertising are gone. In fact, with so many organizations investing more effort into social, you may find this is a good opportunity to use those old-school platforms like radio ads and press releases to stand out and also drive that audience directly to your social presence. If you’re a commerce business, marketing to traditional audiences can drive them to social and then to your website, where your digital point-of-sale awaits. The biggest thing to remember is that a social media plan is subject to change. If your numbers start to suffer – adapt! You also want to make sure that your plan has you walking down a two-way street – engaging your audience as they pass. A good plan can turn those social residents around and get them chatting with you the whole way up the street – and before you know it – your dedicated efforts can lead to a dedicated discussion about...

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Three Ways to Maximize Your Facebook Reach

»Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Social Media | Comments Off on Three Ways to Maximize Your Facebook Reach

Three Ways to Maximize Your Facebook Reach

You’ve had your Facebook brand page for months, invited your friends and received some initial Likes, filled in your About section and started posting here and there – but after that first couple months when your total Likes and overall reach started to taper, you began to wonder – What is this doing for my business? The truth is – if you aren’t doing anything with Facebook, it probably won’t do anything for you. A hammer purchased and then left in the tool box won’t drive any nails, after all. But rest easy – these three simple tips can help you boost your online image, spur your Facebook growth, manage your relationships, heighten your visibility and – ultimately – drive your sales. Reward Your Audience – Whether you offer a coupon or simply just mention your audience members, a little reward can go a long way. Try creating a ‘Fan of the Week’ or ‘Fan of the Day’ to create interpersonal engagement that drives Likes to your page. If people see their friends are getting rewarded, odds are they’ll want a free slice of pie too! You’ll also want to make sure you’re providing your audience with a mix of information they can use in their daily lives, in addition to promotions for your business. If you make it about THEM, they’ll make it about YOU. Keep Your Content Fresh – If you don’t update your content regularly, your page will fall by the wayside and people will have no reason to check on it, aside from never being reminded about your presence on their newsfeed. How often you post a photo, status, link or event may depend on how busy things are for you, but don’t forget that the social space is all about sharing. Ask your audience how they are, share industry news, and talk about current events with a spin that ties your business into the equation. The Web is near infinite, so you should never really have an excuse not to have something to say. At the very least, post 2-3 times a week – but not more than 2-3 times a day (people don’t like to be bombarded either). Be Proactive – Many argue that the social media space is a new public relations function – and PR is all about establishing and maintaining relationships. Keep in mind that it’s highly likely that no one is looking for your page, which means you have to invite them in. Ask your friends to give you a Like and connect with other local non-competing businesses and non-profit organizations by Liking their page and sharing their content. Facebook is all about taking the initiative to start a conversation and then making the effort to keep it going! These three tips should help you get your Likes up, improve your reach and boost traffic to your page – but it’s important to have realistic expectations and to be patient. If you keep yourself focused and have a daily or weekly social media plan that utilizes all of these ideas, keeps you focused, and efficiently maximizes your gains by minimizing your time spent, you can expect realistic growth in your numbers and carry that over to your...

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Stop Guessing About What Works And Create An Effective LinkedIn Profile

»Posted by on Jul 18, 2013 in Social Media | Comments Off on Stop Guessing About What Works And Create An Effective LinkedIn Profile

Stop Guessing About What Works And Create An Effective LinkedIn Profile

Guest post from Bryan Whittington, sales associate at Sandler Training by Peak Performance Management. An effective LinkedIn profile can be the difference in getting noticed by a prospect. As a small business owner, you need to use your time and resources wisely. Set up your LinkedIn profile the right way the first time and you’ll have an effective platform that can help generate new business leads. Most people believe their LinkedIn profile is just a networking tool that can help them get a job. Therefore, many people don’t pay much attention to it, until they are actively seeking a new position. Below are some items to consider when creating your LinkedIn page. Consistency on your page is key. If you don’t have the time to devote to maintaining and updating your profile on a weekly basis, then you might not want to waste your time. You want to show uniformity in your updates and profiles. Create a schedule for status updates and stick to it. This way people know they can count on you for fresh, new content and they will regularly check your profile. This will also put your information in front of your connections more often and prompt a possible business discussion. The headline area of a LinkedIn profile for many is wasted space. Typically users leave it as the default and it lists what their current position is. Since that information is listed elsewhere on your page, why not change it to something that’s compelling and would prompt someone to want to read more about you and your business? If a user is doing a LinkedIn search, this is the only other item they will see besides your name, so use a description that will draw them in. Your headline should also include relevant keywords. What would a prospect be searching for that you or your product and services could provide? These words should be included in your headline and throughout the other copy on your profile. You’ll then be more likely to pop up when someone is looking for your product or services in a LinkedIn search. Next, write an accurate summary in the first person that tells profile viewers exactly what you do, what client services you provide and what your point of differentiation is. Don’t forget those keywords. They will help you come up higher in a search than your competitors. Finally, seek recommendations and endorsements from your connections. Approximately 78 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations. This statistic shows the true power of a recommendation or endorsement. If a sale comes down to you and one other person, your recommendations or endorsements could be the deciding factors. Only give recommendations or endorsements to people you have actually done work with and truly deserve them. If those people feel like you deserve it, they will typically return the favor. Now that you’ve got an effective and compelling profile, it’s time to get in front of your prospects and start generating leads. Jump into the discussions in your LinkedIn Groups or answer some questions in LinkedIn Answers. You will notice a dramatic increase in the amount of views your page gets and – combined with an effective profile – more people could reach out to you for your services. For more valuable information, download our complimentary eBook, “Tools to Help Enhance Rapport with Your...

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