Tag Archives: Businesses in Social Media

Widen Your Online Presence with a Social Media Boost, Part 3

Make your business soar and succeed online with the help of five social networks.

Foursquare, a location-based application that lets people check in places where they’re currently at, was launched in 2009. Three years later, this online community has more than 20 million users worldwide who approximately perform over 2.5 billion check-ins every day. This is an exciting concept that many businesses quickly seized by using Foursquare for marketing purposes. The San Diego Union-Tribune is using this application to offer free newspapers. Its Foursquare advertisement says, “Get a free newspaper when you check in.”

This technique serves to attract people to become regular readers and subscribers of the San Diego Union-Tribune. People are naturally attracted to ‘free’ items, especially if they’re striving to minimize their expenses. Place a sign on your door saying ‘Free ________ for any _________ within _________” and you’ll have dozens of curious shoppers asking about your promo. This can be used to make people more aware of your brand. Once they have their hands on your product, they’ll examine it thoroughly and assess whether it will fit their needs.

Foursquare is an instrument to complement specific marketing strategiessuch as discounts, product trials, free tastings, publicity events, and more. Foursquare fans get excited to unlock rewards and earn points from certain actions such as checking in to a new place (3 points) and adding a new venue (5 points). There’s also a feature that makes a user check in as many times as possible in 60 days to be the ‘Mayor’ of a certain place. This, however, can be difficult to track if the place in question attracts a crowd of savvy Foursquare users.

Using this application as a stand-alone tool will make you rely on the number of check-ins. Businesses can now depend on the pull of friendship to get customers curious about their products. Foursquare users will see if they have friends who went to a particular business before. Once they know people who used the products and services they want to check out, they’ll certainly ask those friends about it.The good thing about this is you’ll get more customers if the verdict about your store is good enough to make them interested.

Once you’ve successfully created a Foursquare brand page, you can now call on users in the same location as your business. Logged-in users can see you on the map and click to look at your brand page where you can advertise several promotions. For example, you can get people coming in through the door with this message: “Get a pair of brand-name shoes at 25% off from 5 pm to 6 pm!” This will allow you to get their attention and make them curious to visit your store and see the shoes on offer. You can also provide freebies or shout out about an event coming soon. Invite prospective customers to a public party. Inform them about new products coming soon.

Go on and check out the options offered on this URL: https://foursquare.com/business/.

Happy checking in, Foursquare fanatics!

Widen Your Online Presence with a Social Media Boost, Part 2

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Make your business soar and succeed online with the help of five social networks.

Blogs, pictures, and location-sharing services are popular on the Internet these days. Used to capture interest, these features are used by many businesses today to promote different products and services. Blogs are utilized to publish different types of content that grab the attention of the target audience, while images serve to strengthen brand awareness. Interactive maps pointing out the location of a certain business draws more customers to the actual physical site of the store. These social media tools are used to expose brands to different audiences and increase engagement with prospective customers.

Tumblr, Instagram and Foursquare are three of the leading social media tools used by many businesses, especially in North America. These three online giants offered opportunities for entrepreneurs to bridge the gap with savvy consumers well-versed on browsing the net.

1. Tumbling into Tumblr

Tumblr is a microblogging site launched in 2007 that allows users to post a host of multimedia on a blog. Comparatively easier to use than other sites on the same category, Tumblr allows users to interact with other blogs using text posts, images, videos, links, quotes, and more. This site has a simple dashboard and interface where users can see their own posts, including content from blogs they follow. They have the option of liking, replying or sharing others’ content or posting their own. This caused Tumblr to become popular and retain a large number of its existing users. It also has a high number of unique visits that directly competes with other social networks such as Pinterest and Twitter.

How do you use Tumblr for your business?

  • Advertise to followers using Tumblr. With Tumblr, you can post and ‘pin’ something to the top of your followers’ dashboard until they take it down themselves. This paid feature ensures that your followers see your most important ads as soon as you roll them out. There’s also ‘highlighting’ which adds a tag to the right side of the post. This tag serves to grab the attention of your followers as they scroll down their dashboard. Finally, there’s the Tumblr Radar, which shows the most popular posts chosen by the Tumblr box. These are particularly useful for reaching customers who lead busy lives and can’t keep up with your posts as much as before.
  • Post pictures, pictures, and more pictures. According to Tumblr, pictures make up the most number of posts that get ‘reblogged’ (or shared) for a multiple number of times until it goes viral. This is because pictures, especially colorful ones, attract more attention than text posts. What you see is what you get when it comes to pictures, while with text, you have to interpret the words to discern the meaning.
  • Schedule your posts and update your blog automatically. You cannot stay stuck in front of your computers to update the blog content all day. Create posts and schedule them to be posted at the time you want. Use the Queue function to benefit fully from this feature.
  • Rouse your followers’ competitive side. Launch contests and give away prizes that will make followers sit up and take notice. This will increase awareness about your business, turn more attention to your products, and get more visitors to go to your website and other social networking pages.
  • Be interactive. Followers sometimes get curious about a certain video or link you posted. Make it easier for them to reach you. Allow them to post replies by ticking the ‘Let people photo reply’ and ‘Let people answer this’ options. These will enable you to build closer relationships with them.

2. Insta-Perfect Photos with Instagram

Taking pictures is a passion that Instagram taps into. Currently available on iPhone and Android platforms, this mobile application has 80 million users editing images with filters and sharing them to the online community. Businesses use this app to take and share pictures of their products to their target audience in Instagram.

How do you use this for your business?

  • Set the tone for a story about your products and services. Before you snap pictures at random, think about what light you want your business to be seen. Would you like a homey feel or a trendy atmosphere? Decide on this first to ensure that create the right impression you want your followers to make.
  • Be creative. Take photos of your products and services in unusual ways. Experiment with different filters to make your pictures more catchy and interesting to look at. Finely taken shots will make your products have the potential to engross followers and make them curious about your merchandise.
  • Learn how your customers use your products. Know what customers think of your merchandise. Ask them to post how they use your products. This will serve to make other followers (who are not yet your customers) to buy your goods themselves. Another additional benefit is that you’ll see how your products can be further developed to make it more useful for customers.
  • Take your followers behind the scenes. Engage your social community with pictures that show a carefree side to your employees. This will enable them to know your staff more and form close ties to your business. Showing how you prepare for an event or demonstrating the way you manage your inventory makes followers more curious about your enterprise. This encourages more socialization between you and prospective customers.
  • When speechless, say it with pictures. Ask your followers and let them reply with a picture. For example, you’re involved in the clothing retail industry. You can ask queries like, “What’s your fashion statement today?” This will challenge followers to look their best and post pictures of themselves wearing their most stylish outfit. If you are in the food business, ask your followers post images of healthy meals they enjoy. You’re promoting hale and hearty food, while subtly promoting your goods!

Check out the next article for information on how to use Foursquare for your business.

 

References:

Wikipedia.org

ThunderSEO.com

Hubze.com Link 1

Hubze.com Link 2

Oops! Three Social Media Mistakes to Watch Out for

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Scenarios to Avoid when Starting Your First Online Marketing Campaign

It’s natural to make mistakes, especially on the first time you handle something. It is the same way with social media. It’s easy to think about it as a simple venture, as your activity for the whole day is to think up status updates, photos, videos, and other content that will get the attention of your intended audience. But social media is beyond that. In fact, this is the first common misconception that entrepreneurs form when they first encounter the concept of interacting with their customers online. Business owners need to socialize with their target audience, hence the word ‘social.’

Social media is more than attracting the attention of your customers with an online advertisement. It is important to create a website and networking pages that will introduce your business to customers. You cannot hope to succeed in online marketing without these two platforms. This is because customers instinctively distrust businesses that feature only an ad.

If we match this with real-life event, it was as if they just met you for the first time and suddenly, they received a brochure from you. They don’t immediately pay attention to the brochure and ignore it until it’s time to throw it away. This makes it necessary to introduce yourself and your purpose first, especially on the web where there’s no face-to-face interaction. Your website and your networking pages will function as your ‘introduction’ while your ads will become your ‘online brochure.’

The primary goal is to connect with customers and build relationships with them, hence, the word ‘social’ in social media. Entrepreneurs need to ‘socialize’ with their target audience online before they advertise about their merchandise. Concentrating all efforts on marketing, instead of doing as advised, will be your first mistake. This is because social media doesn’t convert as easy as 1, 2 and 3 when it comes to generating sales leads. You need to establish a connection before approaching the customer with a sales pitch.

You have to give something, so you can sell your merchandise. Your agenda for the first three months or so, should be establishing your online presence. Make a short yet detailed ‘About Us’ sections on your platforms. Show pictures of your store and staff, as well as your products and services. Interact with your customers online. It is advisable not to embark on a marketing campaign around this time as you’re still seeking to make yourself known to your customers and trying to get close to them. Remember, it takes time, energy and effort to develop relationships online and get returns on your labors.

Being active in social marketing is not equivalent to success. You may be posting everyday but are you sure your followers are engaging with your content? Make sure your blog, website or social networking pages are monitored with analytics. There are free analytics software from Google and other platforms to help you determine whether your posts receive attention from your intended audience. If there’s positive improvement than when you started, then continue what you’re doing. Are you sure, though, that your goals are aligned with your efforts? Brad Smith, a social media expert, offers advice on making your networking posts effective:

  • What is your main goal in joining social media? Do you aim to develop awareness about your merchandise? Do you wish to make customers more loyal to your brand? Or do you want to increase your sales? Choose one goal, and coordinate it with your strategy. Combining all three goals using one strategy will not gain you anything as each goal needs a corresponding series of actions.
  • List down each step and measure your progress. This will help you track your progress and see if you’re deviating from your plan of action.
  • Identify which activities get the highest ROI. Sometimes, we concentrate too much on the quantity of posts we produce every day. Experiment with different posting times and types of content and monitor each trial with analytics. This will allow you to see which posts get the most engagement from your followers.
  • Measure your productivity. Determine if an action offers sufficient returns for your efforts. If not, cancel them to make room for more activities that will yield enough rewards.
  • Remain dedicated. Sometimes we get discouraged when we see that there’s only a small number of people responding to our campaigns. When this happens, partner with an associate to keep your morale up and help you maintain your dedication.

Engagement doesn’t just happen; it is nurtured. A video will not become viral if you rely on your target audience to spread it. You must perform marketing initiatives to push your content and reach prospective customers who might be encouraged to contact you. How do you set your campaign in motion? One way you can do that is to roll out newsletters to your existing customer base. This generates interest among your customers on your latest content.

You can also ask other bloggers to encourage their audience to visit your website. Contact online newsletters which welcome guest articles. This has the added advantage of increasing links that will pull up your search engine rankings. On the same vein, look for syndication partners that can run your articles. If you have sufficient resources, you can do your own promotion and advertising. Create a video and upload it to video-sharing sites. Customers can be persuaded to share your video if it is effective in engaging their attention and making them feel that it’s worthy to be shared to their own friends.

There’s no automatic growth when you join social media. Even though this field is relatively new and inexpensive, it takes time before you can successfully establish your presence online. It will be far easier if your target market already knows you, but what if they don’t? This makes it necessary to follow the rules, work hard and adjust your strategy as you go along. This may be new ground, but you can still succeed, provided you follow the basics while making your own path at the same time.

 

Reference:

Social Media Today

Coping in the World of Social Media

How Traditional Businesses can Weather the Social Media Times

Newspapers, magazines, ad agencies, and other print publications have been around more years than we could count on our fingers. Tabloids or broadsheets have been our staple reading material every morning. Sheets were turned and news will come out to tell us the latest thing that happened during the past day. Nowadays, people are glued to the Internet where they get the latest breaking news from Twitter and other sites.

There’s the cable television, where the kids used to huddle around and watch movie offerings for family night. Today, you can watch on your computer endless streams of videos from popular TV shows you love. Subscriptions for cable connection continue to drop and go flat-rate. Although these media are still effective vehicles for ads, more attention is being shifted online. The web has become THE hub for ads, copywriting campaigns, how-to videos and other marketing devices for all types of businesses.

Consumers are turning away from traditional media sources –television, radio, newspapers, magazines, books and other print media. They rely on word of mouth and the recommendation of their family and friends about the best products to buy for whatever need. They log on to the Internet and look for product reviews and store suggestions on social media sites. These make the commercials and ads shown on the TV, radio and magazines rather obsolete. This affected publication so much that the number of prints has drastically lowered since social media entered the marketing and advertising sphere.

This is proven by the PEW Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, they discovered that print advertising is slowly falling while online ads continue to rise.

As you can see from the data above, print ads steadily falls from 2003-2011. Even though the number of online ads fluctuates, the revenue shows an increasing trend. These show there are more people watching out for online ads than print ones. This reiterates the current situation where online marketing campaigns dominate over traditional advertising methods.

As the traditional setup do not effectively work as much as they did, entrepreneurs now venture into social media to see if they can successfully use it to attract more customers. They try to apply the methods they learned in the old media, but realize that the tried-and-true techniques don’t prosper on the web.

Social media thrives on reviews and recommendations. The fate of an online business lies in the reactions of customers who have gone to try the merchandise for themselves. If customers like your store, they give recommendations to people they know. They might even feel so inclined to write a positive review that conveys their satisfaction with your workmanship, customer service, and staff.

This makes it important for customers to love your store. The World Wide Web is getting smaller, with customers holding the upper hand. They can write reviews that influence other people. Make sure to delight your clientele. Once you have their trust, they’ll keep coming back and refer you to other people who haven’t discovered you yet.

The pressure is on for social media professionals to help businesses generate the necessary marketing leads online. They must assist entrepreneurs in maintaining an unimpeachable online reputation. A proliferation of negative reviews against your business drives away customers. Protect your image from harmful reviews and guard against blackball tactics from the competition. It is also advisable to ask happy customers to post their comments on review sites where there are many complaints about your store. The satisfactory reviews will offset the effect of the negative feedback. This will bring back customers to your store to verify whether your service is really good or not.

Reviews also prove the effectiveness of peer influence. Customers listen to people they know. They’re not easily swayed by well-known influencers who have a large network of followers. This is proven by Nielsen research which says, “It can be tempting to go after Social Broadcasters due to their great number of followers or high Klout scores but as real influence is truly tied to close networks…” (sic)

It is not feasible to work with social laggards, as they can only recommend you to a small number of people. People with large networks, or those social broadcasters, do not necessarily make good influencers, either. This is because social broadcasters cannot really connect to everyone in their network. Let’s apply this to your situation. For example, you’re connected online to famous personalities on Twitter who have more than 100,000 followers. When they make public tweets asking everyone to try out this product or so, will you really do so? Maybe so, if you’re a great fan; but not everyone will because they don’t personally know this endorser.

Nielsen further declares that “…the true power of influencing purchasing decisions comes from a person’s close family, friends and peers, a focus on peer influence presents the most viable opportunity for marketers.” This makes it clear that entrepreneurs need to cultivate good relationships with all their customers. These satisfied clients will serve as loyal PR representatives, as they advise their friends, loved ones, and even acquaintances to choose your store over another.

 

References:

HBR Blogs

StateoftheMedia.org

CrowdTap.com

Widen Your Online Presence with a Social Media Boost

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Make your business soar and succeed online with the help of five social networks.

Using social media to promote your business has the potential to generate big profit for your company. More and more people goonline to shop, look at different products, keep up with the latest news, catch up with friends, and more. This presents the opportunity for businesses to reach customers and build a large online client base.

Choosing which social media site where you can establish your business requires considerations, though. For example, does your target audience frequent this site? How about your competitors? How long have they been on social media? Are they just starting out like you? Other than that, is the social network of your choice fit your company? Is it suitable for your marketing campaigns?

Making a decision about what social media site to choose for your advertising project centers on your customers. Investigate whether they prefer to look at ads on traditional or modern media. Do they like reading newspapers, listening to the radio, and watching television more than browsing the Internet? If so, these are the media you should be focusing on. If your target market is the young adult group, mainly people ages 18-34 years old, then they probably have active online lives. They’re likely to have accounts on the most popular social networks, own a smartphone, and like to spend more than 8 hours surfing the web.

Once you find out where your prospective customers like to hang about, customize your campaigns to include content that appeals to them the most. Your audience might prefer to see pictures and videos more than text updates on your blog and social networking pages. How do you make your brand attractive and encourage them to say good things about your products?

Positive engagement is the key to build relationships with your target audience. Make your online presence active and interactive to better befriend them and make them feel close to you. How do you do that? First, you have to choose a social media site. Here is some information on five of the fastest-growing social networks today:

1. Tweeting on Twitter

Established in 2006, Twitter enjoyed a rapid growth as soon as it was unveiled on the Internet. It quickly garnered more users in 2007 when participants of the South by Southwest Interactive conference used Twitter to keep track of other attendees. They increased the average number of tweets up to 3 times the usual 20,000 tweets per day.

Business Standard, a national India newspaper, appended Twitter with the moniker, “SMS of the Internet.” This is because users can only type 140 characters on the Internet. This makes for straightforward posts, with emphasis on the ‘short and sweet’ type of messages.

How do you use Twitter for your business:

  • Heads-up for the latest company deals and coupon codes. This not only benefits followers but also businesses as well, as special offers and discounts tend to generate interest and increase traffic.
  • Customer service assistance. Customers prefer to reach out to businesses online instead of calling the hotline number. Interact more with customers and answer their inquiries and complaints. React to their suggestions and other feedback, as well. This will make them more satisfied with your business in general.
  • Customer Engagement. Twitter offers different ways to engage with customers using the @mention and Twitpic features. Arrange contests to increase brand awareness and make people come to your website and store’s physical location.
  • Promote the company blog. Encourage followers to keep up to date with the latest posts on your blog. You can share post industry news and company updates to discuss with your followers.

2. Pinning on Pinterest

Imagine Pinterest as a set of online bulletin boards which you can use like scrapbooks. The user-friendliness of this site made Pinterest break into the social media race on 2010. It became popular enough to generate 11 million unique visits, which makes it the fastest to break the 10 million unique visitor count record. Pinterest’s wide reach brought more referral traffic to entrepreneurs than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+. In March 2012, it surpassed LinkedIn and became the third largest social networking site in the United States.

How do you use Pinterest for your business?

  • Enhance your brand image. What makes your business popular among your loyal customers? Is it the ambiance of your store? The way your products are presented? Adopt those same qualities on your Pinterest boards. If your customers exclaim over the décor of your site, why not post pictures of décor suggestions?
  • Showcase your products in a unique way. Unleash your creative side and think of ways to display your products. Take pictures that show them at their best. If you’re selling wines, show photos of your wine bottles in an unusual position that would display how the light reflects against the wine.
  • Be more social. Make your Pinterest page more social with posts about your customers. Are you providing art classes? Take pictures of the works of your students. Hosting a party with many followers in attendance? Post photos of your best-dressed participants. You can also allow customers to post pictures of how they use your merchandise. This not only increases customer engagement but also promotes your products to your followers.
  • Include other pictures relevant to your products. It can be boring to see the same things posted on one board after another. Be more diverse and post photos of different type of products related to your brand. For example, if you’re a greengrocer, post vegetarian recipes to promote using greens as ingredients. You can also pin images of cooked vegetables in different occasions like Thanksgiving, 4th of July and other holidays.
  • Inject humor on your posts. Humor is a great equalizer. Make people notice your page more with memes, jokes, and comic strips related to your products. If you’re managing a pet shop, create jokes using pictures of your pets. This works well with today’s fad of dog and cat jokes circulating around the net.

Check out the next article for tips on posting on Tumblr, Instagram, and Foursquare.

 

References:

Wikipedia Info on Twitter

Wikipedia Info on Pinterest

Search Engine Journal

TheSocialSkinny.com

Hubze.com

Make a Mark and Establish Your Business Online

The Importance of Training Executives for Social Media

Social media is the catchphrase these days. Your younger siblings are into it, the store next door is planning a campaign, while your competition across town already has Facebook and Twitter pages. You therefore issued orders for your executives to launch social networking campaigns. A month into it and you want to drop the project because nothing seems to go right. What could your company be doing wrong?

One reason is that your executives don’t have enough social media training to prepare campaigns and make them work. Another cause for failure is the anxious way you entered social networking. It takes time to create a feasible online marketing campaign. It’s not enough for executives to familiarize themselves with the popular networks. They need to have sufficient knowledge of what they’re doing. Executives should know what steps to take to avoid mistakes that would make your business earn a reputation for sloppy online engagement.

There should be a sense of urgency for your company to frame a workable social media strategy. The best thing to do is consult a social networking consultant to examine your business processes and determine which approach suits your company. Professionals can advise which techniques to use and what mistakes to avoid.

Almost any business can go into social media to expand their social reach online. General contractors can market their home or office renovation services to their preferred clients. Boutiques can improve their ecommerce websites and advertise their products to their target demographic. Social media can do many things for your business. This makes it necessary for CEOs and entrepreneurs to learn how social marketing help their business.

Take the opportunity to improve your social reach online. More and more people are logging in and surfing the web every day. This makes it necessary for businesses to go online and attract more customers to buy their products and services. You need to stake your claim on web real estate to make people notice what you can offer. Not going online minimizes your chances to grow and expand your business. You do not want other businesses who managed to make success of themselves in social media to leave you behind.

Your competitors can overtake you if you don’t take action. Attend training seminars with your executives to learn about the importance of social media. Be informed about the best practices of going into social networking. This helps you learn more about online marketing and its advantages, how to engage customers and build relationships with them. Keep your followers interested to turn them into customers who will be loyal to your brand for a long time.

Start your education with a social media professional today, so you and your executives can make your mark in the world of online business. Take advantage of the business opportunities presented on the web. Organize conversations with your executives and frame strategies that effectively establish your presence online.

 

Reference:

Huffington Post

When Social Media Campaigns Fail

A Guide to Ensuring and Maintaining Social Networking Success

Many businesses set up company pages in various social media sites and think it’s smooth sailing from thereon. Content is updated sporadically and comments are left unanswered until much later. Online campaigns have failed and you don’t know what went wrong when other companies have made it big.

Here’s a checklist to help you examine your progress or lack of it:

Make a commitment.

A social media campaign is not something you can start and then leave to take care of itself. It needs to be updated with new blog posts at least once a week. Regular monitoring is also important to ensure that comments are answered on time. This will make customers feel well-attended. Check the analytics to find out what articles get the most traffic. This will help you improve upon your strategy and make success easier to reach.

Find the best social networking site that fits your business.

Look for mentions of your business name in the web to find out where your customers flock. Create an account and establish your presence first. For example, your customers reviewed your business in Yelp. Make an account in Yelp to track the feedback and engage with customers. This will enable you to find out what they’re saying and help you perform immediate damage control for complaints, when needed.

Engage regularly.

When there are customers who regularly engage with the content you post, your social media campaign is a success. Ask questions to initiate conversations and be prepared to answer back as soon as customers reply to your queries. Not answering back promptly may confuse and annoy them enough. Be sure to activate your notifications or better yet, make a regular sweep. This will ensure you’re not missing any comment you’ve forgotten to answer a while back.

Create catchy content.

Without creative content, your target audience will lose interest. Talk about industry news and avoid over-promotion of your business. Minimize sponsoring your business in your articles. Doing so will turn off your customers. Post original content instead. You don’t need to create long articles every time you post. What matters is that you regularly update at least every week to make people keeping on coming back to visit your social media pages.

Run contests.

Contests are a good way to bring more attention to your business. They generate exposure and excitement enough to attract more traffic to your page. Run contests around three months or so and give away prizes that will thrill your followers. This will expose them to your brand and make them avail your merchandise more often.

Try other social networking sites.

Staying on one social media site can prevent you from broadening the extent of your online social presence. Try out personal profiles in other social networks. Once you’ve gained mastery of the features, make a company or brand page to expose your business to the people active in that community. This will also help you find out whether a social network is a right fit for your business. If that particular social site is not helping you with the campaign, you can deactivate or delete the brand page. You can also redirect them to your existing and active pages.

Delegate social media tasks.

It can be overwhelming to keep your campaigns up to date and run your business at the same time. When tasks become too much to handle, delegate them to capable people. This would make your projects more manageable to deal with.

Having a social media plan can make campaigns easier to see through. Follow a structured road map or customize it according to your own social networking needs to earn success.

 

Reference: Social Media Examiner