Tag Archives: 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!

When Social Media Tactics Go Wrong

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What Potential Pitfalls to Avoid on Social Media Marketing

Social media can change the trend of a business’ growth online. Using the wrong methods, however, can make your movement fall and go down. How do you avoid those mistakes and make your start-up fare well on social marketing?

There are many social networks to choose from when planning your advertising campaign. Don’t get excited and try them all at the same time, as not all social networks are the same. This is true even if they have similar features such as the ever-present ‘Like’ and ‘Comment.’ Each one targets different audiences and works with specific types of content.

Google+, for example, isthe social site for ‘techie’ experts, engineers, web designers, software developers, and students. It caters more to males with visitors counting up to 69.62%, according to the infograph from Zintro. Pinterest, on the other hand, is the opposite. Its visitor demographics are 80% women and 20% men, 50% of whom have children. It is therefore likely for a mom with children living on the Midwest to have a Pinterest account.

The data above illustrates how distinct each social network can be with each other. It is more important to focus your campaign on one or two social media sites ONLY so you can reach your target audience. If you went wild to join all social networks, you’ll just end up unable to do anything to make your strategy succeed. The adage, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew,” works well for this situation. Multitasking is no use because 1) you have to update your social media sites, and 2) you have to engage your customers in a meaningful manner.

Choosing the best social network for your business is the right strategy to take. Where are your target consumers located online? Are they active in social networking? Which sites do they frequent? Direct your strategies here and make sure your regular customers know they can reach you online and interact with you on the company page.

Hoping that your audience will engage with your content is not advisable, too. There should be an effort on your part to make your audience engage with your content and share it to others. How do you get them to do this? First,write your content short and your message sweet. That doesn’t mean that your blog articles or podcast sessions can be incomplete and haphazardly done. Make your message concise and creative. Phrase your points in a direct manner. Most importantly, write as if you’re talking to them. This makes communication with easier. It also helps when you concentrate on topics that are interesting to them.

The technique above may work for B2B companies. For B2C companies, pictures and videos work better. Starbucks certainly got the formula for success as evidenced by the customer and fan engagement on its Facebook page:

Pictures and videos are indeed drivers of customer engagement. Studies show that people click on them more, rather than links and text posts. The numbers prove that this conclusion is correct, as the fourth picture got more than 30,000 likes. The inimitable frappuccino by itself fetches a large number of likes because it is delicious. The half-price promo contributed to the popularity factor, though. It perked up interest, made people talk about it, and share the news to their own friends.

Showing a human face to your followers is also another strategy to take note of. The first picture on the top left demonstrated how effective this is. Although it’s not a picture, it still generated a lot of engagement. This is because the link encouraged fans to participate in a cause that Starbucks has sponsored. Engagement increased as a result, and caused many to participate.

This effect is also shown on the photo album, Starbucks Global Month of Service. It engaged people because it shows that Starbucks gives back to the community and strives to “create a positive change in their local neighborhoods.” Your business can adopt this strategy as your own, even if you don’t have charity projects. The target here is to make your customers feel a bond with your business. What you can do is to take pictures of your staff doing their best to perform their tasks. Show followers how your staff creates the products you sell or take pictures of them smiling as they give the order to customers.

Combine promos with pictures, videos and other content. This encourages people to take notice, click your content, and rush to your store.

Getting customers to engage when they don’t know you is difficult. Before you provide them content, introduce yourself first with effective online advertising. Get yourself promoted with the help of influencers or the big people on the social networks. These influencers have thousands of followers. If you manage to convince an influencer with a thousand followers to promote you, there’s a chance you’ll get more followers on your own page. You can get by even if only a hundred or even fifty people ‘like’ your content and engage with your content, as long as they’re genuinely interested.

Another way you can promote yourself is to encourage positive word of mouth. This works best if you have many happy customers satisfied with your work. When customers are satisfied with your business, they refer other people to go to you. This makes it important that you serve high-quality products and combine it with professional and personable customer service. Once you get glowing reviews, offer them your business card that has your contact details and the links to your social networking pages. They’ll look for you online, and since they know you already, you’ll attract them with your creative and well thought-out content.

 

Reference:

Social Media Today

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

Look at Ability and Track Records when Considering Social Media Staff

Tips in Considering New Graduates for Social Media Positions

You’re ready to venture into social media but don’t know enough to become successful at it. You look over a list of candidates for the job and considered hiring someone fresh out of college to man the post. After all, the younger generation are more savvy when it comes to social networking. In fact, you’ve witnessed how your teenage nephews and nieces adeptly handle three personal social accounts simultaneously. Before you give job offers for the newly grads, are you really sure they’re capable enough to handle your social media campaigns?

1. Do they have the appropriate skills?

This should be your first concern. Do they have the skills you need to help make your social media campaigns take off and become successful? Do they have good oral and written communication skills? Do they have the proper work attitude? Determine whether your applicants have the qualities you seek so you will not regret hiring them. Assess whether they would be capable of handling corporate social media accounts as they do when managing their personal accounts in Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.

2. Do they have the experience?

New graduates need to be guided on what sort of content they should be posting. It is important to have someone check the articles, pictures and videos they made before posting them on the company web page. This is to ensure that the content meets your requirements and will reflect well on your online image. Other than that, you also have to make clear that their friends cannot post personal messages on your company page. Posts of this nature make your page look unprofessional.

3. They may not fit in with the work atmosphere.

When assessing new graduates for a position in your company, it is important to determine whether they’ll be able to handle working in your particular work environment. For example, you have a fast-paced office atmosphere that requires everyone to quickly react to emergency work situations. Do you think your young candidate will be up to this type of surroundings? Make sure they’re a good fit for the environment, not just for the job. They may pass the qualifications, but they might not have the personality suited for the post. A highly-strung person will easily get bored in a quiet office while a reserved individual will find it hard to adjust to an active group.

4. They will need to be supervised.

Yes, new graduates need to be supervised to ensure they’re able to adjust well. You or a colleague will have to be available to answer their questions. They may have to be observed to ensure they understand how the work is done so mistakes will occur less often. They should also be advised that personal browsing and managing their personal social accounts are not allowed. Some new graduates have to be reminded because they have had more freedom in social networking while doing their school work.

5. On-the-job training is necessary.

It is advisable to make your new hires (and new graduates to boot) to observe before they do actual work. Once they get a feel of how things are done, make them do some exercises that will test how they understood your instructions. This will gauge their ability to understand and follow directions, as well as test their predilection for hard work. You can also give them a ‘dry run’ before starting formal hiring procedures to see how they will cope with the job. Attitude should also be checked to see whether they’re mature enough to be productive employees who’ll stay in the long run.

6. Evaluate their technical skills.

Social media does not only involve handling content, but also entails analyzing production numbers, analytics, conversion rates and more. Determine their knowledge and skills in these aspects to fully grasp whether they would be fit in other areas of social media work as well. It would be better to hire people who have a background in handling such areas so they can assist you in concluding whether your social media campaigns are efficiently working or not. They should know how to improve campaigns and make them do well.

7. Crisis management skills should also be taken into account.

There may come a time when your company has to deal with a public relations nightmare. Make sure your social media manager and staff can handle the job and turn the situation around. Having a capable team who can think of ways to prevent PR problems many steps ahead saves you a lot of trouble.

8. Make sure you can access all your company’s social networking accounts.

Letting your company pages be managed alone without knowing many details about it can result to social media nightmare. Ensure that you’re in touch with the process so you’re not caught surprised and ignorant of what went on to cause a PR disaster. Knowing the passwords to those accounts will also allow you to monitor the content, analytics, and other minute information about your social media campaigns.

 

The Bottom Line

Hiring new graduates is not necessarily a bad thing. They give new blood to your workplace and can make the office exciting and lively. Gauge their skills, attitude and personalities just like you do with the older applicants. It also helps to remember that not all new graduates are the same. Some are really capable and equipped with a healthy attitude for work, while others need to develop their skills and cultivate a more mature manner. Consider these tips before hiring to ensure you’re getting a new graduate who will be great to work with.

 

Reference:

INC.com

Promoting and Popularizing Your Blog through Plug-Ins

Make Your Blog Catch on Social Media with Pleasing Plug-Ins

A blog is particularly useful in publishing content that helps you engage with customers online. Used by entrepreneurs who want to make their mark in social media, a blog is a good way to reach your fans. Share content about industry news, educational advice, interviews, funny pictures, evocative videos and more. This will endear followers who are looking for answers to questions related to your content.

Liven up your blog with pleasing plug-ins that will make it popular for customers and social networking sites. Plug-ins will add more functionality to your website and make it easier for your users to surf. Here are some plug-ins you can use:

1. Sharebar – The Sharebar is a vertical rectangular box that appears ona web page you want to share. It persistently moves with the page as viewers scroll up and down, calling attention to share a web page through their social networking accounts. Use this plug-in to allow readers to share your content across the social media universe.

This enables readers to quickly distribute your content on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Buffer, and other sites.

2. SexyBookmarks – This plug-in allows you to customize which social media sites you want your content to appear. It features 89 social networks so bloggers have a myriad of choice. Try it now so your followers can share your content in different social accounts.

3. Follow Me – This plug-in can be placed on the side of your web pages. It has a pop-up functionality, which displays all your business social profiles in large icons. This allows viewers to follow a blogger’s social networking accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Slideshare, and other social media sites.

Customize a Follow Me plug-in. Here are subscription buttons from Mashable.com:

4. Thank Me Later – it can be nice to receive a ‘Thank You’ note after commenting on a post you found interesting. Make people feel the same appreciation every time they post comment on your entries. Write the thank-you note in a humorous manner to make it more pleasing. Take this as an example from Blogtyrant.com:

Injecting a humorous note on your thank-you note will help persuade the commenter to subscribe to your RSS feed or check out your blog for new content.

5. Email-list subscription – Some users prefer to receive updates, freebies and content links through email. Accommodate their preference with a box asking for their email on corresponding web pages. You might say, “Want to receive updates by email? Please enter your name and email address to be included in our mailing list!”

Want to create a customized email inquiry box? Here’s an example of what Social Media Examiner has:

Notice that this email list subscription box offers a freebie in return for encoding your email address? This is actually a promotional move to persuade other users to subscribe to email updates. Why not utilize this technique as well? You’re sure to get more subscribers this way.

6. Gravity Forms –These are contact forms which allow bloggers to learn which content users like to receive updates for. Let’s see Mashable.com’s gravity form to illustrate further:With this plug-in, bloggers can gain insights on which pieces are the most and least popular among subscribers. Use gravity forms to allow subscribers to choose updates only on categories they prefer.

7. RSS Feed button – Don’t forget to add this basic button to your blog. Place this on every related web page to entice readers to subscribe for updates every time you post a new entry.

Make your website more interactive with these plug-ins. This will not only improve the look of your website; it will also promote user-friendly features that will endear the site to your followers. Come take another look at the plug-ins listed above or research more to see which ones better fit your website. This will encourage followers to engage with your content more and share it to their own friends.

 

 

References:

Social Media Examiner

MakeUseOf.com

Indiana University website

Moneytized.com

BlogTyrant.com

Proper Twitter Netiquette

Dos and Don’ts in the Tweeting Social Network

When developers first opened Twitter to the public, there were various reactions from delighted to displeased. There were users who couldn’t make sense of the 140-character limit and declared it didn’t make sense to tweet something that short. Time passed and users got used to Twitter’s unique platform. Users have come to love Twitter’s unique dashboard and posting rules. Rules have been revised to accommodate the growing number of users and differentiate between good and bad Twitter behavior.

On Twitter, you have to follow the 140-character limit. Go over, and your tweet will not be posted. The usual no-no’s in social networks are not allowed: cursing, hacking, impersonation of other people, posting pornographic content, and the like. Tweeting your opinions, especially in thorny issues like religion and politics, are all right, provided they are not incendiary. Posts that promote inflammatory content are frowned upon. Violate this and other rules, and your account will be banned.

Getting over-excited to tweet can cause you harm as well. It is advised to tweet only four times a day, with two posts every two hours. Posting more than four tweets can annoy your followers and make them unsubscribe from your tweet updates.

When tweeting, leave some space for your followers to add ‘RT’ or ‘Retweet.’ Consuming all 140 characters can deter your followers from promoting your tweets. As much as possible, phrase your tweets in less than 100 characters. This is the optimal tweet length to catch the attention of your followers, add a hashtag or two, and promote your tweets with ‘RT.’

Posts that are too personal should be sent over the direct messaging feature. Tweeting personal concerns, especially in a public profile, can endanger your safety and expose you to stalkers. Take care in posting your tweets and think whether you need to send a message to the recipient instead. This might save you from a lot of trouble.

If in doubt, read Twitter’s help center to clarify the regulations before you post. Be careful, too, on posting information that might be used to cause you harm. If you think it’s better to send that message as a private message, do so instead of tweeting.

 

Reference: NetworkEtiquette.net

Lifelong Commitment to Social Media

Gary Vaynerchuk’s Take on Customer Service in the Time of Social Media

Social media, according to Gary Vaynerchuk, needs a long-term commitment, not a one-night stand with immediate gratification. When entrepreneurs go into social marketing, they should not expect huge returns on investment as soon as they first create their Facebook, Twitter or Google+ company page. Like any relationship, an entrepreneur should nurture open and communicative dealings with customers to establish their presence online.

In fact, Vaynerchuk says one must go Jetsons and venture into social media, the future marketplace. Combine it with Flintstones’ attitude to small-town values on business-customer relations, and entrepreneurs are well on their way to success. Not paying enough attention to customer service online will make it hard for business to make it on social networking.

Things were easier in the old days when people set up their business. They strive to connect with customers who come to their store and take care of these customers well so they will keep coming back. Satisfied customers will spread the good word about your store. Soon enough, you’ll have a steady, regular clientele to serve every day.

Getting customers is different with social media. You cannot easily win customers with the usual smiles, greetings and how-can-I-help-yous in online interaction. To win them over, you’ll need the following: (1) a well-designed website, (2) customer-friendly networking pages, and (3) an engaging blog. You need to update your pages with quality content at least three times a week to continue charming customers. Not updating can mean failure for your web marketing strategy. The long and short of it is, you have to invest time, money, and effort in social media.

Giving social networking less than 100% commitment can draw losses for your campaign. A short-term commitment will not provide you the customer base you want to achieve. For example, you set up a social media page and neglect it after a while. Customers who got interested in your initial campaign will be disappointed and move on to another business, which might be your competitor.

This drives us to think it’s not only vital to reach out to customers online. It’s important to keep tabs on the competition as well. Competitors who manage to use social media successfully have an edge over you and might overtake you if you don’t put your act together. The most practical way to ease out the competition online? The solution is building and nurturing good customer relationships online. Your happy customers will serve as your testimonials and their positive reviews will make your business flourish.

Follow Vaynerchuk’s advice and make a strong commitment to social marketing. Go Jetson on your business and advance to the social media future. Keep your Flintstone customer values and you’ll do fine on the Internet.

 

Reference: INC.com

Plotting the Way to the American Teen’s Heart

Online and Mobile Marketing Tips for Teen-Targeted Businesses

The teens will soon become the future buyers. How do they behave online? Are they any different from the usual Internet user who’s more active on weekends?

For American teens, it is important to remain connected almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. According to AWeber Communications, teenagers feel that they would be communication-handicapped without cellphones and Internet connection.

This is because American teenagers nowadays are much influenced by technology. They have rich online lives in the social networks they belong to. They call and send text messages more often than other age demographics. They’re also not much used to living without a mobile phone within reach and a computer with Internet connection in their vicinity. Existing without these two commodities makes for a very dull life, indeed.

This creates a need for businesses to step up their campaigns to be more visible in the Internet. Mobile technology is also rapidly developing to make web browsing convenient for smartphone users. Teenagers love to surf web pages on their phones; it makes sense for you as an entrepreneur to invest on a mobile website or app.

The Internet is so pervasive in the life of a normal American teenager. They’re connected to the online world from the time they wake up before they go to sleep. There’s…

  • email to check – time to start some email campaigns)
  • people to text or call during the commute – SMS campaigns, anyone?
  • zone out the teacher and check social networking account in class – set campaigns around the 8 am to 7 pm mark
  • Getting home after school? Time for YouTube surfing. – create a video to engage those online tweens
  • Going on a date? Update your friends on every word said with your phone. – Restaurant businesses, take notice! Put your bistro on Google Maps.
  • Skype chats before going to bed – it’s time to ask Skype if ads are allowed during chats.

Facebook, of course, is no stranger to the American teen. Surprisingly, it’s email that’s grabbling with the almighty FB for attention. It’s a neck-and-neck race between these two. This points out the need for more email marketing. Take note, though, of the best practices in email advertising campaigns. Follow the rules so your messages will not considered spam.

Reach out to the teens in the house with an aggressive Facebook campaign. This social network, so far, is the most popular hub for teenagers next to YouTube, according to Huffington Post. Start brainstorming with the staff on how to get teens on board your store to buy your merchandise!

Confused yet on what tools to use for your social media marketing campaigns? Here are the popular online hubs of the American teen:

Start communicating with teens online. Cultivate relationships with them now to earn lifelong customers for the future. Conduct your advertising campaigns to the teenage market now!

 

References:

AWeber.com

Huffington Post