Tag Archives: Social Networking

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

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

The Power of Peer Influence

How peer influence is much more effective than relying on well-known influencers for business marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is still the most popular and useful way to successfully market your business. Many entrepreneurs rely on influencers with a huge social clout to post professional or fun tweets and status updates about their merchandise. These people usually have more than a thousand followers or fans, who may or may not follow their suggestions to buy a particular product or service from a certain establishment.

If we really think about it, are influencers really effective in getting our marketing message across? Some would strongly agree, especially the fans, who have followed the progress of their idol since the early days. But what about those who became fans because they want to keep up to date with the influencers’ thoughts? All they do is note down and never take part in the influencer’s activities, endorsements and sponsored events. If they don’t want to join, they’ll just ignore such posts coming from the influencer.

Peer marketing is different from the dependence on influencers to market businesses. In this method, entrepreneurs rely more on their loyal customers to get the good word out. These satisfied customers tell other people about your business and refer those people to call you. This is way more effective than relying on influencers. This is proven with Duncan Watts’ study about “the pass-around power of everyday people.” The research he accumulated demonstrated that “close networks of [everyday] people drive influence on and offline.”

According to Crowdtap’s infograph, 92% of the respondents rely on advice from people they know. People listen more to their families, friends and everybody else they are familiar with, rather than some random person they encounter in the Internet with thousands of followers. Influencers do have some power over their fans’ choices, but what would you really choose — an influencer’s recommendation or a friend’s suggestion?

Successful Social Media Sales

How Social Media can Help Your Business Earn More Profit

Making money with your social media campaigns takes much time and effort. It takes time to connect to customers and make them interested to buy what you’re offering. People are more empowered to make buying decisions these days, due to the abundance of information present in the Internet and other media. It’s not about salespersons making pitches anymore; it’s more about understanding the customers’ needs. Once you make customers see how their needs can be met with your goods, then the potential to achieve a sale increases.

Sales should come after customers. If businesses require their staff to approach customers with only the aim of making a sale, it will turn them off and make them unwilling to talk anymore. The key here is to engage customers and make them your first priority. Take note of their needs and help them make the right choice that will fit their requirements. This will endear them to your business and make them loyal customers.

With this approach in mind, you can start on implementing your marketing strategy. Here are some tips you can do to increase your customer base:

1. Build relationships.

Respond to a tweet addressed to you. Participate in comment threads. Greet fans and followers on their birthdays. Post something that you know would capture the interest of your readers, be it a funny meme, an intriguing news article or an educational how-to video. These actions will help you be closer to your customers and make them more receptive to your marketing content. Once you’ve captured their interest, it will be easier to turn attention to your products and services.

2. Join networking events.

People who meet in person are closer than those who meet only in the Internet. Make new contacts in networking events and other business dealings. Keep in touch with everyone using social media sites. This would make more meaningful exchanges and make talk about your merchandise more comfortable and personal.

3. Keep your social media training up to date.

Social media is a dynamic field, with new information coming in every day. A professional who trained in social media a year ago might get lost with the many changes and developments happening online. It pays to stay current and informed about the latest developments to avoid being left behind. Keeping up with the latest trends will also help you build up your social networking profiles more. This would also help cultivate additional interest in your company.

4. Undertake social media research and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategies.

Keep track of the analytics of your social networking pages. After you’ve gathered and understood the data about your best prospects, then you can start launching your CRM campaigns. Customize those campaigns according to each prospect’s needs to ensure quality results that fit their needs. This will help you convert them to loyal customers you can count on to recommend your products and services.

5. Monitor the competition.

It is wiser to keep track of what the competition is doing to attract new customers. Make the value your offer exceed theirs. You don’t have to spend more to improve your existing goods; just enough to make it more attractive, presentation-wise. .If their methods provide better return than yours, study how they work and think of ways to improve upon their strategy. This will help you think of techniques to trump and exceed their success.

6. Offer freebies and price cuts.

People get excited over free items they can get. Make it more fun for your customers to visit your website. Create a free newsletter mailed straight to their inbox or offer products with discounted prices. This would help drive more traffic on your social pages and website. People who love your products will recommend them to others, which will increase your client base. This method will also show who your strongest leads are, and help you find the people whom you can concentrate your marketing campaigns.

7. Experiment with different types of content.

There are many kinds of content available for marketing purposes. Other than websites and blogs, you can also provide white papers, reports, webinars, webcasts, newsletters and emails. Entrepreneurs should study which types of content are truly preferred by customers instead of providing those which they think that customers want. In the picture below, Lori Wizdo demonstrates how businesses provide content, which is not aligned with customer requirements in “The Lead-Nurturing Payoff for the Tech Industry.”

8. Improve and optimize your website.

If you see that your website has few visits, think of ways which you can improve it. Don’t know what to look for? Consult a web design professional to look at your website and give you a quote on what should be done. Maybe you can change the headline phrasing to make it catchier or add some testimonials to your website.

9. Look for mentions of your businesses.

Negative reviews can be harmful for your business. A complaint can go out of control, with everyone affected retelling and spreading it. Look up your business in discussion boards, forums, and review sites like Yelp. Screen them for bad feedback and probe whether you can flag the comments. If you’re not able to do so, respond to the comment in a calm and professional manner. This will show others that you care about what your customers think about.

10. Ask other website owners to link to your own site.

Increase the number of inbound links to your sites from other websites. This will benefit you climb up the search engine rankings and make you more visible to a larger number of people who are actually looking for a business like yours. When customers see other websites linking to your own, they will trust you more. These links act as endorsements of how credible and reliable your company is.

 

References:

Mashable

TheBiggandBusiness.com

Marketing Profs

Marketo.com

Image Taken From:

Office Clipart

Social Media’s Ultimate Goal

What’s more important? Immediate Profit or Lifelong Customers?

Businesses invest on social media to market their products and services, get regular customers and increase profit. Sometimes, entrepreneurs embark on web marketing campaigns and get disappointed when they don’t immediately achieve their desired outcome. As a result, they scrap the whole social networking project and look for other marketing avenues.

Let us clear up misconceptions. When a business first buys into social media, little profit should be expected. Social networking does not mean immediate leads that you can turn to sales and revenues. It focuses more on making connections and building relationships with other people in the Net. Once you have established connections, that’s the time to start raising brand awareness, managing brand reputation and promoting word-of-mouth engagement about your products.

When you first join social networks, you have to understand your target audience first. You need to determine how you will be able to connect with them, learn what topics they usually discuss and find out what their needs are. Not studying your preferred demographic can translate to huge losses you cannot easily recoup.

Shadowing the progress of other companies involved in social media can make you learn a lot about what works on the Internet. This knowledge can help you tailor your business goals to suit your situation and provide marketing messages that are essentially attractive to your customers. Reach out to influencers, interact with your followers and take the time to build your reputation within your chosen social media platform.

Prevent from making hard sales and product promotions because these can disenchant your customers. Share your knowledge about your field instead. Make your content relevant and engaging to your audience and get in touch with them. Share your knowledge about your field and comment on their posts. Listen to their replies and respond to their feedback.

Social media takes time to help you make your business flourish. It’s a continuous trial and error to see what techniques best work for you. It is also similar to getting someone you really like agree to a date with you. You can’t just approach that person and ask her to go out with you. You have to get to know her first, familiarize yourself to her characteristics and win her good will. This is the same condition with social media. You cannot immediately achieve customers; you have to make them feel comfortable enough to trust you to give them the products and services they need.

Free, Affordable Ways to Establish Web Presence

Letting the public know that you are open for business can be expensive.

Why not connect to the Internet and its vast number of netizens? Build up your web presence now to attract more and more visitors to your retail store or shop. If you’re worried about the price of investing on billboards and other signage materials, here are some affordable ways you can advertise:

1. Making and registering your own website.

A website can be a fount of information for your customers. If properly created, it can drive more calls to your business and earn you more profit. Make an investment with a website. You can customize it to provide knowledge about your business as well as your products and services. Look for affordable web domain registries and hosting sites for your website. Their coordinators will guide you through your options and help you decide which will fit your business better. If you already have a domain, look for hosting sites with package deals to save more on your budget.

2. Blogs

Blogs, especially those which are regularly updated, make great reading and marketing material. Link your website to your blog for more informal communication with actual and potential customers. Blogs are a great way to interact with your customers through the use of comment boxes. Proper use of this social media tool ensures more personal dealings with customers, which makes you seem more approachable and friendly.

3. Social Networking Sites

Social media sites are hubs of millions and millions of users waiting to be tapped. Try launching a social page or feed to market your business to a diverse base of users. This will enable you to share news about your company, offer special deals and discounts, and participate in online discussions about your business. Choose which demographic you want to attract. Social sites can help you share news about your business to your target audience.