Archive for the ‘Social Media Marketing’ Category
Friday, March 7th, 2014
Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
Image courtesy of Maru Philippe/Flickr.
If you use social media marketing at your business, you are completely aware of how much time it can take. While you can’t get away with spending no time at all on social media, you can do some things to streamline the process and be more productive.
This checklist will help you get things done and advance your Internet marketing tactics without getting sucked into the social media time warp we’re all too familiar with.
1 – Check for Messages from Others
The first thing you should do every day is check for messages from others. If people are contacting you through social media with questions about your business or products or just to provide feedback, you need to respond in a timely manner.
If you aren’t able to help a person through social media, refer him to your customer support line or provide a customer support email address he can use to contact you. The idea is to make sure your market knows you are listening and responding.
2 – See What is Being Said about Your Business and Respond
One of the most valuable things you can use social media for is listening to what your market is saying about your business and industry. You can follow influential people, participate in pages, groups and communities and search for your business on social media sites to find out what people are saying.
Understand what is being said and use the information to make your business better and enhance your Internet marketing plans. When it’s necessary, you can respond to these posts by providing information or thanking someone for mentioning you.
3 – Share Your Own Content
On a daily basis, you should be sharing links to your own content. Posting links to your blog, website, product pages and other online content will help you promote your business, drive traffic to your website and encourage people to respond to your calls to action.
Your content can help you increase sales, build your email marketing list and accomplish so many other things, and sharing it on social media is the first step to using it to reach these goals.
4 – Interact with Others
But, you shouldn’t overly self promote on social media. Interact with others by commenting on their posts and even sharing their content. This is a great way to build relationships and show your market that you are interested in providing helpful information, even if it comes from other businesses at times.
Interacting with others is also a good way to spark some engagement, since when you converse with others, they will be more likely to reach out to you and interact with your posts.
5 – Schedule Posts as Needed
Social media scheduling tools can be used effectively as long as you don’t rely on them. You shouldn’t use them to schedule posts and then never log in to your accounts. Your social media marketing success relies on human interaction. But, you can use these tools to schedule posts for times when you will be out of the office, over weekends or after office hours.
Social media marketing does take time if you want to do it successfully, but this checklist can help you use it productively and effectively.
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Friday, February 28th, 2014
Google Plus is an up-and-coming social media network that can help you reach your market and even achieve higher search rankings. But, to get these benefits you have to take advantage of some of the site’s features.
Once your profile is complete and as you start to share content and build a following, use these features to make sure you are fully leveraging your account.
One of the biggest things that sets Google Plus apart from many other social networks is how easy it makes it to share content with select groups of people. On Google Plus, you can organise the people you connect with into different circles and then share your content publicly, with all of your followers or just with select circles.
This feature makes it very easy to target your content to the right people. You can easily share different kinds of content with different groups of people to see better social media marketing results.
Like Twitter, Google Plus uses hashtags, which make it easier for your posts to be found. When you use relevant hashtags, people searching for information or browsing through posts with that hashtag will find your posts more easily.
Google Plus takes this concept a step further by automatically adding related hashtags to your posts. These are added to the top of a post and are blue. Those that you add manually are grey. You can easily delete related hashtags by hovering over them and clicking the “X.” When a user hovers over one hashtag, the others from a post will appear below it.
As a Google Plus user, you can create and join public and private communities so you can contribute to group discussions and connect with people with common interests. You can post status updates, images and links to these communities and invite others to join.
This is another way you can target specific groups of people. For example, if you run an electronics store, you might join communities about smartphones, laptops or technology and business where you can connect with potential customers.
When you create your own community, you can create an online hub where your customers or fans can connect with each other and your business to discuss specific topics and share relevant content. This is a great way to spark some engagement and interaction between your customers and your business.
Real Time Events Photos
Google Plus events are a little different than events features on other social networks. The feature has basic elements, like the ability to set a date, time and place for an event and invite people to it, but it offers much more than that.
When you create an event, people will be able to upload photos to the event page, even in real time, so that everyone can see them. This is a great way for attendees to participate and engage during and even after an event, and makes it much easier to share images. Instead of having to track down all the pictures by talking to attendees or going to several different websites, all the photos will be right there on your event page.
Take full advantage of your Google Plus page by sharing relevant content, building a following and taking advantage of these, and the other great features, on the site.
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Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
Image courtesy of thethreesisters/Flickr.
If your business uses Twitter for social media marketing, the network’s newest feature is an exciting one. Now, when users search for terms that relate to Promoted Accounts, they will appear in search results. Previously, only tweets and Twitter users appeared in search results.
For some time, Promoted Accounts have been a great way for businesses to get their tweets in front of their followers, as they appear in users’ timelines. Promoted Accounts also appear in a list called “Who to Follow,” which can help you get new followers.
But, this new feature means that your account will be even more visible to Twitter users. As your account shows up in search results, more people will find and follow you. Businesses with Promoted Accounts have been able to target specific demographics, and now, those targeting options will be taken into account as Twitter displays search results.
Promoted Accounts are an excellent way to get your account, and content, in front of your market and build your following. When people find your account through a related search, they may be more likely to follow you because they are already interested in your industry or products.
The Power of Twitter to Influence Sales
In 2013, Twitter commissioned Market Probe International to conduct a study. The research analyses responses and Twitter users from the US and UK. One of the most stunning findings of the research is that Twitter users are 72 percent more likely to make a purchase from a small or medium business that they follow on Twitter.
Some other statistics from this report that illustrate the power of Twitter include:
- 85 percent of users felt more connected with small or medium businesses after following them on Twitter.
- 73 percent of users said they follow small and medium businesses to get updates on future products.
- 32 percent of users are more likely to go to a small or medium business after they see a Promoted Tweet from the business that relates to their interests or needs.
These statistics show us just how powerful Twitter can be as part of an Internet marketing plan. But, they also tell businesses how they can use Twitter more effectively.
The research shows that people follow businesses on Twitter to get updates about future products, so by sharing that kind of information you can gain and retain followers and even make more sales.
If you already use Twitter as part of your social media marketing, consider using a Promoted Account to make your business more visible on Twitter, gain more followers and get more out of Twitter.
On the other hand, if you don’t currently use Twitter, now is the perfect time to consider opening an account and using it to strategically promote your products and share your content.
Twitter is a very popular social media site that can help you promote your products, drive traffic to your website, engage with your market and build an online community that benefits your business.
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Saturday, February 22nd, 2014
Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
When you use social media accounts, your market follows you with certain expectations. People follow you and connect with you because they are looking for specific information, benefits or perks, and when you can deliver those, your accounts will be much more successful.
Social media marketing can be a powerful part of any Internet marketing plan, and when you use it to convey strategic messaging and meet your market’s needs, you can see big results.
One of the biggest reasons people follow your business on social media is to get timely updates. They want to know about new products, events, promotions and what is going on at your business. Be sure to keep your market updated by posting company news and information that appeals to your followers.
Another thing social media followers are looking for is special perks. By following your business, they want to be in on “inside information” and qualify for things like discounts, freebies and giveaways. Find ways you can include these kinds of perks in your Internet marketing plans to promote your business, make sales and drive traffic to your website, so both your followers and your business benefit.
A Line of Communication
Your followers expect your social media pages to be a line of communication with your business. They expect to be able to contact your business through your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other pages. At the very least, they expect to be able to find contact information for your business on your social media pages.
Meet this need by monitoring your accounts and by making it easy for people to find your phone number, address and an email address.
To be Heard
Along with a line of communication, your followers expect your social media accounts to be a place where they can be heard by your business. They want to be able to voice concerns, give feedback, ask questions and even get some form of customer support.
The level to which you fulfil this is up to you. You may not be able to provide complete customer support through social media, but maybe your social media manager can ask customers who reach out to call your customer support number. Or, you may be able to answer some general questions through social media, depending on your business and what you offer your customers.
Engagement with other Followers
Some social media followers are looking for an online community where they can talk about your business or industry with others who are also interested. They want to connect with other customers, finding common ground, talking about your business and discussing your products.
Foster this kind of community by providing interesting content and even reaching out to users to start conversations. Ask questions and encourage discussion to create an online community that helps you build your business.
When you set up and maintain social media accounts, your followers have expectations. If you are able to meet those expectations and leverage the power of social media, your business will grow and benefit in so many ways.
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Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Image courtesy of [ Mooi ]/Flickr.
Facebook has announced
that advertisers can now more easily target their markets through Facebook ads. The announcement is good news for businesses that use this form of Internet marketing, because it just got a lot easier to make ads more effective.
When you create a Facebook ad, you can now target your market based on general categories: location, demographics, interests and behaviours. These categories may seem broad, but they allow you to target people based on recent events like engagements, where they live and even what kind of education they have received.
But, even with this update, it’s still important that businesses understand how to create a successful Facebook ad. The features Facebook provides will help you reach your market, but you still need to create ads that inspire your audience to take action.
An Attention Grabber
First, Facebook users are practically flooded with posts, photos, content and yes, ads, on the social network. If you want your ads to work, you need to grab your market’s attention.
The way you do this will depend on your brand and products, but using attractive pictures, entertaining ads and readable text and making your ads different than your competitors’ can help them stand out. You will likely have to do some testing to find out what kinds of ads your market notices and responds to.
The best ads, on Facebook and other sites, have influential content. You need to know what inspires your audience, what they are looking for, what needs they have and what they are interested in. When you know this, you can create influential content.
The images, taglines and copy you use all need to influence people in ways that inspire them to want to learn more about your company, make them more aware of your brand or encourage them to respond to your calls to action.
A Call to Action
Every one of your ads needs to include a clear call to action. This is absolutely essential, and is what makes your ads worthwhile and what will bring you results. Some common calls to action include:
- Buy a Product
- Visit a Website
- “Like” a Page
- Read a Blog
- Visit a Store
- Fill Out a Lead Form
Of course, these are just a few of the most common calls to action, and yours could be very different depending on your business and goals.
People are busy and when they are browsing Facebook, they don’t always want to stop looking at their friends’ pictures or posting a status update to respond to your ad. You need to provide an incentive.
The incentive you use could be tangible, like a free sample or a discount, or it could be something more abstract. For example, you could tell your market that if they “like” your page on Facebook, they will be the first to hear about your new product launch.
Facebook is always adding new features that make it easier for businesses to use the site and target their markets. When you include these elements in your ads, they will be much more successful and you will be able to reach your current and potential customers.
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Friday, February 14th, 2014
Image courtesy of Sheila Scarborough/Flickr.
LinkedIn has announced that it will be allowing all of its users, not just users designated as “Influencers,” to publish content on its site. Until now, regular users have only been able to post updates and links, but now they can post longer articles to the site, sharing them with people across the network.
Since 2012, some users, which LinkedIn labeled as Influencers, have been able to publish blog posts on the site. This content was viewable by all LinkedIn users and could be shared across the network. Users like Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Richard Branson and Martha Stewart could post content to contribute to industry news and reach their markets.
LinkedIn’s announcement explains that now all users can publish content that will be included on their profile and can be shared on the professional social network. Users will be able to follow other users that aren’t part of their network, or already on their list of contacts.
How You can use this New Feature
LinkedIn can be a valuable part of your social media marketing strategy. The site boasts 277 million members who are professionals all over the world from all kinds of industries. In Europe alone, there are 57 million LinkedIn users.
With numbers like this, you can’t afford to ignore LinkedIn. You can set up a business page, which allows you to tell people about what your business does, promote your products and link back to your website. Your employees, managers and even CEO can set up a personal LinkedIn profile, which can also help you market your business online.
This new feature that allows everyone to publish content on the site is a valuable tool you can use to accomplish several goals.
When you publish content and share it with those on LinkedIn, you can raise awareness about your business. People will begin to identify your name with what you do and the experience you provide, which will strengthen your brand.
Drive Traffic to Your Site
As you produce content and publish it on LinkedIn, you can include links back to your website. This can help improve the quality of your content, as you can provide valuable information for your readers. These links can also help you drive traffic to your website, blog, social media profiles or product pages.
Become an Industry Expert
Publishing content on LinkedIn can also help you establish your business as an industry expert and a valuable resource for your market. When you show that you have something to offer and are a thought leader in your industry, your business will grow.
Communicate with Your Market
Of course, when you publish and share content on LinkedIn, you are also able to communicate with your market. You can provide information about your business, products and industry and become the solution for your market.
Create an Online Community
Since LinkedIn allows you to attract followers, you can use your content to create an online community of customers and potential customers. Then, as you use your content to build your brand, you will be able to send your marketing messaging to your followers and inspire them to take action: buy your product, visit your website or share your content.
This LinkedIn update is an exciting one, because it gives your business another platform to publish content that helps you develop your brand, reach your customers and meet your business goals.
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Thursday, February 6th, 2014
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
When your market falls in love with your social media accounts, people will be attracted to your pages, post comments and engage with you. Your accounts will become a more powerful Internet marketing tool, your site will get more traffic and you’ll make more sales. This sounds like every business’ dream, but how do you make it a reality?
Be What they are Looking For
You already know that if you want your business to succeed, you need to fill a need. The same holds true for social media. To attract followers and get the most out of your social media accounts, you need to provide what your market wants and needs. Through your posts, the content you share and even your photos, you need to be what your market is looking for.
If your market is looking for industry information, provide content about relevant topics. On the other hand, if your social media audience consists of current and potential customers who are looking for a good deal, maybe you can provide coupons and discounts through your accounts.
Provide a Constant Stream of Value
As you start to form an online community you need to provide a constant stream of content that provides value to your market. This will help you build your following and retain your current followers, as people begin to see your account as a valuable resource they don’t want to miss out on.
Start by considering what your market is looking for and then find ways you can create content that is relevant to your followers’ interests and needs. The value you provide will depend on your business and market.
Engage in Two-Way Conversations
Social media isn’t meant to be a platform where you do all the talking. Listen to what your market is saying, encourage interaction, respond to comments and reach out to your followers. People like to be heard and when you demonstrate that you are listening and interact with people, they will fall in love with your accounts.
There are so many ways to encourage interaction on social media, both formal and informal. You can host competitions, ask questions and do giveaways to get people interacting with your account. Or, you can take a more casual approach and simply be involved in conversations and respond to your market. In most cases, you’ll need to use a combination of formal and informal strategies to have two-way conversations on social media.
Show Some Personality
People don’t fall in love with accounts that seem stiff or robotic, they fall in love with social media accounts that show some personality. Let your brand show through when you post and interact on social media.
If your brand is more formal, consider being a little more informal on social media. You don’t need to abandon your brand, but in general, social media is a more casual platform. If your business is already casual, let that shine through when you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and your other accounts.
When your market loves what you have to offer through your social media accounts, you’ll gain more followers and build a more involved community, which means your social media marketing will be more effective.
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Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
A new study conducted by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth reveals why people, specifically millennials, interact with brands on social media. The study can help businesses understand how to leverage their social media accounts and use them more effectively.
The study looked into why millennials, people born between 1980 and 2000, connect with brands on social media. This group makes up an important market for many businesses, as it includes young professionals and teenagers.
This chart shows why people followed businesses on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
The reasons people connect with businesses on social media vary by website, but here are some of the most common reasons and what they mean for your business:
To Show Support
According to the research, 86 percent of respondents follow a business on Facebook to show support for the brand. On Twitter, that number is 87 percent and on Pinterest it is 78 percent.
This tells us that people, millennials in particular, view a “like” or follow as a way to support the brand and tell their friends that they like what the business does and stands for. We know that the persuasive power of friends is very important when it comes to getting more sales, so as people show support for your brand, their friends are likely to investigate your business. At the very least, these supportive interactions can help you raise brand awareness.
To Get Regular Updates
The researchers also found that people follow brands to get regular updates. The study found that 78 percent of responders connect with brands on Facebook and 81 percent connect with brands on Twitter to get regular updates from the business. These numbers are significant.
What does this mean for your business? That one of the main reasons people connect with you on Facebook and Twitter is to get updates from your brand, and by delivering that you can retain followers and get even more.
This also tells us that as you post these updates, you are sharing them with an audience who wants to hear from you and that is likely to include returning and potential customers.
To Get a Coupon or Discount
Another common reason people follow brands on social media is to get a coupon or discount. The study found that this is the reason that 64 percent of responders connect with brands on Facebook and that 66 percent follow brands on Twitter.
Knowing this, your business can offer coupons and discounts as an incentive to get more followers, strengthen your relationship with current followers and increase sales.
To Research Specific Products and Services
Respondents also follow brands on social media to do research on specific products and services. This highlights the importance of providing information about your products on your social media profiles.
You should avoid being too self promotional, but providing links, product reviews and information about what you provide for customers periodically can pay off, as people are looking for this kind of information. When they find it on your page, they may be more likely to become customers.
When you understand why millennials are motivated to follow your business on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, you can find ways to use these sites more effectively to benefit your business.
The complete study includes more statistics and data about this demographic’s social media use and how social media impacts sales. You can see more information about the study here.
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Friday, January 31st, 2014
Image courtesy of Ruben Bonache/Flickr.
You’ve probably heard the rumours that Google Plus isn’t gaining much traction, but that isn’t the case. Google says the site has 300 million monthly active users and search engine experts have found numerous benefits to using the site as part of SEO efforts.
If you don’t already have a Google Plus account set up for your business, now is the time to consider creating one. Google Plus can help you reach your market and boost your search rankings, among other Internet marketing strategies.
There are a few things you should do to make sure you are getting the most out of your Google Plus profile, whether you have been using it for some time or it is brand new.
Choose the Right Category for Your Business
When you set up a Google Plus profile page for your business, you’ll get to choose a category for it. Your choices are:
- Local Business or Place
- Product or Brand
- Company, Institution or Organisation
- Arts, Entertainment or Sports
Choosing the right category for your business will make it much easier for your market to find you on Google Plus.
Make Sure Your Profile is Complete
Make sure your profile includes a complete biography that tells people about your business and that you take advantage of the opportunity to add links to your website and social media sites. Google Plus lets you add a link to your website, which will help your market find you more easily, and links to other social media profiles, like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Include Links In Your Biography
Google Plus gives you an excellent opportunity to link to your website, blog or any page you want with keywords in your biography. Take advantage of this and add a few links that will benefit your SEO efforts and that make it easy for your followers to find out more about your business. This is also a good way to drive traffic to your website.
Set up Google Authorship
You’ve probably seen those Google search results that include a picture and sometimes even links to other content from the same person or business. This is possible through Google Authorship.
When you connect your website to your Google Plus account, and then add a small piece of code to your site, or use a plugin, content you author will appear in search results with your picture. This lends credibility to your content and can help you get more links on the first page of results as you tie all your content together.
Get Followers and Stay Active
Like you do with other social media accounts, you should work to gain followers by staying active, sharing content and interacting with other users. Creating and joining Google Plus communities can also help you build your following. A strong following will help you grow your online audience and drive traffic to your website. However, more Google Plus followers can actually help you get better search results.
When people who follow you are logged in to Google, your content will appear at the top of search results for words and terms that match your content. This will help you increase traffic to your site and make your content and business more visible.
Google Plus is a social media tool that can help you reach your market and share your content, but it also brings some valuable SEO benefits. If you haven’t optimised your profile, use these tips to get started and then share relevant content and build your following.
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Image courtesy of Penn State/Flickr.
Are you using social media to its fullest potential? When you get the most out of your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media accounts, your social media marketing strategy will be more powerful and your entire business will benefit.
It probably isn’t practical for your business to use all the social media networks out there, but it’s important that you get the most out of the networks you choose to use. When used strategically, here are six things social media can do for you.
Share Your Content
The most obvious thing social media can do for you is help you share your content. All that content you create for your content marketing plan will only benefit your business if you are able to get it in front of your market, and social media allows you to do this.
But, social media also makes it possible for your market to become brand ambassadors and help you share your content. This is very valuable, as referrals from friends are very influential when it comes to making sales.
Drive Traffic to Your Website
As you share content from your website, social media can help you drive traffic to your site and blog. More traffic can help you achieve all kinds of things, from increased search rankings to more sales. To leverage social media for more traffic, the content you share needs to be relevant and interesting to your audience so people will want to click on the links you share.
Engage with Your Market
Social media is designed for two-way conversations, so it can give you something your website can’t: an opportunity for engagement. Through social media, you can talk to your market, customers can give you feedback, you can respond to questions and so much more. High levels of engagement will help you create a strong brand and customer loyalty.
Create an Online Community
Because of its conversational nature, social media can also help you create an online community where your customers can interact with you and each other. This kind of community can help you create a following and gives you a direct line of communication with your market. To create a strong community, attract followers, share interesting content and interact with your market.
Build Your Audience
As you build a community and get more followers, your audience will grow. With a bigger audience, you’ll be able to get your content in front of more people, have more opportunities to drive traffic, see more referrals and get more out of your social media accounts. The larger your audience, the more people you are able to share your messaging with, and the more successful your business will be.
Promote Your Products and Services
As you build a large audience, create an engaged community and share your content, you’ll have greater opportunities to promote your products and services through your social media accounts. Your accounts give you the chance to tell your market about your business, what you provide and what you can do for your customers.
There’s no question that social media marketing can be a valuable way to promote your business and help you find your market online. Start using your accounts to their fullest potential by strategically sharing content, building your audience and interacting with your followers.
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