Posts Tagged ‘Audience’
Many companies are striving to acquire more “Likes” for their Facebook
business pages and may have difficulty finding success. The more “Likes”
your page gets the better the odds that your page will be seen and
visited by your targeted audience while optimizing your exposure to
prospective clients in your extended network. Below are 5 helpful ways
you can increase your Facebook “Likes”, grow your fan base, and build a
powerful social-media marketing strategy.
1. Incorporate The “Like” Button On Your Company’s Website- This will
help your online visitors easily find your Facebook page and, in turn,
increase the chances of them “Liking” your company’s Facebook page.
2. Utilize Your Email Signature- Add an icon in your email signature
that will alert contacts to your Facebook page when they receive an
email from you. This is a simple and effective way to share your
business page with established and prospective clients.
3. Offer Incentives- Running promotions is an excellent way to gain more
“Likes” on your page. For example, those who “Like” your page will be
entered into a raffle or contest. This is a proven method to build your
4. Stay Engaged And Interact – Give your fans a way to express their
opinions. Be sure to reply to posts made by your fans and stay active on
your page so people will see your company as a reliable source. Use the Facebook “poll” feature as a way to get users to engage and
submit their opinions, and to show that you really are interested in
hearing what they think.
5. Add A Link To Your Facebook Page On Your Blog- Blogs are becoming
more and more popular among businesses as a quick way to keep clients
informed and up-to-date on industry news and company events. A daily
blog presence also serves to build your reputation as an expert in your
network. Additionally, blogs can help drive visitors to your Facebook
page and your company website.
For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page: here
Facebook can be a fairly simple network to navigate through when promoting your business. Though, there are a few common mistakes business owners make. When you launch a Facebook marketing plan, planning ahead to develop a strategy is crucial to your success. Consistency is key. Listed below are the 4 most common Facebook mistakes made by marketers today:
Mistake #1. Losing Steam: Many businesses who create a new Facebook page in order to promote their company are enthusiastic and optimistic when the page is first launched, but as time passes, they tend to place less importance on the page, and in return, lose steady traffic and potential customers. In this case “build it and they will come” does not quite ring true. You should utilize Facebook every single day as part of your marketing strategy. Posting 1-5 times daily is generally regarded to be the optimal amount to keep your audience interested and your page active. Keep in mind, however, that over-posting could be equally as damaging (see below). Users should also update cover pictures, timeline banners and information often to keep the page up-to-date and fresh. Remember that this is a very linear process, and expecting immediate gratification will only set you up for disappointment. With a strong effort, you should begin to see significant traffic and development around the 90 day mark.
Mistake #2. Posting Too Often/Shameless Self-Promotion: Make sure your content is interesting, engaging, and interactive. Hold contests here and there. This may be counter-intuitive, but constant self promotion will get you nowhere fast. Naturally you are there to expand your business community and build your brand; that is best achieved through interesting, engaging and interactive posts, peppered with a little personal promotion. Hold contests here and there. If your audience is seeing the same posts all day every day, your “Likes” and traffic will surely suffer for it. Make sure to spread out your posts, and try to include some images. Keep in mind, you don’t just want them to come, you want them to come back.
Mistake #3. Not Responding To Users: You must respond to every single post made on your Facebook page. Many companies do not bother to take the time to read what their audience is saying. Correspondence from your audience is vitally important to your business, and by responding to posts and messages, you are relaying the message that you care about their opinions. This will encourage your audience to continue to be active on your page.
Mistake #4. Constant Re-Branding: When you are building your brand you want to make sure that it is recognizable to your audience. If you constantly switch your logo, colors or format for each social media platform you use, you will only create brand confusion. Businesses should be sure that all of their network brands such as color schemes, photos, fonts, background variations and wording all match so it will be clear to the consumer or visitor that all the platforms are connected to the same company.
For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/TheIbisNetwork
Digital media allows you the opportunity to explain yourself or your business to a wide and diverse audience. Twitter is an exceptional tool that can be used to build your brand efficiently and achieve a better business strategy while increasing your profit. Twitter offers an optimal network that can help your business reach a large readership in a quick and efficient way. Here are 5 tips that will help build your business brand on Twitter.
1. Your Twitter Name Should Reflect Your Company’s Name: This may seem like common sense, but many companies fail to communicate their brand in their Twitter name. This is the first thing people see when viewing your profile.
2. Use Your Company Logo As Your Picture: Twitter has an allotted space designated for your picture. Businesses should use the space to share their company logo. This tactic will entice visitors and help them identify your logo with your brand and ultimately your business.
3. Tweet Often: Users should be tweeting multiple times daily to stay in Twitters home-page stream. Businesses want to be sure that the information they are tweeting is being viewed. This is an excellent way to ensure that you are reaching the largest possible audience.
4. Provide Valuable Information: Posting compelling information is of the utmost importance when tweeting. Sharing intriguing information about your area of expertise will keep readers engaged and serve as a constant reminder of your knowledge and commitment.
5. Plan For The Future: Social-media is an extremely fast-paced environment and to be prepared for the future you must think ahead. Plan your tweets for the coming days to optimize your Twitter strategy and reinforce the growth and success of your brand.
Connect with us on Twitter here (we follow back): http://twitter.com/TheIbisNetwork
Integrating a Facebook fan page into your marketing campaign can be incredibly beneficial in building your brand while attracting more traffic to your website. Facebook fan pages were specifically designed for businesses and model-individuals to share information, build their brands, and gain “fans”. Below are 4 ways you can utilize Facebook fan pages to get the most from the feature and help your Facebook marketing strategy.
1.) Keep It Fresh: By adding new information daily you are keeping your fans interested and providing them with reasons to visit your page frequently. You can also take advantage of widgets to link your Twitter feed, Flickr account or YouTube channel directly to your Facebook page to automatically post photos and videos.
2.) Interact with your fans and visitors: It is always a smart decision to interact with your audience, but you may have to make the first move. Posting questions or polls are easy ways to get your audience involved. You should post a variety of open and closed questions in hopes of reaching a larger audience.
3.) Promotional Contest: Adding contests to your Facebook page is an excellent way to add value to your page while offering an incentive. Offer your fans something they can’t get anywhere else, and they will continue to visit your page to see what else you may have to offer.
4.) Measure Your Success: Facebook Fan Pages offer a vital feature called Facebook Insights. This tool allows you to measure your page’s growth and interaction. Insights provides you with information such as the amount of “Likes” you are receiving and how much time your audience is spending on your page. By checking your measurements, you can see what tactics may or may not be working for your audience and then act accordingly.
For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page here
Creating any social-media site will only provide a percentage of achievable revenue if you do not promote the site itself. Some businesses may get lucky with a few potential clients stumbling across one of their sites, but, as a whole you will have a much higher social-media success rate if you are marketing your online networks offline as well as online. Cross-marketing is essential to any business hoping to attract the optimal number of clients and reach a larger audience. Promoting your social-media presence offline will better help to generate income from your sites. Here are a few ways you can drive awareness to your online sites using offline tactics.
Add Your Social-Media Networks To Your Business Cards: This will enable you to reach a larger audience in a simple, cost-effective way. Many businesses hand out business cards and/or leave them available for pick-up in the reception area of the office. People tend to regard this as a non-pushy way of receiving information about your company and, will be more likely to explore your social media sites online after a face-to-face encounter with you. You should also add your networks to all of your brochures, flyers or promotional products.
Mention Your Social-Media Networks In More Traditional Advertising Outlets: This may seem like common sense, but many business fail to include their social-media networks when advertising via radio, newspaper or television. People will know you have a professional web presence and can choose the easiest way to find and connect with you online.
Utilize Event-Marketing Opportunities: When your business is hosting an event or being recognized at a social function, take some time to ensure your audience is aware of your social-media networks.
Word Of Mouth: This is the oldest, effective way of helping a wider audience become aware of any marketing promotion you may be running. Don’t be afraid to ask prospective clients or referral partners to connect with you through their social network of choice.
For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page here
Social Media allows the opportunity to acquire quick feedback essential to all marketers in order to stay agile. When used properly, polls on social-media platforms can help you collect crucial feedback from clients or prospective clients in a speedy manner. Almost all top social-media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer the ability to create polls. Businesses should be utilizing this tool to advance their business and build their brand. Below are 3 reasons why every social-media marketer should be using polls in their social-media marketing strategy.
1.) Running a poll is a way to optimize your business. Clients can easily and quickly communicate how they feel about your business, product or general research.
2.) Polls will help you pinpoint what your clients or future clients are interested in, what they like and what they expect from you or your business.
3.) Using polls will help you keep all of your content on the right track in a cost effective way and, in return, will help you gain insight from your targeted audience.
There are 2 ways you can run a poll through social media; both ways can help build your business and provide excellent feedback. To optimize your campaign you should strive to incorporate both components into your marketing plan.
1.) Multiple Choice or Quiz- This option is highly effective and quick. Asking people whether they prefer (A) or (B) will allow you to receive fast feedback from your audience in a simple and straightforward way.
2.) Ask A Question- This is more advanced; you ask your community a specific question hoping they give you a detailed reply. This will help you gather highly specific data while maintaining awareness of your clients needs.
For daily social media tips, visit our Facebook page here
Facebook has quickly become one of the best ways to promote a business, as it is the leading social-media marketing tool available. Facebook provides the potential to drive brand awareness to an unlimited number of readers. As Facebook grows, businesses continue to join the new environment in hopes of expanding their marketing strategy. Without proper knowledge of how to operate the premier social-media outlet, you can dig yourself into a hole by making mistakes in front of an audience. Below are four of the most common mistakes new Facebook marketers make and advice on how to avoid them to achieve a successful Facebook marketing campaign.
Not Providing An Adequate Amount Of Information: When people visit your Facebook page they want information. When there is not a name, location, etc., on your page, visitors will quickly move along. You must provide as much information about your business as possible. Add your logo to drive brand awareness, provide your name, telephone number, location and what you can do for your Facebook friend or guest. Adding specific or unique content will also help increase your Facebook marketing strategy.
Underestimating Time: Many new Facebook marketers underestimate the amount of time needed to create and maintain a successful Facebook marketing strategy. Setting-up a page and leaving it barren will get you nowhere. You need to update your page daily with current and captivating information. Set some time aside to develop a plan to avoid frustration. Planning time to post, comment, or check your progress will help your strategy operate smoothly.
Not Being Familiar With Facebook Tools: Taking advantage of the free tools Facebook has to offer is half the fun when marketing on the site. If you explore the available functions Facebook offers, you will be able to better your entire marketing campaign. Business owners that are new to Facebook tend to be in a hurry to get information out to the public, but taking only 10 minutes to play around with the platform could optimize and build your online brand experience.
Excessive Posting: Keeping your friends updated and engaged is the best way to manage your Facebook page, but excessive posting will become annoying. Be sure you are changing-up your information and you avoid posting the same thing over and over daily. People want to see current news you have to offer. It is safe to post new information 3-5 times daily. If you really want to highlight a promotion or new deal, consider changing the information within the post, this way people will not be reading the same information multiple times each day. Try to avoid solicitation.
For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page here
Twitter is one of the most popular social-media platforms available, with many businesses taking advantage of the free advertising the site offers. Over the last several months, Twitter has been promoting more advanced advertising options allowing users a greater opportunity to market to a bigger audience. Many Twitter users are unaware of the sites advertising opportunities and would undoubtedly benefit from the enhanced tools available. There are two main advertising tools that Twitter has been intensely promoting.
1.) Promoting Accounts: This is a paid campaign where Twitter examines your followers and finds individuals who share an interest with you, Twitter then will promote your account to those followers. This is an excellent tool to enhance your brand. Your account will also be promoted in the box labeled “who to follow” featured prominently on users’ Twitter pages and will then be displayed in search engines. As noted above, this is a paid campaign. You will be charged when your account gains a new follower.
2.) Promoting Tweets: This is an opportunity that allows optimal exposure. This tool will help you share your most notable or engaging tweets to the right individuals. This is also a paid campaign; you will be charged when a follower engages with your specific promoted tweet. You can also choose to “pin” your promoted tweet; this means your tweet will appear at the top of your timeline and expand your exposure.
Twitter advertising offers a distinctive way of marketing but is the same as any other marketing campaign when it comes to strategy. To get the maximum amount of attention from Twitter advertising, be sure to refine your message before delivering it to the public. When promoting a tweet make sure you promote your most valuable tweets while remaining polite and professional. Your message and presentation are the most beneficial tools in any marketing strategy.
You can follow us on Twitter here (we follow back).
Last week, from their Menlo Park campus, Facebook announced an improvement to the popular social networking site that grabbed the media’s attention. The new feature called “Graph Search” allows you to draw connections between you and your Facebook network to find trusted recommendations to restaurants, places, events, businesses, and professionals from a specific industry (e.g. doctors, lawyers, etc.). The new Facebook feature is comparable to search engines like Google and Bing, but instead of having to search through one of the aforementioned popular search engines, you can simply search within Facebook for something to do, which business to use, or where to eat, through the collective wisdom and experience of your network. Below are three tips on how to start preparing for the release of Graph Search, as Graph Search is in “very limited” beta testing and not widely available. Facebook users who want to try the new search tool can join a waiting list, and Facebook will alert you when the service comes available. You can sign-up for the waiting list here: http://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch
1.) Launch Your Strategy: Make a strong effort to build a following among your audience, Graph Search will eventually change how people discover your business. Your success will depend on how popular your business Facebook page is now, and how popular it becomes in the future.
2.) Add Data: Add as much information about you or your business as your profile allows. If Facebook users don’t add an increasing amount of data to their page, they will not reach the full potential for attracting attention from their network. Be sure to update your page fully by adding as much information possible such as your name, location, and URLs. Be sure to fill out the About section on the page in its entirety. All of these basic steps will contribute substantially to you or your business showing up in searches performed by other members.
3.) Give Your Followers A Reason To Interact With You: Update frequently and provide valuable and compelling information. Graph Search should prove to be a valuable tool to attract more traffic, new connections, and “Likes” on your page.
Invest some time in exploring the potential of Graph Search and the reward could be immensely beneficial. Failing to invest the time may result in your competitors having a serious marketing advantage over you.
For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page regularly: http://www.facebook.com/TheIbisNetwork
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social-media network with over 175 million professionals utilizing the site. LinkedIn offers an effective way to stay in contact with past and present colleagues while also allowing you to promote your business This professional network has many positive marketing tools available that every business should be aware of, listed below are the top 6:
1.Take Advantage Of Free LinkedIn Company Pages: This is very similar to a Facebook fan page for your business, and allows you to market to a large amount of professionals while also being able to focus on a variety of specific professional industries. This page will be where LinkedIn users visit to find out what exactly your business does.
2.Update Status: Updating your status is a simple way to market your business, but be sure to keep all status updates informational and free from solicitation. A good example of what to post could be an interesting article that contains valuable information for your targeted audience.
3.Use In-Mail: This is a feature on LinkedIn allowing you to contact any member, even if the desired person is not in your network. This is a helpful tool to use when you want to initiate a discussion with a LinkedIn member you are not yet connected with, such as future clients, past colleagues or experts in a certain field.
4.Display Ads: Ads can take your business from slow to booming if you use them correctly. Display ads on LinkedIn allow you to get precise, letting you place an ad targeting a specific audience by using geo-location and demographics. This marketing tool also lets you keep track of the ad’s success by tracking the amount of times the ad has been viewed to ensure your monetary expenditure is helping your marketing strategy.
5. Post Polls: LinkedIn offers a Polls tool allowing you to engage your customers and receive feedback on a question of your choosing. Taking polls sends a message that you care about your contacts’ opinions and helps you start a useful dialogue.
6. Asking for Endorsements Or Recommendations: These tools will provide your LinkedIn page with trustworthy testimonials. In order for other LinkedIn users to endorse your skills, you will first need to add your skills to your profile. Having skill endorsements gives you the ability to promote your business and the person endorsing you. Another tool that will help your profile look more professional allows you to request recommendations from connections. Take time to remove the default recommendation request LinkedIn has pre-made and make your recommendation request personal and polite. Be sure to follow up with a thank-you message to the connections who take the time to write an endorsement. It is also a good idea to reciprocate and recommend your connections who have endorsed you.
Like the holiday season, social media offers great promise but also a high risk of offending and angering the very people you hoped to gather together. If done incorrectly, your online fans and followers will turn on you and ruin your expectations of online success. However, with a few reminders, some forethought, and a focus on finding a consistent tone and producing quality content, your dreams of social-media success can be as easily attainable as making a Christmas wish list.
Here are some hints and tips for bettering your online presence and your chances for success …
Your Past: The first place to start when beginning a social-media campaign is with former clients, customers, and partners. If you had a good business relationship with someone in the past, chances are they won’t be reluctant to join your page and like your posts. They aren’t, however, going to be as interested in marketing pieces and sales pitches. That means, you’ll have to have content that is both interesting and professional, but that will also appeal to a wide audience. Having something to share that can interest both your past clients and potential business is key. Keeping your former customers close to you is an excellent way to boost word of mouth and repeat business.
Your Present: This will be where you place the greatest amount of focus. After all, chasing down potential leads and turning window shoppers into clients is where the money’s at. That makes this is an important category to cater to when thinking about how to approach your social-media pages and profiles. After all, a lot of these people have expressed interest in your services and may be ready to bite. That doesn’t mean, however, that they want to be hit with an inbox full of reminders that you’d like their business. Don’t seem desperate. Instead, approach these social-media contacts as though you’re interested in them rather than just their money.
Your Future: This is the area with the most amount of promise. After all, the idea that you can reach across the vast and varied Internet and pull in new contacts just by keeping a Facebook or Twitter account seems both unbelievable and undeniably attractive. Social media and the Internet at large have given businesses a much greater ability to reach out to their community and industry. If you keep your online presence focused on business and respect people’s boundaries, you will no doubt come across new clients you wouldn’t have otherwise. But, much like in the previous cases, you have to be considerate and not abuse your contacts by overloading them with unwelcome advertising or incessant solicitation. Follow common sense and treat people the way you’d like to be treated.
At its core, social media is about communication. It’s about keeping contact with friends, family, clients, customers, and whoever else you’d like on the list of people you keep in the loop. For business purposes, that means staying close to your list of professional contacts. Sounds easy enough. But the trick is doing it in a way that doesn’t make you a nuisance or an annoyance.
Here are some thoughts and tips …
It’s A Conversation: That’s the easiest way to think about your social-media campaign. You’re trying to start an ongoing conversation with a group of people that are connected to your business. These are people that you’re either currently doing business with or hope to be doing business with in the near future. In other words, you want to keep it professional and geared toward making a case for your services. For example, if your business was blankets, you’d post links to stories about how cold this winter will be rather than turning your blog, page or profile into an advertisement. In other words, everyone has an interest in the weather but someone who isn’t currently in the market for a new blanket is going to get tired of receiving your ads rather quickly. Then, when they do need a blanket, they will have already deleted and forgotten about you. Keep it conversational, interesting, and geared toward your audience.
It’s A Two-Way Street: In order to achieve some success with social media, you have to get your contacts involved and participating. Not only does this help them familiarize themselves with you and your business, it also provides an opportunity to do market research and receive feedback. For starters, you should probably interact a little with the social-media profiles and pages of your contacts. Reply or comment on something they posted or “like” an article or picture they uploaded. This encourages reciprocity and generates some goodwill. Also, ask for opinions and feedback from your online fans and followers. It will provide you with ideas for bettering your business, encourage interaction, and make your contacts feel included and valued. Which is, after all, the whole idea.
It’s Not A Chore: The trouble a lot of businesses have when starting a social-media campaign is their approach. If you’re trying to establish a personal relationship with your clients, contacts, and partners, you don’t want them to feel like you’re doing it out of obligation. Enjoy yourself and it’ll shine through. Try to have some fun with your online properties and it’ll be noticeable. That doesn’t mean posting unprofessional pictures or off-color jokes. It means approaching your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn page the same way you would approach a phone call with a client. You wouldn’t mumble your words or seem unhappy to hear from them, you’d try to put your best foot forward and make them feel appreciated and eager to do business with you.
It may be easy to convince yourself that you don’t need a Facebook page for your business. After all, you’ve gone this long without one. But if you’re interested in building your business and connecting with potential clients in your community, not having a Facebook page puts you at a disadvantage. As evidence, we compiled the following three reasons your business would benefit from having a presence on social media’s most popular site.
Reach: Okay, we’ve said this before but … The top reason you need a Facebook page is the number of people who check in with the social-media giant every day. Facebook is hugely popular and the most visited website in the country. That means, a Facebook page provides you with a platform to reach out to the millions of members who keep on top of their status updates, fans, friends, and followers. The trick, of course, is finding the right audience. Which is why the first goal should be to connect with people in your region and industry. The Internet may be a vast resource able to connect with people half way across the globe, but your goal should be to build a community of locals who may be in the market for your particular services.
Connectivity: In the ever-changing world of social media, Facebook may seem like old hat. But, though it’s no longer the newest or latest craze, it does have the benefit of already having established itself. And by “established itself,” we mean it’s inescapable. That means, Facebook allows you to connect with and link to just about anything you’d ever need, including your blog, Twitter profile, and an impressive list of applications to further increase the functionality of your page. If you can think of something you’d like to do with your page, there is likely a way to make it happen.
Competition: Not having a Facebook page for your business puts you behind the times – and your competitors. It may be a case of “everybody else is doing it,” but it’s true. The more ways you have to explain, educate, and engage potential clients, the better. So, in an increasingly technologically connected world, you can’t afford to be the only business in town that’s trying to connect with customers using 20th-century tools.
Despite what they say, you can argue with numbers. You can also argue with chickens. Neither of these activities, however, is likely to produce a positive outcome. That’s why, though it may be easier and more convenient to ignore reality, you’ll always do better if you acknowledge the facts.
To that end, here are some facts about social-media marketing …
Nielsen estimates that social media and blogs reach 80 percent of active Internet users in the U.S.: Not only that, Nielsen also found that nearly a quarter of all Internet usage is spent on blogs or social-media sites – double the amount spent on gaming. That means, almost half of all Internet usage is split between people playing games online and those perusing social-media pages, profiles, and blogs. And since you likely won’t be able to effectively market your business through online games, you should probably take a look at registering a Facebook page or setting up a blog. The potential upside is huge and there is little to lose. Having a shot at a new audience of potential customers and clients is ultimately what marketing is meant to accomplish. Social media provides an excellent platform to reach new people and generate business.
60 percent of consumers say they are willing to post about products or services if they get a deal: In other words, social media is a viable avenue for promoting and marketing your business. By interacting with your clients and customers over social-media, you are able to appeal to them directly, while offering them exclusive deals and bonuses. It takes a little creativity, but finding a way to get your Facebook or Twitter followers to spread the word for you is worth the effort. Offering Internet-only promos is a great way to boost interest in your business among current and potential clients. Just don’t overwhelm your connections with sales pieces and drive them away.
91 percent of experienced social marketers see increased traffic to their website and 79 percent say they’re generating more quality leads: Doubt all you want but more and more businesses are finding success marketing their services through social-media channels. The key word here, though, is “experienced.” In other words, you’re not going to see boosted traffic to your website and a bag full of quality leads during your first week online. It takes time, effort, and a bit of practice to learn what works for you and put it into action. Those who have had success with social media, have had patience with social media. Give it time and pay attention. After all, the stats say your efforts will ultimately be rewarded.
If you were told that you could network your business to millions of people without spending anything more than your time and effort, you’d have to be crazy or independently wealthy to turn down the opportunity. And yet, many people ignore the platform social media provides to spread the word and promote their business. If you’re among those that still feel that social media isn’t important, necessary, or vital to boosting your business, a recent Harris Interactive poll of 2,037 may help change your mind.
Here are some of the numbers …
62 percent of Americans say they’re afraid of missing something if they don’t keep an eye on their social network. In other words, a majority of respondents are glued to status, news, and event updates received through their Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts. Which means, social-media is as important a source of information to a majority of Americans as their phone and email messages. Having a presence on any – or all – of the major social-media sites is an opportunity to be among the updates being shared and read by the millions of Americans that check in on Facebook before reading their email inbox.
Among respondents 18 to 34, nearly 40 percent said they check their profiles every morning after waking up. Maybe you’re thinking that your business doesn’t appeal to a young demographic and that means you don’t need a social-media campaign. But the fact that an increasing number of young Americans turn to social media immediately after getting out of bed says something about the future importance of the medium and the probably longevity of its popularity. In other words, social media isn’t going away. In fact, it’s becoming more popular among Americans.
40 percent said they’d rather clean the shower drains at the local gym than give up their social network. Okay, maybe the drains at your local gym are spotless and that stat doesn’t impress you. How about the fact that the same number of respondents said they’d rather wait in line at the DMV, give up an hour of sleep every night for a year, get a root canal, or sit in traffic for four hours while listening to polka music?
Nearly 70 percent of LinkedIn users are just observing. Not all social-media users are interested in telling the world what they did with their day. In fact, a lot of activity on social networks doesn’t involve posting or participating. The fact that more than half of Twitter users and nearly 40 percent of people on Facebook are just looking means your information, content, and updates could be among those being read by users who log in to their social-media accounts as a source for information, recommendations, and news.
It’s been said that everyone makes mistakes. But that’s only half the story. After all, it’s not whether you make a mistake, it’s the severity of the mistake you make that matters. There’s a difference between locking your keys in the car and accidentally parking your car in the living room. One is an understandable error and the other – under most circumstances – isn’t. Like anything else, when starting a social-media campaign for your business, you will make mistakes. But avoiding the type of mistakes that will leave your page barren and ignored are more important than worrying about a typo in your bio.
Here’s a quick list of some things you can do to avoid making some of the most inexcusable social-media mistakes …
Use It or Lose It: When it comes to social media, the number one mistake people make is not using the pages and profiles they set up. Whether from lack of interest, time, or understanding, many social-media pages serve as nothing more than a placeholder. They’re like online business cards with little more than an address, a phone number, and a photo. But the difference between success and failure in social media is participation. If you bothered to set your business up with a Facebook page or Twitter account, use it. Contact people, promote your site, produce some content, join groups, comment on someone’s post. In short, interact. It doesn’t take much to get someone to like or follow a social-media profile. You don’t have to take them to dinner or earn enough of their trust to be given a key to their house. All you need to do is participate and not be rude, aggressive, annoying, or mean spirited.
Make A Good Impression: You’re introducing yourself to a whole new audience. Act like it matters. You want to present yourself as professional, experienced, consistent, and efficient. Make sure anything you put up online showcases only those qualities you’d like associated with you and your business. That means, no beach photos, questionable jokes, religion or politics. Keep it focused on business and make a clear distinction between any personal profiles you maintain and those specifically for your business. Google your name and scroll through some of the results. Those are the same things potential clients will see if they look you up online – which they likely will. Having a professional online presence is a great way to make a good first impression. More and more, people check the Internet before deciding who to do business with. Don’t scare them away before you even meet them.
Location, Location, Location: Much like anything else, where you set yourself up makes a difference. Which is to say, location matters whether you’re opening for business on Main St. or on the Internet. Make sure the accounts you register for make sense for your business. You’re fairly safe if you stick with some combination of the most popular sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The membership numbers alone make them worthwhile. Outside of the that, do a little research before you register your business name and slap some info together. Make sure any sites you join serve a legitimate business purpose and can be used to your advantage. You’ll be most successful if your Internet presence is focused and consistent. Only take on what you can handle. And only go where there are potential business benefits.
If there were a shopping plaza that had 900 million regular customers, you’d be among the thousands of businesses clamoring for a storefront on the property. After all, the chance to offer your services to that many people at once would make closing new business almost a mathematical certainty. Chances are there are a handful among those 900 million that are looking for exactly what you’re offering. This is the thought behind social-media marketing and, specifically, marketing on Facebook. Sure, naysayers will tell you it’s a waste of your time and won’t develop anything other than a penchant for procrastination. But with that many potential customers within reach, it’d be crazy not to give it a try.
Here are some thoughts on social-media marketing on Facebook …
Focus on the Goal: Everyone wants other people to like them. It’s human nature and the reason behind Facebook’s ever-expanding popularity. But just because there are 900 million members on Facebook, doesn’t mean you have to make friends with each and every one of them. Focusing on the goal means focusing on business. You’re reading this because you’d like to find new ways to drum up business and make money, not because you need more online friends. Use your fan page to target opportunities and potential clients in your industry and region, not to boost your self-esteem and build your virtual ego. Keep it straight and professional. Making a connection with three people in your area will do more for your bottom line than racking up big numbers of out-of-state admirers.
Avoid Sloppy Mistakes: Fill out your page. Don’t leave it blank. We’ve said it before and we’ll likely say it again. Nothing makes you look more uncertain, unprofessional, and unattractive than a half-filled out fan page without a picture or logo. Keep your info fresh, sharp, and easy to digest. While you’re at it, make sure anything you post is short and easy to read too. Include pictures and stick to a somewhat regular schedule. In short, don’t keep ‘em guessing. Avoiding sloppy mistakes means paying attention to detail. And details often make the difference between success and being totally ignored.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help: One of the great things about social media is that it’s like math. It’s not so much the equation, as it is the answer. There are multiple ways to gain a business advantage on Facebook and other social-media sites. For example, it’s great to share your knowledge and build your reputation but Facebook can also be a tool for learning. So if you’re stumped or curious, ask someone. Sometimes posting a question about something related to your business or your clients’ interests can be an excellent way of, not only starting a dialogue, but learning something from your online fans and followers. Listen closely to their answers and you may discover a trick or two that leads you to new business.
Nobody likes a poorly timed call from a telemarketer. Answering a call about having your carpet cleaned when your house has wall-to-wall hardwood floors is never welcome, least of all during the dinner hour. But, what if that telemarketer, rather than trying to sell you something you didn’t need, gave you some information you could use? What if every time you answered a call from a telemarketer they didn’t try to sell you anything but, instead, told you something fascinating and then left you alone. You may be more opened to future calls. This is the theory behind social-media and content marketing.
Here are some tips on content creation and building a presence and reputation online …
Know Your Audience: You’ll find articles suggesting you need to post multiple times a day to your blog, Twitter, and Facebook page. And yeah, the more you post the more attention you’re likely to get. It’s the old quantity over quality argument. In order to drum up some new business, however, you needn’t follow any arbitrary number of posts per day, week, or month. More importantly, you need to determine what kind of content your customers and potential clients would most benefit from receiving. Sending out a tweet every hour that doesn’t appeal to your customers and has nothing to do with your business won’t gain you any respect or attention. Posting something of value, however, can result in a new connection regardless of the frequency.
Know Your Topic: It’s tempting to get online and fill your pages with everything from the personal to the professional. And when you’re starting out and having difficulty finding appropriate content, posting about your favorite hobbies and habits may seem like a good way to get going. But nobody shopping for your particular services is going to choose you over your competition simply because you share the same taste in television, food, or sports teams. They will, however, take a longer look at your page if you’re consistently posting educational, informative, and interesting content aimed at helping them make better decisions. Give your audience what they’re looking for and they’re more likely to come looking for you when they’re ready to do business.
Know Your Purpose: Because it’s easy and free, setting your business up with a social-media profile may seem less valuable and vital. In other words, it may not seem like something that requires time, effort, planning, and forethought. It does. Spending a little time figuring out how you want to present yourself, what kind of content you’d like to offer, and who your target audience will be, can make the difference between a successful campaign and a half-empty Facebook fan page. You wouldn’t, for example, take out an advertisement without considering what it says, where it runs, and how it brands your business. So the same amount of consideration should go into your social-media properties. Keep them professional, up-to-date, consistent, and timely for best results.
Here’s a stat for anyone that believes blogs aren’t a viable lead generator … More than half of businesses that blog report having acquired a customer specifically through their blog. According to HubSpot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing survey, 57 percent of company blogs have pulled in a new client, that’s better than Facebook or Twitter. In other words, if you’re thinking of starting a social-media campaign for your business and you’re convinced business blogging is a thing of the not-so distant past, here are some things to think about …
Sharing is Marketing: The percentage of businesses with a company blog has risen in all of the past three years and has now reached 65 percent. In other words, if you’re not blogging, you’re behind the times. You’re a dying breed. A dinosaur. And there’s a reason the majority of companies are maintaining blogs. First, they’re a cheap way of increasing your web presence. Secondly, in the Internet age, marketing means getting your content passed along. Sharing is key. And a blog gives you a place to begin generating content and an audience. Once you’ve gotten accustomed to producing content set yourself up on a few social-media sites to syndicate your content even further.
More Is More: So you set up a blog, posted twice, and when it didn’t result in any new business, gave up? Well what did you expect would happen? According to the HubSpot survey, among businesses who reported acquiring a customer through their blog, 92 percent posted multiple times a day. In other words, the more you share, the more likely you generate traffic, make new contacts, and build new business. Now you may be thinking you don’t have the time to post multiple times a day. Well, 66 percent of those business blogs acquired a customer while only blogging once a week and, among blogs that only updated monthly, 56 percent gained a customer. In other words, even if you’re too busy or too lazy, chances are a business blog will benefit your bottom line.
The Future Is Now: Among respondents to the HubSpot survey, 62 percent say social media has grown more important to them in the past six months. And, on the flip side, only 14 percent named trade shows and nine percent said telemarketing. In other words, if you believed social media was a passing fancy and there was no need to participate, you’ve been proven wrong. More and more businesses are incorporating and benefiting from social media and blogs. And more of them are reporting their successes. The same survey found 81 percent of businesses said their blog was useful or better, with 34 percent calling it important and 25 percent saying it was critical. Yeah, critical.
Think of LinkedIn as the most well-attended networking event the world has ever seen. Then congratulate yourself on finding a way to meet and greet with more than 70 million professionals without having to endure the awkward conversations and business-card exchanges that go along with your regular, run-of-the-mill business gathering.
When used correctly, LinkedIn provides a platform for online networking, maintaining contacts, receiving referrals and participating in the community at large. And so, we’ve compiled the following tips and tools from past posts in order to help you take better advantage of your profile …
Your Profile: Since LinkedIn began as a vehicle for job hunters, many people are still under the impression that some form of copy-and-pasted resume is all you need to attract potential business to your page. Truth is, this is a representation of you and, hopefully, one that will be seen by potential clients and partners. That means, you’ll want to offer up a bit more than your work history. If you have a Twitter page, add it. Add your website as well. Get connected by importing your email address book and sending out an invite to your business contacts. Add a bio and job experience. The more information you offer, the more likely your profile will be found.
Get Active: So you’ve filled out your profile and imported your business contacts to LinkedIn. The next step is getting active on the site. LinkedIn offers the ability to join as many industry-related groups and discussions as you wish. So do it. Search groups by category or keyword and focus on your region or industry. Once you’ve joined, ask a question or answer an existing query. If nothing else, you may learn something from someone. At best, you’ll make new contacts within your industry and region that could lead to business down the road.
Make Recommendations: On LinkedIn, recommendations bolster your credibility. After all, if you’ve got a lot of recommendations, you’re most likely trustworthy and not out to scam, spam, or swindle anyone. But how do you get them? Well, start by recommending people you’ve had positive business experiences with. Once you’ve made some recommendations, it’ll be a lot easier to get some in return.
WordPress: If you have a business blog and haven’t added it to your LinkedIn page, you should. The WordPress application on LinkedIn allows you to easily update your profile with your most recent blog posts, provided you’re using WordPress. And, if embedding your blog on your LinkedIn profile sounds like it may be beyond your technological abilities, it’s as easy as entering your domain name into the application. Everything else is automatic.
Polls: You may think polls are only for research centers and presidential campaigns but they’re also a handy and convenient way of gathering information that will boost your business. Use the poll application on LinkedIn to pose a question to your connections and millions of other professionals, then use their answers to better your services. In addition, the poll application allows you to embed the voting module on your website or blog.
Be Strategic: Once you’ve set up a page and joined some groups, developed some content, discussion topics, or questions to share, it’s time to think strategically about how, where, and when to post it. You don’t, for example, want to post your content on Christmas morning or the 4th of July or even weekends for that matter. Posting the right topic to the right group at a time when there’s likely to be more traffic and interest will make the difference between being ignored and being found among millions of members.