Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’
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
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
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
Developing a daily plan for your social media strategy can be highly advantageous. Starting a Facebook page or Twitter account and posting occasionally is simply not enough. To optimize the usage of your social media outlets, you must establish an effective strategy that will allow you to reach many followers and friends at one time. Take time to research and organize your content. Taking a short time to prepare for the coming week can optimize your social media campaign while making it easier on yourself. Decide where to post, what to post and when to post. Research has found that posting before 8:00 am or after 8:00 pm is close to useless while posting between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm will provide the most traction. After you have your plan constructed you must put it into action, using your social media platforms daily will ensure your marketing success. This is a very simple yet efficient check list you should apply to your daily social media campaign.
1.) Post Interesting and Valuable Information: Posts and tweets are essentially what make up your profile. Your posts should be informative and relevant such as a blog, an article or tip. You can also post something that will encourage interaction between you and your viewers, such as requesting feedback on a particular product or service you provide.
2.) Seek New Followers or Friends: The more followers and friends you have will only increase opportunities to benefit your business. A way to go about getting more friends or followers can be as straightforward as sending an informational email out to your contact list explaining that you have the site and encouraging your contacts to check it out.
3.) Run Facebook Ads: Create a Facebook ad campaign to help create awareness about your business. Facebook ads are very user-friendly; You can personalize your ad as well as select the duration of your ad and how much you want to spend.
For daily social media tips, visit our Facebook page here
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
Facebook was originally created for college-age adults as a tool to help while school was in session. Now, Facebook is not only for college students but is literally for everyone. Businesses lately have been opening their doors to more and more social-media networks. The most popular being Facebook, and more specifically Facebook fan pages; after all, Facebook is still the leading social-media network with over 800 million users. The number-one way you can have a successful Facebook fan page is to look reputable to your online fans. Here are some easy tips to help your Facebook fan page look more reputable:
Choose A Professional Name For Your Facebook Fan Page: This may seem obvious but choosing a professional, well thought-out Facebook fan page name is essential. The main thing to remember is to keep it simple. Stuffing the name with a ton of adjectives and keywords will potentially hurt your viral growth rate and make you seem unorganized, and let’s face it, unprofessional. Sounding generic is something to avoid, as well. Sounding generic can make your existing fans cautious and less likely to become engaged on your fan page. Another reason why you should avoid sounding generic is that Facebook can actually take away your ability to post or interact on your page if you look suspicious or fake.
Upload An Impressive Cover Image: Your cover image should be just as professional as your name. For example, a nice professional picture of you, your business or your co-workers is fine. Remember to keep it authentic. A picture you grabbed off of Google will probably not do the trick. People also tend to get tired of things very fast in the social-media world. Updating your cover image once a month will keep fans interested and will make your page look more attractive and fresh.
Explain Yourself: In your Facebook fan-page edit box, there is an area designated for you to explain your website. It is crucial to take the time to explain yourself or your company to your fans. A short summary will suffice while giving them a sense of familiarity. You can potentially build a bond with your fans this way, and they will be more likely to trust what you are doing and who you are. You should also add a link to your website. The link can be used as a back-up source to show you are a reputable business or individual and can also be used to drive more traffic to your website.
Give Contact Information: To optimize your Facebook fan page for local searches, it is highly important to include your address, city, state, and zip. An increasing amount of people are turning to social media for answers, and this is an easy way of providing your fans with contact information fast. Another benefit is that Google places a higher importance on Facebook fan pages with specific information, such as your business’s phone number and address. This tip can effectively improve your over-all population awareness and your brand.
In addition, your website logo should be somewhere on the Cover of your Facebook fan page or used as your profile picture to preserve and optimize your reputability.
For daily social-media tips, “Like” us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheIbisNetwork
The Social Media world is a fast paced and ever-changing environment. In order to succeed in understanding this rapidly expanding world, it helps to keep up with new statistics and facts. The most efficient way of staying ahead is by simply staying involved. If one is consistently interacting with their social media outlets, it undoubtedly becomes easier to grasp new habits and trends.
Over the last year, social media has evolved into a much larger concept. Facebook is still considered the most successful social-media invention to date, with 23% of Facebook users checking their accounts at least 5 times a day. Other sites are giving Facebook a run for its money; Twitter is vigorously recruiting new users at an optimal speed, snagging a whopping 53% more users in less than one year while Facebook users have only increased by 19%.
New trends such as Instagram and Pinterest have become immensely popular recently, allowing users to upload pictures to share their unique story or showcase their brand visually. Businesses are taking advantage of these social-media sites to attract customers with a variety of available product pictures, and in result approximately 1/2 of social media users say Facebook and Pinterest have influenced them on previous purchases.
It has been suggested that the recent jump in social-media activity is due to mobile use. Mobile sharing has become immensely popular among users. Social-media users are no longer required to stay in one location to access their various sites. Mobile devices provide the necessities needed to complete most general social-media tasks such as posting pictures, sharing your status and location and sending/receiving Emails. This light-weight independence is an attractive characteristic to the majority of users while traditional options, such as desktop and laptop computers are not as convenient.
Keeping abreast of recent changes and new technology in social media can be difficult at times, but if one understands the social channels they are targeting, one has a much better chance that their specific social-media campaign will succeed. Social media is mostly user-friendly but at times can be confusing. One must know the difference between simply using social media and using social media to incorporate the right aspects into the DNA of the brand one has created. Social media changes every day. It is imperative to understand the changes to ensure brand success online.
You can find quick tips to improve your social-media presence on our Facebook page here
It’s easy to mistake social media for a semi-frivolous, Internet-based time waster and give it half an effort. After all, how can you be serious about your business and spend any part of your day tweeting? So, if you can’t yet bring yourself to try and reap business benefits from Facebook or Twitter, try LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the most popular business-oriented, social-media site on the web and offers a way to focus on business while making connections online. Unfortunately, it also requires a little more attention to detail than it does to tweet what you had for lunch.
Here are some tips for beginners …
Finish What You Started: It’s one thing to leave your likes and dislikes off your personal Facebook page. Nobody will fault you if you don’t divulge your preference for lighthearted, romantic comedies. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is more like an online resume. So treat it as such. Leaving important information off your profile – such as past work experience, a bio, a photo, or specialties – will not only make you look like you can’t finish a job but it’ll also be less likely to catch anyone’s attention. And it isn’t only job-seeking college students who benefit from the social-networking site. There are more than 100 million members on LinkedIn. Which means, the more info you include, the more likely you’ll meet prospective clients or referral partners among that 100 million.
Invite Your Address Book: Okay, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Sure, LinkedIn offers a way to import all of your contacts from your email address book. But be careful. After all, you’re setting up a professional network. In other words, you may not need to connect with your mother, old friends from high school, or your cousin Larry. Save the personal connections for your personal pages. Keep focused and professional.
Participate: So you’ve filled out your profile and imported any business contacts to your LinkedIn profile. 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 line.
Recommend To Be Recommended: 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.
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.
There’s a popular notion that Facebook created the idea of sharing and transformed the Internet into a purely social experience. But anyone with a memory – and an email inbox – can tell you that there was plenty of sharing happening over the web long before Facebook came along and made it possible for anyone to share anything with anyone. In olden times, we shared information with our contacts through email. And, in fact, most of us still do.
Here are some email-marketing ideas to boost your social-media presence …
One Thing Leads To Another: Nearly 50 percent of surveyed companies said they planned to use email to grow their social-media channels. And, when you think about it, why wouldn’t you? Separating and segregating your marketing efforts means limiting the number of contacts you’re reaching with each individual effort. Why limit your Facebook activity to your Facebook followers? Promote your Facebook page through email and you’ll be attracting attention from not only your current followers but also those who aren’t yet familiar with your page. It’s a great way to boost activity and the number of fans, followers, contacts, and clients visiting your online properties.
Getting A Head Start: The simplest way to incorporate your email contact list into your social-media marketing campaign is to invite your address book to join your page. Most social-media pages have an automated prompt to send out an invitation. If that leaves you feeling cold, write up a personal note saying you’ve started a page or profile for your business and encourage them to visit your new page. Getting your pages off to a quick start requires some initial activity. Relying on current contacts and past clients is a great way to start building a community while you’re still learning the ropes.
Keeping it Going: Once you’ve invited your contacts to join your page, keep them updated about what’s happening through an occasional email promo. If you’ve written a particularly informative blog post or started a contest on one of your social-media pages, send out an email announcing it. Also, incorporate the addresses of your social-media pages into your email signature. Promoting your social-media pages through email doesn’t always have to be a direct plea or solicitation. Adding links to your online properties is a great way to get people to visit and like your pages. Ultimately, integrating your email and social-media marketing campaigns requires a little creativity and commitment. Keep at it and, with a little common sense and commitment, you’ll soon see results.
The key to successfully marketing your business through social media is to make it seem like you’re not. Which is to say, social-media marketing requires a little slight of hand, a lot of patience, and some faith. You can’t expect to put up some pages, upload a bunch of sales material, and wait for new clients to come knocking down your door. You’ll have to build a community of followers, fans, contacts, and customers the old-fashioned way.
Here are some tips to marketing your business without seeming to …
Think About Your Approach: So you registered for some social-media pages and are eager to start selling your services online? Well, unfortunately, that’s not how it works. In fact, there’s no quicker way to turn off potential online leads than to hammer away with sales talk and solicitations. Social-media marketing requires a little finesse. That means, rather than posting everyday about your business and services, you should be offering information and help. Approach your online contacts as though you’re doing it out of the kindness of your heart and the familiarity and goodwill you generate will lead to word-of-mouth and business.
The Content Conundrum: What do you post when you’d really rather beg for business? Well, there are a number of things. The quickest and easiest way to generate some good content is to share interesting info you’ve found that may help someone in need of your particular services. Pass along some industry news that a consumer might not know but should. Explain and add context to any numbers, stats, or trends that a potential customer would benefit from knowing. Approach your updates and posts as though you’re a good friend hoping to assist someone with an important decision. Answer questions and ask for feedback. All of these things will generate a back-and-forth with your online contacts that can only benefit your business.
Turning Contacts Into Clients: Of course, to some people, the process of luring in business through social-media may seem like a wasted effort. After all, who has the time to be posting to Facebook or LinkedIn when they need to generate real money in the real world? With time and consistency, however, social-media can – and will – lead to business. It’s just a matter of targeting the right audience and keeping up with your contacts. Social-media is a word-of-mouth machine. Give it time and you’ll soon see that your contacts are not only turning into clients, but are also recommending you to their contacts and online communities.
A jazz musician needs to first understand the basic framework of a song before they can effectively improvise over its chord progression and melody. In other words, they need to understand the foundation of the composition before they can begin to build upon it. In much the same way, social-media success requires a basic understanding of the framework and foundation of sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Knowing how things work, what purpose they serve, and how to effectively build a presence for your business will be key to moving you forward.
Here are some hints and help for building a better social-media presence …
The Beginning: Social media, first and foremost, is about connecting with other people. Regardless of what site you use, you’re there to network. Which means, hiding behind a half-finished profile or protecting your tweets isn’t going to lead to new business or potential leads. Act like you want to be found and are interested in making a good first impression. Have a professional looking photo, a well-written bio, and all of your current contact information. Also, invite your current contacts to follow your page and start spreading the word. There are plenty of tools and tricks to master along the way but starting by including as much relevant info as you can is the best way to begin. The more information you include about yourself, the more likely people will find you and your page.
The Middle: The more difficult part of this process is how you take your page from an empty shell to a thriving community. And the easy answer is content. Unfortunately, however, content isn’t always that easy to create, which is why it trips up so many wannabe social-media marketers. You have to have something to say and you have to do it consistently. And, to add to the pressure, once you’ve developed a rhythm and are contributing consistent content, you’ll have to find a way to get your fans and followers to read, interact, and comment on your posts. In other words, it can be tricky. The good news is sticking with relevant, professional content means using what you already know. Give your followers insider tips, info, and exclusive offers and they will come back for more.
The End: Once you’ve filled out your page and begun to contribute some content, the trick is maintaining it. You can add apps and banners. You can run contests and polls. All of these things are good ideas and – once you’re operating within the framework of the site – the more creativity you can muster, the better. Ultimately, the goal is to keep a regular schedule and consistent quality. Give people a reason to return and interact with your page and you’ll begin to see the word-of mouth build within your online community. Most of all, keep at it and don’t give in too quickly. Social media takes time. Have patience.
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.
Management skills are an important part of having an effective social-media presence. Not only do you have to manage your content and keep up with contacts and comments, you have to effectively manage your time – which can be the biggest obstacle for someone new to online marketing. Here are some helpful hints and tips to making better use of your pages and profiles, as well as your time.
Get A Calendar: This may seem obvious but keeping a schedule will greatly increase your odds of staying on top of your social-media profiles. If you’re continually trying to find 10 minutes to update your Facebook page while juggling yet another busy work day, there will always be something more important to take care of. If, however, you block off a time of day or week to handle all of the notifications, emails, and updates you need to address, you’ll be more likely to get around to it. How often you need to check in with your social-media presence, depends on your business and client base. What works for one person won’t, necessarily, for another. Make a schedule and stick with it.
Put Your Followers To Work: Successful social-media pages are driven – not by their administrators – but by the fans and followers that tune in to what is being posted on the page or blog. In other words, when you’ve got a lively community of people engaged with the information you’re offering, your page will begin to take care of itself. Sure, you’ll need to stay on top of things, but having people reading and commenting on what you’re posting online will encourage others. And, with any luck, your page will become a forum for like-minded individuals exchanging ideas and questions. To get things going, offer a discount or prize for people who comment or contribute to your page. Along with your content, ask a question or take a poll related to the topic. Get people involved and your page will soon take on a life of its own.
Minimize And Simplify: If you’re someone who’s prone to feeling overwhelmed or tends to value results over patience, start small and don’t try to take over the Internet overnight. That means, taking one step at a time. Don’t register for 12 different profiles, fill out half of the info requested, and throw up your hands when nothing’s happened after one week. Start with one page and get familiar with the way things operate. Get used to updating your page and promoting your content. Once you start to have success on one site, try another if you’d like. As always, there’s no universal rule. Maybe Twitter works for you and Facebook doesn’t. Maybe you need both. Only trial, error, and time will determine the answer to what works for you and your business.
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.
Choosing a social-media site for your business can be like choosing a lane on the freeway. A successful choice will help you move forward and reach your destination. An unsuccessful choice will get you lost or lead to a dead end. To help make an informed decision, here are some important stats and numbers to remember about the major social-media sites and their viability for business.
Facebook: With 955 million monthly active users, Facebook is the largest and most recognizable social-media brand in business. And though you may not associate it with making professional contacts, a lot has changed since its founding in 2004. Facebook is now an important part of any social-media marketing campaign, whether you’re a large corporation or a small business. On a daily basis, more than 550 million people check in with Facebook, making it an excellent place to spread the word about your products and services. Set up a page for your business and start inviting clients, customers, and contacts to visit your page.
Twitter: Twitter describes itself as a “real-time information network that connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions, and news about what you find interesting.” And though it’s often derided as a site where the self-absorbed tweet unread messages about their every thought and action, Twitter is actually a great source of information. In fact, it may be as valuable as a research tool as it is a platform for keeping in touch with potential clients and customers. But whether you’re using it to gather market intelligence or you’re using it to participate and promote your business, Twitter has proven to be a viable social-media site for all types of businesses.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn launched in 2003. Nearly 10 years later, they sign up nearly two new members every second. It is the largest professional network on the Internet with more than 175 million members and is on pace to surpass 5.3 billion professionally oriented searches this year. Being active on LinkedIn gives you an opportunity to be among the results of one of those searches. It also gives you an opportunity to meet referral partners, network within your region and industry, and make new professional contacts.
Pinterest, Instagram, Etc.: Social media’s popularity has spawned many new platforms, sites, and phenomenons. In the ever-connected age of smart phones and tablets, people are even more apt to share and consume through their favorite social-media site of the moment. That doesn’t always mean, however, that you and your business need to be represented on the newest and latest site. Among the most recent phenomenons, Pinterest and Instagram have received a lot of attention. But, though there may be a legitimate business use for these sites, their long-term viability remains to be seen. When choosing a social-media site for your business, it’s not always what’s “hot” that matters as much as it is what fits your needs and goals.
We know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “It’s 2012, do I really still need a business blog?” Well, the short answer is yes. Though blogs – in Internet years – are a nearly ancient form of online communication, they’re still an effective and totally customizable platform for furthering your business and boosting your brand.
Here are a few reasons you still need a blog in 2012 …
It’s RSS, Baby: RSS stands for “real simple syndication.” And syndication is the name of the game, even in this age of smart phones and tablets. Having a blog means you have an RSS feed. Having a RSS feed means your content can be easily spread across the Internet through any website or app that links via RSS. This feed contains all the words and photos and anything else you post to your blog. Now say you’d like to share that content on your Facebook page. Well that’s as easy as finding a RSS app and filling in the address to your feed. In other words, you need a business blog to use as home base for all the content you create to share with your clients, customers, partners, followers, and fans online.
It’s A Custom Fit: Blogs, as they were originally known, were nothing more than an online scroll of entries posted by whomever set up the page. These days, however, your blog can do just about anything. In fact, you can even set up a storefront and sell products complete with a credit-card checkout and shipping rates, if you wish. There are an endless number of themes and plugins, which make having a blog a completely customizable form of social-media and online marketing. It’s the closest thing available to a paint-by-numbers website. Having a dynamic online presence can only improve your reputation and help convince potential clients of your expertise and professionalism.
It’s Home Base: Think of your blog as home base for your social-media campaign. It’s where you create content and test new ideas. From your blog, you can see what does and doesn’t work and then take that to your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn page. With a blog, you’re afforded more freedom and function than you are on any of the major social-media platforms. Because of this, you’re better able to get creative and see what your audience responds to the most. It’s also a great way to create traffic between your pages by linking to your blog from your social-media pages.
Social media can seem like a relatively painless proposition until it comes to creating content for your pages. Content is the difference between success and failure online. But it’s also the part of social networking that takes the most time and effort – which is why it trips up so many would-be social-media marketers.
Think of it like throwing a dinner party. You want to have an interesting guest list and hope to dazzle them with your entertaining skills. But – in order to have a successful gathering – you’ll need dinner. Provide good food and a comfortable atmosphere and your guests will be clamoring for an invite the next time you’re having people over. Skimp on the appetizers and deliver a mediocre meal and word will get out, ensuring future invites go ignored. In other words, what you serve your guests matters whether you’re throwing a dinner party or promoting your services over the Internet.
Here are some tips on creating compelling content …
Go With What You Know: If you’re creating content for a business blog or fan page, this one should be easy. After all, your content should relate to your business and you, presumably, know something about your business and industry. Having to write blog posts can seem like homework. Make it easier by writing something you know well. Try industry news and updates, answers to frequently asked questions, or explaining something about your business that your clients and customers should understand. If you’re writing something you know well, it won’t be as difficult to think of what or how to say it. Make it easy on yourself and stick with topics you’re familiar with.
Write The Way You Speak: Writing doesn’t have to be a chore. If you’re writing something for your blog or social-media site, start by thinking of the way you’d say it if you were telling someone in person. You don’t have to change the way you communicate. Keep it simple and conversational. Don’t worry about the sophistication of your sentence structure. Pay more attention to whether or not you’ve effectively communicated what you set out to say. Ultimately, you want visitors to read it, not grade it. Keep it short, easily consumed, and professional.
Use The Internet: Ideas abound on the Internet. If you’re having trouble creating content, there are countless ideas, topics, and resources available to you online. Social media is about sharing and communicating. So post a link to a story or article your read that relates to your industry or region. Link to a video or re-tweet something. In other words, don’t always feel like you have to write 500 words on some challenging topic or issue. Keep it simple and light. You’re not producing a manifesto, you’re trying to deliver interesting content to encourage visitors to interact with you and your business.
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.