The Ibis Network's Social-Media Marketing Tips
Sunday December 21st 2014

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Posts Tagged ‘Followers’

5 Tips To Having A Consistent Social-Media Reputation

Social Media

Having a strong social media presence is crucial to having a successful business. One of the key elements to a strong social-media campaign is consistency, which can prove to be more difficult than it sounds. Simply getting your brand out there is not enough; your brand may be represented differently on other social media sites, creating confusion. Below are some tips to keep a consistent social-media presence.

1.) Get Everyone On The Same Page - When you are representing your brand via social media, having everyone inside your company in unison regarding how to present that brand is essential, especially with larger companies. Always remain hyper-sensitive to your brand’s presence and stick to it. Holding regular meetings within your company to be sure everyone has a running knowledge of your brand can help to ensure that you are all working together.

2.) Be Consistent In Interaction - Your brand needs a personality to separate it from other brands. The way you engage your followers is the main method by which you can create that personality. The way you interact with the fans, as well as the times you choose to interact with them, should remain consistent to help strengthen your brand’s presence. Keeping cohesive brand personality will help you remain consistent and build trust with your followers.

3.) Business First - Many companies tarnish their brands by trying too hard to please people on different social-media sites, and thereby diversifying their brand’s persona. It’s important to remember that you cannot please all of the people all of the time. Keeping your message professional and on track with your social-media campaign will build brand consistency.

4.) Know Your Market - By understanding the market you intend to cater to, you will be able to stay more consistent. A little research can go a long way in this case. If you don’t understand the intricacies of the market you are targeting, you risk using marketing ploys that could fail in the long term. Remember that anything you put on social-media sites is subject to be viewed and criticized by the public, which if not true to the market’s needs and desires, could hurt your attempt at success.

5.) Consider A Professional - If this all feels like a bit much, you may want to consider hiring a professional to do it for you. The main drawback to this method, other than the extra cost involved, is that you are bringing in someone from outside the company that will need to be familiarized with your campaign goals and brand personality. However, if your company struggles to find a way to stay consistent, this may be a valid option.

 

For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page here

How To Create An Innovative Facebook Page

Thumb - Copy

Facebook has the potential to build long-lasting and strong relationships between you and your clients; however, being a successful marketer on Facebook takes more than just posting and hoping it gets attention. Using Facebook to market your brand can be extremely time consuming and involved, but the end result can be immensely rewarding for your company. Below are some tips to create a Facebook page to engage and retain followers.

1.) Content - When posting on Facebook, it is crucial to know your audience and what they like.  By knowing your audience, you can generate content specifically geared towards them, greatly increasing the chances that the content will be liked and shared. A good starting point is humorous or inspirational posts, which usually do well with most audiences. The biggest benefit of sharing is extending the reach of your content exponentially. Remember that even if someone doesn’t read your posts, they may read those same posts if shared by a friend.

2.) Discussion - Customer service is an integral part of staying successful in any business, and Facebook’s visibility and reach has made it one of the most useful customer service platforms. Encouraging comments and feedback from your followers is a valuable way to start discussions, and to keep your followers invested in what is going on at your company. When you engage your audience, they will engage you, as well.

3.) Facebook Check-In – Facebook Check-In is a great tool that allows customers to say they are physically at your business. This can help to encourage others to do the same. Check-In also provides direct feedback about products and services, as customers discuss their experience at the location, and creates a sense of physical presence in an online format.

4.) Promotion - Facebook is great for promoting both your business and website, but don’t forget that you need to promote your Facebook page, as well. A direct link on your website is a must, but you can also use your other social media sites, or even a mention on a podcast to help drive users to your Facebook page. The more publicity you get for your Facebook page, the more overall attention you will ultimately receive. Those with larger budgets should also consider advertising the Facebook page on traditional media as well, such as radio and television.

For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page here

14 Terms For The Social-Media Beginner

Ibis Social Media Marketing

Many people who are new to social media can be  intimidated by foreign terms, acronyms and other up-to-the-minute lingo. This new language may be confusing enough to keep some people and businesses from fully embracing social media. The following is a list of some of the better known and most-used language in social media.

Blog – A regularly updated website or “web log” that allows a company or individual to post content and interact with readers through commentary, subscriptions, widgets, and syndicated RSS feeds.

Dashboard – The administrative area on blogs and social-media sites that allows you to edit your information, manage comments, monitor traffic, upload files, etc.

Domain Name – The identifying name or address of an Internet site.

Hashtag – Used on Twitter and Instagram, a hashtag is a keyword or phrase preceded by a “#” that helps organize posts, making them easier to find in searches.

Hyperlink – A navigational reference that embeds a link to a document or page on the Internet.

News Feed – Your news feed is where friends or followers share their current status.

Profiles and Pages – The pages on social-networking sites where a person or business displays their contact information, pictures, posts, and files.

RSS Feed – RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web-feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blogs and videos in a standardized format. Content publishers can syndicate a feed, which allows users to subscribe to the content and read it when they please, and from a location other than the website.

Subscribing – Signing up for a site’s feed, which automatically sends you new content from that site.

Tags – Keywords associated with a blog post or other content making them more easily found through searches.

Traffic – This term pertains to how many guests are visiting your social media site.

Trending – A popular phrase, word, or topic that is being used or shared habitually.

Viral Marketing – Viral marketing refers to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives through self-replicating viral processes.

Wall or Timeline – The shared portion, or discussion board, displayed on a social-media profile.

 

For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page here

Twitter Offers Advanced Marketing Tools

Twitter Marketing Tips

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).

Daily Social Media Checklist

Checklist

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

Facebook Introduces New Search Tool

FB GraphLast 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

 

Three Leading Twitter Tips For Business

Social Media is vastly becoming a necessity for businesses. Each social media site holds unique benefits to take advantage of- acknowledging these benefits and how they help you, or your business will aid in your Twitter success tremendously. Twitter is known as the real-time social media page. Staying involved and active is essential due to the fast-paced environment.  What was posted an hour ago is long-gone for many Twitter users and, unfortunately, may never be seen by your followers. There are certain steps you can take to ensure your Twitter page is successful. Listed below are three imperative steps that should be taken to acquire an impressive Twitter page.

1.) Stay Involved:

If you are actively checking your Twitter page multiple times each day it is less likely you will miss an important post, and you are more likely to re-post and join in conversations. Staying involved is the most important step to ensure your Twitter success.

2.) Keep Your Followers In The Know:

You should be tweeting at least three times a day. Research has found that tweeting 3-5 times each day is an optimal amount. Followers with a smaller fanbase tend to get annoyed at “habitual tweeters” while others with a larger fanbase may only get the chance to see one tweet out of five. You should provide your followers with interesting information- information that is valuable and will help reinforce the brand you are building.

3.) Follow Back:

This may seem like a tip that has been run into the ground, but it is important that you reciprocate and follow Twitter users who choose to follow you. This will grow your fanbase and allow you to reach as many people as possible. Your goal should be to get your information out to as many followers as possible. Following back will continually aid in the growth of your Twitter page.

Twitter is a simple and free tool that can be advantageous to your business. If you invest the time needed and use Twitter correctly you will begin to see beneficial results. It can take time to grow your fanbase and readership, but by following these three steps, the growth time will be shortened.

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How To Keep Your Contacts Happy And Your Business Thriving

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.

Twitter Talk: Three Ways To Find Followers And Boost Benefits

Among social-media sites, Twitter has the least obvious professional application. It’s character limitation and cutesy lingo make it seem like a stretch for someone hoping to reap business benefits from social networking. Still, there are a number of inventive ways to use Twitter that will make it easier to find contacts, research your local market, and connect with industry leaders.

Here are some tips for using Twitter more effectively …

Use Keywords: On Twitter, people attach hashtags to particular words or phrases to make their tweets easier to find. Attaching a hashtag means people searching for that topic will be more likely to find that tweet. It also make eavesdropping on Twitter users even easier. Search for a keyword or phrase associated with your business and get an instant report on what people are thinking and saying about your industry. Use what you learn to craft better business strategies and address your customers’ needs and concerns. Using Twitter for field research doesn’t even require an account. It’s the fastest, easiest, and most effective way to use Twitter for business.

Go Local: Apply that same lesson to your region, city, or state and you can quickly find Twitter users in your neighborhood and community. This is a good way to boost your followers and make new contacts. Find some local Twitter users who either fit your target demographic or are influential or active in the community, then follow their feed. Chances are many of these new contacts will follow you back. Use that opportunity to introduce yourself and begin a conversation. You are, after all, neighbors. Keep it casual and conversational. Soon these contacts will become online friends and their word of mouth and familiarity with you and your business will benefit your bottom line.

Reach Out: It can’t hurt to take the first step. Reaching out and following people on Twitter is a quick way to generate some goodwill and gather some fans of your own. Finding people in your area or industry is a good start but don’t be afraid to also follow feeds of people and entities beyond your immediate grasp as well. By which we mean, follow the local newspapers, city leaders, national media sites, industry trade groups, and any or anything else that pertains to your business and interests you and, presumably, your followers. As always, keep it professional and family friendly. Ultimately, the more diverse and active your Twitter page is, the better chance you’ll have at making it work for you and your business.

Top Tips: 9 Recommendations And Reminders To Boost Your Social-Media Success

Finding social-media advice online is as easy as finding cars in a parking lot. Which is to say, there are plenty of gurus and experts hoping to teach you how to maximize your potential and rack up huge numbers of followers and fans. But – despite their expertise and savvy – the best advice is usually just common sense. To that end, we’ve compiled 9 common sense tips to help you become a more successful and effective social-media marketer.

Respond: Answer questions, thank people even if it’s just a few words. Make it a two-way conversation, listen to what others have to say and appreciate suggestions and feedback. It will make what you do even better.

Know What You’re Doing: If you’re going to establish yourself on social media, get involved in social media. Start your own Twitter account, Facebook page, read blogs, and get engaged. That’s the best way to understand the culture, tone, best practices, and protocol.

Add Value: Share tips, tricks, and insights. People’s time is precious and they need to get something out of the time they spend on your page. Make listening to you worth their while.

Drive Traffic To Your Website: Adding links in appropriate places within posts, and occasionally in Tweets, can drive potential business to your official website.

Your Brand Is Everything, Everywhere: Your business brand is everything and anything you do. From your logo, colors, tagline, and Twitter background to your blog header, website, profile pic, and bio. Your brand is everything you post, anywhere you’re represented. Be cautious and consistent.

Integrate: All your marketing efforts should work together to present consistent brand messages and lead to your ultimate marketing goals. You should also cross-promote your various marketing efforts.

Be Active: Update your status, share, comment, send invitations to connect, start group discussions, answer questions, and comment on other people’s pages and profiles. It’s called social media for a reason.

Seek Feedback: If nothing else, social media should be an effective way of finding out what your customers and clients think of your business. When was the last time you asked them what they’d like to see on your page? Whether you’re asking them to vote on your next post or to choose a product or service they’d like you to incorporate into your business, don’t underestimate the value of feedback.

Understand Your Objective: Before jumping on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other network, ask yourself “Why?” Each marketing effort should be clearly and logically tied to core business objectives. Are you using this network for customer service, brand awareness, or community building? And what does success look like? Having more fans or followers is not really a viable metric. Having a more engaged community could be.

 

How To Boost Your Social Media Presence Using Email

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 A Successful Social-Media Campaign

 

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.

The Basics: Building A Successful Social-Media Presence

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.

The Top Three Reasons You Need A Facebook Page

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.

Three Steps Toward Becoming A More Effective Social Media Manager

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.

By The Numbers: More Stats To Change Your Mind About Social Media

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.

The Top Reasons You Still Need A Business Blog In 2012

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.

Twitter For Business: The Top Tools, Hints & Help

Among the top social-media sites, Twitter seems the most frivolous. It’s hard to imagine something that involves tweeting being a worthwhile thing to do with your time. And yet, there a countless examples of businesses that are successfully incorporating Twitter into their social-media marketing strategy. Used correctly, Twitter can help you boost brand awareness and familiarity, customer loyalty, word of mouth, and visibility. Here are some of our top tips, hints and help for businesses looking to capitalize in the Twitterverse.

Just Tweet: Okay, if you’re just starting out on Twitter, the first thing to do is tweet. You aren’t likely to attract anything but spam with an empty page. If you’re having trouble thinking of something to say, re-tweet something you found interesting or informative that relates to your industry or area. You can’t expect to gain any followers unless you’ve got something to share. Starting from scratch can be difficult but keep it professional, relevant, and regularly updated for best results.

Use the Hashtag: If you’ve heard the term but haven’t yet understood the concept, here you go … Hashtags identify the topic or subject of your tweet, making it easier for people to find it through searches. For example, if you’re tweeting about real estate, follow your tweet with #realestate. That way, it’s more likely your tweet will be found by people searching for real estate on Twitter. But think it through, as a hashtag for something as general as real estate will likely be among thousands of others.

Nearby Tweets: See who’s tweeting what in your area with nearbytweets.com. The simple setup delivers search results based on a keyword and a location. Search for anything anywhere and see who’s tweeting what near you.

Make Friends: The more people you follow, the more people will follow you. Choose some interesting people and businesses in your industry and region and follow them. Check their followers and follow some of them too. Not only will you have access to any tips and info they share, you’ll boost your visibility and attract your own followers.

Engage: Build a community by commenting and re-tweeting what other people have posted. Post something that isn’t directly related to your business. Talk about other businesses in your area. Point out interesting things in your community.

Be Thankful: Using Twitter properly – or any other social-media site for that matter – requires a bit of old-fashioned etiquette. Much like they do in everyday life, people online appreciate a simple thank you from time to time. For our purposes that means turning on email notifications from your Twitter page. Twitter will send you an email any time someone new follows you. Be sure to send a thank you. It’s a good way to encourage communication and requires nothing more than a short message.

Contaxio: A tool to help manage, track, and interconnect your Twitter account. With Contaxio, you’ll be able to find contacts with similar interests, review your activity, scan stats about the people you follow and those who follow you, and even keep up with new contacts from your Facebook page.

You’re an Expert: Now, you may not think of yourself as an expert. Few people do. However, if you’ve spent any time in your current business, chances are you know more about it than the people paying you for your services. Otherwise, they’d do it themselves. That means, at the very least, you can add insight, context, and explanation to any information you’ve tweeted. If, for example, you tweet a link to an article related to your industry, follow with another tweet that adds background or explanation. Give your Twitter followers some of your expertise for free and they just may end up paying customers down the road.

Interact: Twitter is about communication. It’s meant to be conversational, which explains the character limitations. Ideally, you’d encourage a back-and-forth with your followers and those you follow, using tweets to respond and reply to questions, concerns, and messages. Twitter allows for direct messages, which operate a lot like email. Respond to the messages you receive and to people who tweet about your or your business. It may sound like a lot of work but, if done correctly, the benefit to your business will outweigh the time you invested building a following. Keep your expectations reasonable.

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