Posts Tagged ‘Tweets’
Digital media allows you the opportunity to explain yourself or your business to a wide and diverse audience. Twitter is an exceptional tool that can be used to build your brand efficiently and achieve a better business strategy while increasing your profit. Twitter offers an optimal network that can help your business reach a large readership in a quick and efficient way. Here are 5 tips that will help build your business brand on Twitter.
1. Your Twitter Name Should Reflect Your Company’s Name: This may seem like common sense, but many companies fail to communicate their brand in their Twitter name. This is the first thing people see when viewing your profile.
2. Use Your Company Logo As Your Picture: Twitter has an allotted space designated for your picture. Businesses should use the space to share their company logo. This tactic will entice visitors and help them identify your logo with your brand and ultimately your business.
3. Tweet Often: Users should be tweeting multiple times daily to stay in Twitters home-page stream. Businesses want to be sure that the information they are tweeting is being viewed. This is an excellent way to ensure that you are reaching the largest possible audience.
4. Provide Valuable Information: Posting compelling information is of the utmost importance when tweeting. Sharing intriguing information about your area of expertise will keep readers engaged and serve as a constant reminder of your knowledge and commitment.
5. Plan For The Future: Social-media is an extremely fast-paced environment and to be prepared for the future you must think ahead. Plan your tweets for the coming days to optimize your Twitter strategy and reinforce the growth and success of your brand.
Connect with us on Twitter here (we follow back): http://twitter.com/TheIbisNetwork
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
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.
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.
Some people fall into the trap of thinking a Facebook or Twitter page will promote their business without them having to do anything at all. Meaning, they register for a page, fill out their information, and believe their work is done. As if the Twitter fairy will come along and deliver their tweets to the masses without them having to do any of the heavy lifting. Well that’s not the way it works. Part of a successful social-media campaign is promoting your pages, blog posts, and online activities. You have to let people know what you’re doing if you hope to have anyone take an interest in your social-media efforts. Here are some hints, tips, and ideas on promoting your online properties.
The Real World: Promoting your pages and blogs in the real world is the most effective way of boosting your social-media success rate. Asking people to like your Facebook page or follow your Twitter feed is made infinitely more effective if you’re doing it in person or offline. It’s why you’re seeing an increasing number of businesses including their social-media info in their advertising, on billboards, and on their business cards. You have to promote your pages the same way you would anything else. Let people know you’re online and ask them to have a look. The more interest you create, the more contacts you’ll make. The more contacts you make, the more business you’ll generate. In other words, remember your Facebook and Twitter pages next time you’re networking or sending printed materials. Ask people to connect with you online and you’ll see an instant increase in activity on your pages.
Via Email: Because nearly everyone uses it, email is a great way to spread the word about your pages, profiles, and blogs. Sending out an email with a link to a new blog post or social-media profile, is a good way to introduce your contacts and clients to your online properties. Even adding your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn address to your email signature can lead to an uptick in visitors to your page. As long as you aren’t bugging your contacts every other hour, asking them to read something you wrote or to stop by your pages is a good way to keep in touch with your contacts while increasing activity on your social-media profiles.
Groups, Forums, And Comments: Participation is another way to get the word out about your social-media properties. Joining groups and forums on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn gets you in front of like-minded people with similar interests and concerns. As long as you’re not too self-promotional and you take an honest interest in the discussions and questions being offered, your presence will be appreciated and your familiarity among people likely to have an interest in your business will increase. It’s an indirect way of promoting your business, but commenting on other people’s pages or questions in forums can boost your reputation, generate new contacts, and increase word of mouth. Stay professional, knowledgeable, and accessible and you’ll soon see results.
There’s a good reason many social-media articles compare a successful online strategy to working the room at a cocktail party. It’s because, much like a cocktail party, social-media sites offer opportunities to meet new people, learn new things, and network among people from your community, industry, and region.
Here are some ways to reap business benefits from Twitter …
The Eavesdropper: Let’s say you’re someone who isn’t enthusiastic about opening a Twitter account and regularly thinking of something to tweet so you’ve ignored Twitter altogether. Well there’s even something in for you. Searching keywords related to your town or industry gives you a live-time look at what’s being said about your community and business. It’s a great learning tool and may even change your mind about the usefulness of Twitter. Much like eavesdropping, it allows you to listen in without having to engage. Look for trends among the tweets and use anything you can. Search keywords related to your industry and get a feel for how much enthusiasm or demand there is for your particular product or services. If your leery or uncertain how things work, it’s a convenient way to get a feel for the powerful potential of Twitter. Use it to research your market and better your business without ever having to log in.
The Networker: Now that you’ve done some eavesdropping on Twitter, you may be more interested in trying it out for yourself. Start by setting up a profile using your real name and business info. Then follow a few of the Twitter users you found in your earlier search. Choose people or business that had something insightful to offer or lent a useful link or tip. It’s a great way to painlessly introduce yourself to people without them having to feel any obligation to reciprocate. They don’t even have to approve or accept you. And not only will you begin receiving their tweets in your feed, which will provide you – if you’ve done a good job – with a steady stream of interesting info every time you log in, it’ll also lead to a few people following you back and receiving your tweets. That’s when the social part of the social media kicks in.
The Conversationalist: This is the hard part. It’s not always easy to come up with something to say that’s relevant, interesting, and short enough to meet Twitter’s 140 character limit. One way to start is by sharing interesting links to news or relevant articles you’ve seen online. Another is to re-tweet something someone else posted. Another is to reply to something you’ve seen on someone’s page or to ask a question that will solicit a bit of back-and-forth. Keep it professional, consistent, and mostly non-promotional. Sure, it’s a good idea to offer a deal or discount to your followers here and there. But you shouldn’t overdo the directly promotional tweeting. For one thing, it’s not going to be too interesting to anyone stumbling on your page. It’s called social media for a reason. And much like going to a party and trying to sell everyone you meet, you aren’t likely to have much success if you approach it as an advertising opportunity.
- Photo by C!../Flickr
Sharing is a big part of a successful social-media campaign. You’ve got to share and be shared to gather followers, fans, and friends online. But, for a lot of people, curiosity about social media is overwhelmed by a sense of dread over having to come up with content, posts, updates, and tweets on a regular basis.
Here are some ways to ideas, hints, and tips on what and where to share …
You’re A Curator: First things first, you don’t have to have anything interesting to say. The Internet is a vast resource and no one person can absorb all the information that’s available online. Which is to say, if you’ve come across anything in the news or anything that would be of interest to a potential client, share a link on your Twitter page. It’s a great way of informing and keeping in touch with existing customers and potential business. And it relieves you of the necessity of always having to come up with something to say off the top of your head. A curator is in charge of choosing the art that hangs on a museum’s walls, not creating it. Think of yourself as a curator and share the most interesting and relevant news that relates to your target audience.
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 than the people paying you for your services. Otherwise, they’d do it themselves. That means, at the very least, you can add insights, context, and explanation to any information you’ve tweeted. If, for example, you tweet a link to an article related to your industry, add another tweet with some background or explanation. Give your Twitter followers some of your insight and expertise and they just may end up as your customers and clients
You’re A Media Mogul: Most importantly, share your content between your social-media sites. If you’re setting up a Twitter page, there are many ways to import blog posts and such to your Twitter feed. There are also easy-to-use apps and tools that will export your tweets to your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, or blog. In other words, think of each of your individual pages as part of one whole. Spread your content around and make sure it’s getting out and circulating among all your connections and contacts across the Internet. The more you share, the more visible you are. The more visible you are, the more likely you are to turn online contacts into real-world clients.
Change can be challenging for some and totally paralyzing for others. It’s among the reasons so many dismiss the benefits of taking their business online. It’s easier to retreat than it is to keep up with the ever-evolving nature of the Internet and its boundless opportunities. There is, however, a simpler way of thinking of things and we offer a few of them below
Content is Conversation: Content is key when marketing your business online. But what is content? Well, instead of trying to break down the ins-and-outs of “content marketing,” imagine you’re having a conversation with a potential client. What types of things would you want to share with them? Maybe some news, a hot tip, a new deal? That’s your content. Blog posts, tweets, and Facebook updates needn’t be perfectly composed, crafty, clever, or even that creative. The only thing they need to be is relevant to the types of people you’d like to turn into customers.
Social Media is a Satellite: Think of your social-media profiles or blog as a satellite office. It’s your website away from home. It’s like an easily customized billboard that you have complete control over. Sure, it won’t replace your business website but it will become a place where you can communicate and connect with potential partners and future customers. Keep ‘em professional and relevant to your target audience and they’ll become a vital part of how you do business and how you reach new business.
The Internet is Everywhere: Increasingly, people are accessing the Internet wherever they go and whenever they want. And with the popularity of products like the iPhone and iPad, the ease with which people can access the Internet will only increase. That means, if you plan to stay in business for another five or 10 years, you’ll likely end up using the Internet in some way to promote and market your services. Starting now just means you’ll be better positioned to take advantage of future opportunities as the Internet becomes more and more integrated with everyday life.
If you’ve ever been a child, you know that making a mess is far easier than cleaning one up. Which is to say, we’ve all been guilty – at one time or another- of putting off the thankless task of cleaning up after ourselves. Cleaning, however, often exposes things previously hidden by clutter and makes it easier to use what you have. Your Internet presence is no different. Having a social-media presence for your business requires maintenance.
Here are a few tips, hints, and motivations for an end-of-the-year social-media house cleaning …
Google Yourself: It won’t make you an egomaniac to have a look at the results that come up when your name is plugged into any of the more popular online search engines. In fact, it’s an effective way of discovering what appears when a prospective client searches for you or your business. If you run your business’ name through Google or Bing and are embarrassed by the results or find pages with old contact information, you can be sure your prospective clients have seen the same. It’s also a good way of finding the Twitter or Facebook fan page you set up and abandoned a year ago. Have a good look at how you’re being presented online and go to work cleaning and updating your presence.
Be Consistent: Having an Internet presence is one thing. Having a consistent presence is another. If you have multiple social-media pages for your business, make sure you’re presenting yourself in an uniform way. That means, they all have the same contact info, bio, photo, name, addresses, and tone. If you’re “Crazy Eddie”on Facebook but “Edward” on Twitter, you’re likely to confuse anyone searching for you or your services. Having a consistently professional online presence means, no matter where someone finds you on the web, you’re well represented and offering the most up-to-date contact information.
Organize It: Once you’ve had a look at where you’re being represented online and spent some time updating your pages, take the time to organize things and make it easier to maintain in the future. Start by saving all your login and password information in one place. There’s no quicker way to lose motivation for maintaining your social-media presence than to try to repeatedly log in to your profiles only to be turned away because of a forgotten password. Next, link your pages wherever possible. Having your blog posts appear on your LinkedIn page or your tweets on your Facebook page makes it easier to keep everything fresh, consistent, and up-to-date. Once you’ve found your pages, updated your contact info, linked them together, and saved your login information in an easily accessible place, you’ll be better able to communicate with potential customers and take advantage of any available online opportunities.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
It’s hard to argue with numbers, unless you’re a mathematician or Pythagoras. And so, we’ve provided a list of social-media stats, numbers, and raw data to help convert the skeptics and offer encouragement to those who seek it.
There are more than 800 million active Facebook users. That’s right, 800 million. And Americans spend more time on Facebook than on any other website. That means, they aren’t on your website. Which means, you should probably have a Facebook page. Setting up a Facebook fan page for your business is an excellent way of making sure that you have a presence on the website most of us are presently perusing.
Social media apps are the third most downloaded apps among smartphone users. That means, the increasing number of people who access the Internet from their cell phone are, increasingly, using it to access their social-media pages. If people are that invested in their social-media pages that they want to be able to access them wherever they are, that’s a pretty good indication that having a social-media plan for your business isn’t likely to be time wasted on a passing fad.
78% of small businesses are using Twitter. Now we understand this comes dangerously close to the everybody-else-is-doing-it line of thinking but everybody else is doing it. And they can’t all be wrong.
41% of people using LinkedIn for marketing have generated business with it. LinkedIn is often confused for a job-hunting website but it’s also a great place to connect with other professionals, referral partners, and potential clients.
There are 3.5 billion things shared on Facebook each week. That means, blog posts, links, news, etc. That also means social-media is a high-tech word-of-mouth machine. Having your info shared is the quickest way to meet potential business online.
On Twitter, interesting content is the number one reason people retweet. In other words, if your content is interesting you’re more likely to have your content shared. Humor and personal connection were the second and third most common reasons for retweeting. Which means, if you’re not funny, you’d better be interesting.
79% of companies are using or planning on using social media. And that’s according to Harvard Business Review. Their survey found 58 percent of companies were already engaged on social-media sites, while an additional 21 percent had plans to launch a social-networking campaign.
57% of companies using blogs reported that they’d acquired customers from leads they generated through their blogs. And don’t believe it when you hear someone say that blogs are no longer relevant. In fact, between 2009 and 2011, the percentage of businesses that blog increased from 48 percent to 65 percent.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
So you signed up for a Twitter account, tweeted around a little, and think you know everything there is to know about the Twitterverse. Well there’s 1,000 ways to use Twitter and an ever-expanding list of tools available to help you figure one or two of those ways that’ll make it work for you and your business.
Here’s a list of some of tools, apps, and ideas to help you maximize your tweets …
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.
Twaitter: Twaitter is another all-in-one Twitter tool aimed at increasing your efficiency, managing your accounts, and organizing your Twitter output. Schedule a tweet for later or even set it up to send recurring tweets on a daily, monthly, or even yearly basis. You’ll also be able to manage your activity with an interactive calendar, link a RSS feed to your Twitter account, and invite co-workers to join your account.
Twictionary: If you’re new to social media, the lingo alone can be intimidating. Luckily, there’s a Twictionary, which is exactly what it sounds like it might be. A dictionary of Twitter-related terms you’ll learn everything from the meaning of the hashtag to what it means to be an Atwistocrat.
Twitter Counter: Twitter Counter claims to be the number one Twitter stat site, tracking more than 14 million Twitter users and providing stats, widgets, and buttons for its users. For a price, they even offer a featured spot on their website for people looking to gain some attention and followers.
Twitter-Search: The quickest way to find who and what you’re looking for on Twitter. Filter real-time tweets to find people and businesses in your region and industry, then follow the results.
Nearby Tweets: See who’s tweeting what in your area. The simple set-up delivers search results based on a keyword and a location. Search for anything anywhere and see who’s tweeting what near you.
TwitPic: Feeling limited by Twitter’s 140 character maximum? Use TwitPic to share photos with your Twitter followers. If you have a Twitter account, then you’re already signed up for TwitPic. Log in using your Twitter username and password and get started.
TweetScan: Another easy-to-use search tool for keeping on top of what’s happening on Twitter.
CoTweet: A popular site for managing your Twitter accounts. Handy for tracking multiple accounts and keeping you on top of all your online activity.
Twibs: A Twitter-based business directory, Twibs aims to help businesses reach their customers. It’s as simple as registering your business, choosing some keywords, and adding links to your email and blog.
Twitdom: A directory of nearly 2,000 available applications and sites offering Twitter-related services.
It’s tempting to think social-media success involves a little magic and some sleight-of-hand. There must be some app, service, software, or site that would propel your profits and boost your business. Maybe the spammers are right and you should just buy 1,000 Facebook fans and wait for them to spread the word. Sadly, though there are many helpful tools available to help you along the way (See our previous posts on apps and plugins for LinkedIn, Facebook, and WordPress), social media isn’t magic. It is, however, an effective way to develop relationships and create word-of-mouth if done correctly.
Here are some tips on successfully marketing your business through social media …
Content is King: Social-media success requires a bit of restraint. Which means, while you may want to fill your blog or Twitter feed with advertisements for you and your business, you’ll do better offering content that is interesting to your potential customer base and forming relationships with any followers or fans you make along the way. Keep your content short and easy to read. On Facebook, for example, it’s been shown that shorter posts get shared 27 percent more than longer posts. And, when you think about it, it’s just common sense. If you’re selling cupcakes, people will get tired of hearing about how you’ve got cupcakes for sale. But what if you posted a recipe instead? It’s likely that the recipe would be shared and enjoyed by more people than yet another plea for business.
Relationships Matter: Whether you have 10 Twitter followers or 5,000 Facebook fans, you should make an effort to treat them as something more than potential dollar signs. After all, people will be more loyal and likely to tell their friends if there’s a person behind the page rather than a company logo that rarely responds to messages or comments. Don’t be as concerned with the number of connections you’ve made as much as the connections themselves. Be personable, appreciative, and responsive. You may find shifting your focus from quantity to quality will, strangely enough, end up boosting your numbers.
Sharing is Caring: Your goal is to get people to share your content or your contact info. You may find someone in search of exactly the service you provide through your social-media efforts or you may be contacted by someone who had a link sent to them or had a friend tell them about your business. In other words, it’s about word-of-mouth. And the best way to create word-of-mouth is to do your best to be respectful and not an annoyance. Post regularly to your blog or social-media site but not so much that people tune you out. Share good information and think it through. Think about what you’d be interested in or what would be helpful to your customers and allow that to guide what you post.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
Pretend your Facebook fan page is your house. Now how inviting a home would it be if you didn’t have furniture, appliances, heat, plumbing, etc.? The answer is not very. It may look nice enough from the outside but you certainly wouldn’t have many guests if, for example, they were expected to bring their own seating, water, and heat source. The same principle applies to your Facebook fan page. In order to attract visitors and keep them long enough to get them to like your page, become a fan, or contact you, you’ll need to take advantage of any available apps and tools that add function, make it easier for you to maintain your page, and – most importantly – attracts visitors and potential business.
Here are some applications to help your business take full advantage of its Facebook fan page …
RSS Graffiti: Visitors to your Facebook page will need something to look at beyond your address and phone number. That means content. RSS Graffiti greatly reduces the stress of coming up with content to share on each of your social-media accounts by automatically sending your posts and tweets to your Facebook fan page. Easy to set up and free, RSS Graffiti can be used with any website or social application that has an RSS/Atom feed.
Schedulicity: Unfortunately this app will cost you a monthly fee but for less than $1 a day it adds a tab to your fan page that allows visitors to schedule an appointment with you directly from Facebook. And, while it can be a benefit to you and your existing clients, it’ll also help you find new clients. After all, making it easier for people to find and book your services can only help boost your business and your fan page’s functionality.
Contact Tab: Much like Schedulicity, this Facebook app makes turning visitors to your fan page into new contacts easier. With Contact Tab, you can collect all of your contact info in one place – from your address to your social-media accounts – and also add a map to your location and a form to send you a message directly from your fan page.
Pagemodo: Pagemodo makes it easier than ever to customize your Facebook fan page. Though the app comes with a price, it also comes with a variety of customizable templates that will take your fan page from dull to dynamic. You won’t need any coding or design skills, either. Features are easily added and include slideshows, video, contact forms, maps, and the ability to hide content behind a “gate” that requires interested visitors to first like your page before they can access the info.
Poll: Just what its name suggests, the Poll application on Facebook allows you to add a poll question to your page or profile. The poll shows up as its own tab and is great for gathering information from your fans and visitors.
More suggestions here, here, and here. Previous article on LinkedIn apps here.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
The Internet is an incredible resource but keeping up with an always-evolving online world can be a challenge. Sometimes the lingo alone can stand between successfully implementing a social-media strategy and being overwhelmed by widgets, avatars, and hashtags.
Here’s an update of our previous list of basic terms to familiarize yourself with (New terms in bold) …
Active Rain – The largest social network for real-estate professionals. Launched in 2006, Active Rain has nearly 200,000 members.
Aggregator – A web-based tool or desktop application that collects syndicated content from across the Internet.
API (Application Programming Interface) – A computer system or application that allows programs and websites to communicate and exchange data.
App – An application performing a specific task able to be accessed by your computer or phone.
Archives – An index page that organizes past entries and older posts by date.
Avatar – The image, picture, or username a person uses to identify themselves on social-networking sites.
Badge – A linked image displayed on a blog that promotes a person’s profiles or participation on other social-media sites, such as Facebook or Twitter.
Bit.ly – A popular – and free – URL shortening service that makes it easier to share lengthy web addresses on social-networking sites such as Twitter.
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.
Blogosphere – A term used to describe the totality of blogs on the Internet.
Blogroll – A list of sites, typically found in the sidebar of a blog, showing the sites that particular blogger recommends.
Content – Content on any website, including text, pictures, video, and audio materials.
Creative Commons - A nonprofit corporation that provides free licenses and legal tools that label creative work with the creator’s specifications on reuse, sharing, and using commercially.
Dashboard – The administrative area on blogs and social-media sites that allows you to edit your information, manage comments, monitor traffic, upload files, etc.
Delicious - A free online bookmarking service that allows users to save web addresses publicly and privately online, so they can be easily accessed and shared.
Domain Name – The identifying name or address of an Internet site.
Facebook – The largest social-networking site for individuals and businesses. Facebook has more than 500 million users.
Feeds (RSS Feed) – A program used by a website that allows the user to syndicate their content and provide subscribers with new blog posts and articles without requiring them to visit the site.
FeedBurner – A Google-based tool that provides a way for users to accept subscriptions by email for their blog posts, podcasts, and online content.
Forums – Online forums allow members of social-media sites to interact with other members by posting messages or questions on particular topics.
Geotagging – Adding location-based data to media such as photos and video to help users find businesses and services by region.
Groups – Communities within social-media sites that allow users interested in particular topics or activities to share information, posts, and messages with other members.
Hashtag – Used on Twitter, a hashtag is a keyword or phrase preceded by a “#” that helps organize posts, making them easier to find in Twitter searches.
Hits – A measurement defined as any request for a file from a web server.
HootSuite – A web-based Twitter service that allows users to manage multiple Twitter profiles, schedule tweets, and view statistics and metrics.
Hyperlink – A navigational reference that embeds a link to a document or page on the Internet.
HTML – The coding language used to link documents, text and multimedia files on the Internet. HTML is the programming language that provides content and structure for web pages in order to define layout, font, color, and graphics.
LinkedIn – A business-oriented social-media site for professional networking. Launched in 2002, LinkedIn now has more than 70 million registered users.
Links – Highlighted text that, when clicked, takes readers to another page containing related content or source materials.
Link Building – The process of generating links to your website from other sites in an effort to boost search-engine ranking. Blogging is a popular method of link building.
Metadata – Information, including titles, tags, and captions, used to describe a media item or blog post in order to make it more easily found by search engines and aggregators.
Micro-Blogging – A form of blogging that limits the amount of characters or words per post, such as Twitter.
Open Media – A term referring to any media, including video, text, and audio, that can be freely shared online.
Permalinks – The permanent address or URL of a blog post or web page. A permalink is what is used when linking to another story within an email message or post.
Profiles and Pages – The pages on social-networking sites where a person or business displays their contact information, pictures, posts, and files.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The process of improving and increasing traffic to a website from search engines.
Sidebar – A column or columns along either or both sides of a blog’s main content area that includes widgets, contact and biographical information, links to previous posts and favorite sites, archives, badges, subscription information, RSS feeds, and more.
Social Media – Websites that provide communities with common interests a means to communicate and engage with one another online.
Social Networking – Socializing online through a social-media site, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, that allows you to create a profile and communicate with other members.
Subscribing – Signing up for a site’s feed, which automatically sends you new content from that site.
Syndication – The process of sharing and distributing content online.
Tag Cloud – A visual representation of the most popular tags on a blog or website. More popular tags are usually shown in larger type while less popular tags appear smaller.
Tags – Keywords associated with a blog post or other content making them more easily found through searches.
Threads – Messages or posts under a single forum topic or the comments and trackbacks of a particular blog post.
Trulia – A real-estate search engine and networking site that allows professionals to create business profiles and allows consumers to find listings, blogs, and real-estate information.
Tweet – A post or update on Twitter.
TweetDeck – A Twitter application that serves as a real-time browser that connects you with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more.
Twitter – A micro-blogging site where members post “tweets” or messages of 140 characters or less.
Upload – The process of transferring a file from your computer to a website.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – A URL is the technical term for a website’s address.
Video Blog – A blog that produces and posts video content on a regular basis.
Wall – The shared portion, or discussion board, displayed on a social-media profile.
Webinar – A web-based seminar, presentation, lecture, or workshop transmitted over the web.
Widget – An application offered on social-media sites and blogs that performs a specific function allowing users to customize their profiles or blog.
Wiki – A technology that allows many users to edit a web page, such as Wikipedia.
WordPress – A blog publishing application that offers users an easy-to-use template through which they can create their own blog and maintain their own blog.
YouTube – Popular video-sharing website through which users upload, share, and view videos. It is the largest video-sharing site in the world.
Source materials here, here, here, here, here, and here.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
There’s a difference between being popular and being profitable. And the difference is money. In other words, if you’re launching a social-media campaign for your business, you’re likely not in it to make new friends. You’re in it to generate leads and convert them into business. Here are some ideas to help increase the effectiveness of your social-media efforts …
Play it Cool: Even though you’re on Facebook for business, it’s still primarily a social tool. That means, you can’t come on too strong. In order to grab attention, you’ll have to create some content and make it interesting. And, more importantly, make it interesting to your target audience. If you hope to generate quality leads through social media, whether you’re using a blog, Facebook, or Twitter, you have to first build trust – and an audience – and the only way to do that is to offer something for nothing. If you’re posting quality information about your region or industry, you’re establishing yourself as a knowledgeable source and forming positive associations among visitors to your pages and profiles.
Be Discreet: You don’t want to fill up your blog or social-media profiles with solicitations and blatant advertisements for your services. You can, however, use areas around the margins to create an ad for your business. For example, if you’re keeping a blog, take an area typically reserved for ads and widgets to create a call to action. It doesn’t need to be sophisticated. At first, just having something on the page is better than nothing. Experiment. Write up a short description of your specialties with a link to your website. Having a few well-placed reminders of who you are and what you do will give visitors an opportunity to further explore your business online and raise the possibility of converting them into clients.
Be Available: Social media is about creating dialogue. So, in addition to keeping your page updated regularly and offering content that will interest and attract visitors, use your social-media presence to find and contact potential business in your area. If you have a Twitter page, for example, search for keywords related to your industry, then limit the search to your region and answer anyone in your area who’s posted questions related to your line of work or expertise.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
All social-media sites are the same. Really. It’s your info, messages, and updates just wrapped in a different format. And, in that way, social-media is a lot like Mexican food. After all, most of the dishes on a typical Mexican menu are identical. The only thing that changes is the tortilla. The difference between a chimichanga and a burrito? One tortilla is fried, the other isn’t. A taco and a tostada? One’s folded, the other isn’t.
And so, when trying to determine how to properly use Facebook as opposed to Twitter or LinkedIn, don’t get overwhelmed trying to extract the unique purpose of each site. You’re using them all for the same thing: To connect, communicate, and create a larger audience for you, your business, and your services. It’s all a technologically advanced way of spreading word-of-mouth. The differences, like a Mexican menu, are only in the presentation.
Here are some tips on properly presenting yourself on Twitter …
Keep it Short: Obviously, the main difference between Twitter and any other social-media site is that you’re limited to 140 characters per tweet. That means, you have to have something quick, interesting, and understandable to share and you have to do it in very few words. This, while appearing easy, can be difficult. Start by linking up your blog or Facebook page to Twitter. Most sites offer the ability to automatically have your updates, posts, and messages sent to your other pages and profiles. This will make it easier to keep your sites updated without having to login to each. You can also update your Twitter account with relevant industry stats or quotes, re-tweet something interesting you’ve found, or call attention to others in your industry or region whose account you follow. In short, the more you mention others, re-tweet their messages, and follow their feeds, the more attention your account will receive in return. And, after all, attention is the idea in the first place.
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 and make it easier for people to find 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. The more specific your tag, however, the more unlikely it is to be someone’s search term. In other words, it takes some balance but incorporating hashtags into some of your tweets is a good way to gain more attention for your message.
Interact With The Twitterverse: 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 your 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 you or your business. A simple thank you may be enough. 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.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
The biggest mistake most businesses make when beginning a social-media campaign is believing they know how to begin a social-media campaign. Knowing nothing more than it’s easy and takes no more than 10 minutes to get started may get your page up and your phone number in the right spot, but then what?
Unfortunately, like anything else, to be successful requires a little advance planning, research, and know how. No, you don’t need a degree in computer science. But it helps to familiarize yourself with the terminology, the concept, and what has worked for others.
Here’s a quick three-step guide to what it is, what works, and what it takes to succeed …
Know What: You’ve heard that Facebook is hugely popular, so that’s a good place to start, right? Well do you want to set up a page or a profile? There’s a difference and knowing it is the difference between building your business and building a collection of your most embarrassing photos. Know the terms, the capabilities, and the purpose of each. Take a look at the definition of a blog and how that’s different from micro-blogging or what an RSS feed is and how it can help fill out your social-media profiles. You don’t need to become an expert but familiarizing yourself a bit more with what things are and how they’re used can help you build a plan that fits with your plan and works for your business.
Know Why: Which brings us to the next step … Building success online means keeping up communications and giving people a reason to visit your pages. Having a lot of empty space on the Internet won’t build your business. One of the biggest misconceptions people have about social media is that having your links spread across the web is the ultimate goal and you’re done once you’ve got your pages set up. A Twitter page isn’t an advertisement and, if it were, it wouldn’t be a good one without the tweets. Don’t bother setting up the pages if you aren’t going to use them. Or start with something you can handle, or that fits your business, and build from there. Start smart and small.
Know How: The key to social-media marketing success is understanding that it isn’t advertising. Think of it as a magazine that you’re publishing. You wouldn’t attract any readers if your magazine had no articles and, instead, was only advertisements for the same business, page after page. In other words, you have to produce content that people will want enough to return to your page for updates. The content is bait. You have to have something to offer before you can expect your social-media campaign to show measurable benefits. Empty profiles and links to your other web pages won’t bring you business. Having an interactive, informative, and entertaining presence online will.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
Doing something well requires practice. And practice requires patience. After all, it’s going to take a while to get good at whatever it is and, in the meantime, you’ll have to grow accustomed to the feeling of failure. The same goes for starting a social-media campaign. There’s no reason to expect you’ll have more fans than Oprah within a week of setting up your first account. Take your time and don’t get discouraged.
To help you get started, here are a few common mistakes to avoid …
Keeping Quiet: It’s easy to fall into the trap of only promoting your social network while you’re online. But driving traffic to your sites means getting the word out. Even offline. If you’re keeping a blog, talk about it as much as possible. Ask clients to visit. Ask your friends to visit. Mention it in meetings and at industry events and anywhere else you’re in contact with potential readers that fit your target audience.
Doing Too Much: Once you’ve got yourself registered on your social network of choice, it’s tempting to start following and friending every page, profile, and person you come across. And, while it is a good idea to connect with industry and community contacts, clients, and potential referral partners, building your network requires some focus. If you find yourself following 500 people on Twitter and the majority of them are your favorite actors, actresses, singers, and athletes, you’re likely not going to see any benefit to your business. You’re also never going to be able to locate your actual contacts through the mess of tweets filling your inbox.
Giving Up: There as many cliches about practice making perfect as there are reasons to keep with it. Sure, at first, it’s a struggle to find the time or the content or the purpose behind your social-media efforts. But with a bit of focus, and a commitment to engaging and interacting with your online network, the benefits will come. Don’t fill out your profile, let it sit for a month, and then proclaim the Internet a waste of your marketing efforts. If at first you don’t succeed …
More tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Nobody ever mistook a bird watcher for an athlete. Which is a way of saying, observation doesn’t take any physical effort and can, if you’re a bird watcher, teach you a lot about birds. Twitter is no different. Taking some time to find, follow, and observe people in your industry and community, can better your business while building it.
Here are some tips for using Twitter when you have nothing to tweet …
Research: Search out other professionals in your industry using Twitter’s search function. Have a look at how they’re using their account. If nothing else, you may stumble upon an idea that you can use to make your tweets more effective. Follow the most successful Twitter pages you find, then watch and observe. Repeat as necessary.
Organize: Twitter tools, such as TweetDeck, allow users to set search terms and receive updates in real-time. In other words, if you sell houses in Santa Fe, you can monitor any activity on Twitter that has to do with real estate in Santa Fe. Then join the discussion. You can also use Twitter Lists to organize the accounts you’d like to follow based on any criteria you’d like. Create separate lists for community contacts and industry leaders and you’ll be able to quickly check what’s being said about your town and your industry without having to sift through hundreds of tweets.
Engage: Once you’ve made some contacts and developed a strategy, it’s time to participate. You can learn a lot from observation but you won’t generate any leads unless you engage. Twitter provides an informal way to communicate with just about anyone. Ask questions, leave comments, and re-tweet any interesting information you find along the way. You may find a Twitter-based conversation leads to a real-world referral partner or potential client.
More Twitter tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here and here.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
It’s been said that it not what you know, it’s who you know. And these days, who you know includes your Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and LinkedIn connections.
So how do you meet more people online? Here are a few ideas to help you build a bigger online network of friends, followers, fans and connections …
Import Your Contacts: Increasingly, social-media sites offer their users the ability to import contacts from their other online profiles. In other words, if you’ve got 121 connections on LinkedIn but your tweets are going unnoticed, you can locate your LinkedIn contacts through Twitter’s “Who To Follow” function and boost the number of people reading your tweets in a few simple clicks. Or try this.
Promote Your Profiles: Make it easy for your contacts to find your online profiles. Most social-media sites offer badges and banners that can be added to your blog, website, and email signature. Adding a link to your profiles will provide potential clients and business partners an effortless way to find and follow you online.
Be Active: There’s a reason it’s called social media. The more you socialize and engage your network, the bigger your network will be. That means, posting regularly, offering interesting information, running contests and polls, and asking friends, family, and online fans to help you promote your pages. Keeping your profiles active and updated will keep your existing contacts coming back and lead to new connections you wouldn’t have otherwise made.
Offer Something Exclusive: Once you’ve successfully driven some traffic to your social network, you still have to convince that traffic to become a fan or follower. Deals, discounts, and freebies are a great way to build your fan base and your business.
More tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, and here.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com