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Which Social Media Tool is Best for My Small Business?

Posted on May 4, 2013 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Social media marketing is a vast landscape.

 

When you decide it’s time you started making better use of social media to promote your small business, it’s easy to get distracted for hours looking at all the different social networks and wondering:

 

‘Which of these should I be using?’

 

Let’s break this down and look at the big networks one at a time.

 

Do I Need to Be on Twitter?

 

With a character limit that affords you one or two short sentences plus a URL, Twitter’s the place to broadcast interesting, concisely phrased updates and curate some of the best content in your niche.

 

Small businesses can make excellent use of Twitter for self-promotion, but there are other possibilities, too. You could offer customer support via tweets, or tweet out market research questions and collate the answers.

 

If you won’t be on hand to respond to Twitter messages on a daily basis, it may not be a good choice for your business. Twitter users tend to expect a rapid response, and can get snippy if it takes days to get an answer.

 

Do I Need to Be on Facebook?

 

Facebook has a huge number of active users, but may not be the best use of your time.

 

Consumers on Facebook tend to follow brands as a way of publicly expressing their own personality and values, rather than a way to communicate with the brand.

 

Add to that the short lifespan of a Facebook status update in user News Feeds, and unless you’re offering some highly engaging content with incentives like special offers or contests, your conversion rate of Facebook fans to new customers may be low.

 

If your product or service lends itself to great images and cool videos, though, Facebook could be a good fit for your business. It’s grown increasingly visuals-focused since engagement proved to be higher on image posts than any other type of Facebook posts.

 

Do I Need to Be on Google+?

 

Google+ offers one huge benefit: your Google+ profile can be linked to your website, blog, and so on to give Google’s search engine a better grasp of your online output. If your small business relies on search traffic to keep customer acquisition rolling, then Google+ is an option worth exploring.

 

The etiquette around self-promotion on Google+ is complex, and posting frequent self-promoting updates may be perceived as spammy and intrusive. This is a place to establish your brand positioning, rather than trawl for new customers.

 

Do I Need to Use All the Social Media?

 

In a word, no. It’s far better to use one social channel well than to use many different networks poorly.

 

There are dozens more social networks than the three mentioned here. Pinterest, Quora, GitHub, LinkedIn, Instagram and others each have their own style and values, appealing to different segments of online society.

 

Focus on understanding your market and which social media they use the most. Where do they look up a business that interests them – on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or somewhere else? Do they use social media to find special offers, or to seek customer support?

 

When you’ve got that figured out, focus your time and energy on just one or two social networks that are best aligned with (a) your market and (b) your business objectives. If you have time to handle a third or fourth network, go ahead, but don’t overload yourself.

How To Make A Good Business Card

Posted on June 13, 2012 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

A well-designed business card can help boost your business and people's awareness. What makes a potential client pay attention to a business card over all the others? Perhaps it’s the person giving the card, or the product/service they provide. But most likely, chances are business cards that get saved are the once that stand out from the rest.

 

Check out the following tips to help you create memorable business card.


Do you have any tips that can help others? List them below.

How to Use Memes to Create Social Media Engagement

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

With the rapid proliferation of social media and social media channels, there’s been an equally as rapid growth in the creation of memes. While memes — highly viral niche content with fast burnout rates — have existed for some time, they are currently the internet’s favorite phenomena. A meme is, by definition, a cultural element passed from person to person. These can be viral videos, animated gifs, trending catchphrases, mash-ups of content like the Angelina Jolie leg-bomb from the Oscars or interrupting Kanye West (after the 2009 Grammys), and more. There are even resources like Know Your Meme if you need to catch up on today’s hottest memes.

 

 

While memes tend to be light-hearted, when done well, they can pack a serious marketing punch. Memes are a form of engaging social marketing content that you can use to get noticed and increase audience engagement. If content is king in social media, then social marketers should not ignore this tool in their arsenal. 

Meme Best Practices

 

Well-executed memes have several common elements:

 

 

  1. Speak to their audience: Marketers always need to know their audience, but it’s particularly true for this genre. Know your audience’s tastes, language (or keywords) and sense of humor.
  2. Are highly relevant: Related to tip #1, memes must resonate with their intended audience. Memes are a great example of the ‘It’s so funny because it’s true’ humor style.
  3. Are memorable & highly viral: Good memes beg to be shared. You share it because you know the piece of content (be it video, still frame, animated gif or otherwise) made you react, and your friend will have a similar reaction.
  4. Often have a short-self life. Memes are only a component of marketing. It’s an additional resource in your arsenal, and should be used sparingly. Memes aren’t for everyone. They grow tiresome quickly. Don’t over-rely on them for marketing success.
  5. Take off on one platform. While memes should be seeded on multiple platforms, they often see success in one particular platform.
  6. Are easily re-imagined: Part of the fun of memes is the re-imaginings applied with various lenses. The ‘Stuff girls say’ video is a great example of this; it spurred an incredibly wide array of new treatments, everything from ‘Stuff Nobody Says’ to ‘Stuff People Say about Stuff People Say Videos.’
  7. Rarely have an overt marketing message. Memes catch people’s interest and spread quickly, but rarely seem like traditional marketing.

 

 

What’s your favorite meme? Share your favorite memes in the comment section.


iPhone 5 Speculations

Posted on March 7, 2012 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Everyone is awaiting the iPhone 5. There is asubculture obsessed with this new line of Apple’s phone. While nothing has been completely confirmed, there are several suspicions as to what this phone will include. As more internet providers begin to carry iPhones (Sprint is expected to join AT&T and Verizon soon), the anticipation of this release will grow. The iPhone 5 is expected to be released in October, but here is a sneak preview of what may be to come.


 

 

 

Faster Processor

 

There are many advancements in technology that may debut with the iPhone 5. It is thought that the new iPhone will run on aiGHz A5 dual-core processor. Apple has upgraded its smartphones several times since it first came out on the market, but nothing has been this quick. It is also rumored to have an 8MP auto-focus camera. Auto-focus was used on the previous 2 iPhones, but 8MP has never been seen on an iPhone.

 

Photo Leaks?

 

Photos supposedly leaked show some superficial difference between the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4. It may have a lithium-ion battery and aluminum backing. Some images show a 3.7 inch edge-to-edge screen. One “image” of the phone actually shows the iPhone 5 as a miniature version of the iPhone 4 with a fatter look and wider screen.No one will be able to say for sure until the phone is officially announced for release.

 

iPhone 5 Expected Features

 

Some of the features of the iPhone 5 will be similar to that of iPhone 4. It will have a camera, a built-in GPS device, and a display screen that measures 640 x 960 pixels. This is about double than that of the first two iPhones whose display was only 320 x 480 pixels. This makes for the highest quality screen known to Apple products and its competitors.

 

Of course, there have been those who have come along to burst everyone’s bubble. There are rumors that the iPhone 5 will be nearly identical to the previous model, and some have said that Apple isn’t even releasing a new phone this year, and it is all a scam. Others have speculated that another brand is putting a new phone on the market, and the story has gotten twisted enough to make us believe it is a beloved Apple iPhone.

 

App Advantage

 

There will be an expected half a million apps available for the iPhone 5 when it is released in October. This is more than double the amount that were in the Apple store when the iPhone 4 was released over a year ago. Even though it has not been a long wait since the last Apple iPhone release, the build-up has been enormous, the suspense has been torturous, and the rumors have been flying.

 

Blake Sanders writes at broadband comparison site Broadband Expert and specializes in technical writing with a focus on internet providers, cell phones, and the latest in high speed internet news and information.

 

 


Google reboots Android Market with Google Play, consolidates content

Posted on March 7, 2012 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday, Google announced it would be replacing Android Market with a newly named service called Google Play. The company claim this is more than a name change. The Google Play Store not only replaces Android Market, but also extends it, adding other types of digital content such as eBooks, music, video content and more.

 

Under the Google Play label, the company hopes to consolidate all of its purchasable digital content under one umbrella. The search giant says the change will expand the reach, content and monetization of their online market place.

 

Google's biggest mobile competitor, Apple, already employs such a strategy with its iTunes store which offers digital books, apps, music, movies and more.

 

The transition to Google Play will be seamless for Android users. An OTA (over the air) update is currently being pushed out to all Android devices running Froyo (2.2) and up. The update will upgrade users' Android Market apps to the new Play Store app. Users who have an older or otherwise unsupported Android device will continue to have the "same access to their apps as before". However, Google did not specify whether or not users who don't have the Play Store app can still make purchases or not.

 

Additionally, Google says it will be investing in the brand, working on providing fresh content but also remain focused on apps and games.

 

The mention of "fresh content" may hint at ongoing content deals with networks, publishers and music labels. This could very possibly be good news for Google TV, but also for shareholders who want to see the company both innovate and expand.

 

The Google Play Store can be found here: play.google.com

40 Things Killed by Technology

Posted on December 19, 2011 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.


During some reasearch and reading I was doing I found this video by Erik Qualman! Full list is below:

 

Tech killed the…

 

1. Busy Signal

2. Encyclopedia

3. Overhead Projector

4. Blind Date

5. Carbon Paper

6. Map

7. Cursive

8. Pager

9. Attention Spans

10. Travel Agent

11. Pen Pals

12. Answering Machine

13. Stock Broker

14. Polaroid

15. Phone Book

16. Music Album

17. Walkman

18. Film

19. Physical Paycheck

20. TV Guide

21. Day Planner

22. Pay Phone

23. Rabbit Ears

24. Floppy Disk

25. Tape-Delayed Olympics

26. Card Catalogue

27. Face-to-Face Conversation

28. Video Stores

29. Dictaphone

30. Slides

31. Channel Surfing

32. Indoor Smoking

33. Spelling Skills

34. Calling Cards

35. Microfiche

36. Paper Boy

37. Outdoor Thermometer

38. Dictionary

39. Privacy

40. Leaders?

 

Any you disagree with? Any we missed?

Email Do's and Don'ts

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Despite the fact that social networking is anticipated to replace traditional email, there is still some resonance with the electronic exchange of messaging.


One thing I’ve noticed as a young professional is the messages you communicate other than the basic content within an email.


 For example, if you write an email to your boss and you use ALL CAPS, it can be interpreted as yelling.


Or if you choose to just capitalize some words, but not others within the sentence, it is nowadays perceived as a “punch” word.


 An example of this comprises the following:


 Hi John,


 How are YOU today?  I’m doing well.  Please make sure the project is completed BY THE END OF THE WEEK.  Call ME with any questions.


 Thanks,


Tammy


As you can see from the example above the words, “YOU, BY THE END OF THE WEEK, and ME,” are interpreted with more emphasis.


 Additionally, punctuation is a communication tool of its own.


 A person who is educated and detail-orientated is more likely to provide a comma in the appropriate places versus someone who is not.  Your recipient’s perception of you will increase by the simple usage or failure of usage of a question mark or exclamation point.


 Another key component to composing an email is spelling.


 Let me offer some words of advice. Use spell check. Use spell check. Use spell check. Oh hey, did I mention use spell check? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received an email and it has a misspelling.


 If is something minor, I usually disregard it and proceed to interpret whatever the sender intended in the message, but if it is a continual problem it’s either one of two things. One, the person doesn’t know the red dots under the word indicate a misspelling. Or two, the person is lazy. If this is the case, I utilize their frequency of misspellings and message to determine its importance.


 Additionally, the greeting and the closing are crucial parts of enhancing your email etiquette. I look at it as the two slices of bread you’re putting on a sandwich.  The contents of the sandwich wouldn’t be complete without the outer layers. 


 As a general rule of thumb, I start my emails with Hi [name], or Greetings [name]. Everyone has their own style, so with me, I usually just stick to one of the two.  It sets the tone of the email as warm, which in most business settings is something you want.


 For the closing, I try to get creative because I believe your message will resonate with your audience better, if you have a stronger closing.


 Let’s face it, in grade school we were all taught to close our letters with:


  “Sincerely,


 [name].”


 To me, unless you’re writing to an acquaintance or possible business contact, “Sincerely” reminds me of the Wild Wild West and the Pony Express.


 Let’s think outside the box.


 I saw a closing the other day that read:


 ”I’m really looking forward to our meeting and helping YOU get one step closer to achieving your goals.


To your success,”


John Doe


 Despite the fact that this person may not actually care about my success, they really made me feel warm, fuzzy, and POSITIVE! Thus, I am more likely to do business with them and be more responsive based on their closing!


 Above all things I’ve mentioned, the best advice I can offer is to reread your message and take time to fix your mistakes. The little amount of effort you spend in fixing your mistakes could lead to a potentially large business partnership or contact in the future…

 

How NOT to Network on Twitter: 5 Common Pitfalls and how to Avoid Them

Posted on November 24, 2011 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

 There are countless articles circulating the Web about how to network on Twitter, how to get more Twitter followers, how to tweet, when to tweet, what to tweet, who to follow, what URL shorteners to use, Twitter SEO, and so on. With all of that information available, it’s not hard to imagine that Twitter users, particularly Twitter beginners, can go a bit overboard and actually end up driving otherwise willing followers away while thinking they’re following all the ‘rules’.


Are you guilty of the following Twitter networking faux pas?


Overzealous following


“Follow me and I’ll follow you back!” Have you heard this one before? Don’t be tricked into thinking that following magnitudes of people will make you an instant Twitter star. While there are many that follow the “you follow/I follow” mentality, be aware that this often leads to little substance.


Your time is much better served reaching out to thought leaders you admire and other professionals in your industry. If you regularly reach out to others (with the @ symbol), tweet about things relevant to your niche, and retweet thoughtfully, you will see your follower list begin to grow naturally!


Tweeting once a year


We’re exaggerating a little bit here, but twitter, much like blogging, can be a trap for some where they get really excited at first and tweet like crazy and then the excitement wears off and their tweets dwindle to once every couple of days, maybe once a week, and sometimes…months go by with no tweeting at all. Can you hear the crickets chirping? If you’re not using your voice, no one is going to listen to you! Be sure that you keep your twitter account active. This doesn’t mean you have to tweet every time you blink (which it seems that some people do), but try not to let too long go between your interactions on twitter or you’re likely to lose followers.


Tweeting TMI


TMI stands for Too Much Info, and this can be a scary line to cross if you’re tweeting, particularly if your tweets aren’t protected (which, if you’re looking to build a large following, it’s usually a good idea to go public), and if you’re representing a business, yours or otherwise. Twitter makes it so easy to express yourself that a hasty tweet in moment of bad judgment can occur without even realizing it. Even though you want to be yourself, unless you are a comedian known for your lewd jokes or a brazen celeb whose fans thrive on the drama, be mindful of what you say or what pictures you post. Potential employers, competitors, and other influencers take notice.


Tweet Spam


While it’s true that twitter can be a great way to spread news about your business, as in any venue where your voice can be heard, you need to maintain a balance between promoting yourself and sharing non-promotional things. If every tweet becomes “check out my latest item I listed on eBay!” or “click for the best deal on cell phone ringtones!” or “15% off with this special code!”, people are going to start seeing your tweets like they see ads and tune them out. Having your link in your twitter bio will draw traffic from your followers, and the more interesting content you give them when you tweet, the more they’ll trust you and be likely to click when you do share that occasional promotional tweet.


Conversely, if you are a business that uses twitter solely for product updates and discounts, be up front about your twitter account with followers and post wisely!


Tweet Fraud


Okay this title makes this sound like something truly awful (and if you are genuinely stealing someone else’s identity on Twitter, you probably aren’t reading this article right now), but the point here is be genuine. Twitter was created as a means for social interaction and connection with other people. If you are tweeting on behalf of a business, have a voice and give people the sense that you are accessible and real. By being genuine with your followers, you’re giving them the chance to feel a connection to you and feel that their voice also matters to you. Business is business, but at the end of the day, twitter is social.


Avoid these Twitter mistakes and you should be well on your way to developing a solid following of loyal twitter fans! Do you have any tips to add?

 


Facebook Generates Business for Companies That Use It!

Posted on October 4, 2011 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

47% of small businesses with Facebook pages see a significant amount of traffic go from their Facebook page to their website, which is great for business growth. Even better, 48% of those polled said a portion of the new visitors convert to paying customers!

Clearly small businesses are using their Facebook pages well. Their top strategies? Highlighting basic info about their business, sharing photos and videos, having conversations with customers, providing customer support, and holding contests and giveaways.

Check out the full survey results in this nifty infographic:


 

What about you: how do you use your business Facebook page?  Let us know in the comments section.

How to Use Twitter to Promote Your Site

Posted on September 4, 2011 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

If you have ever dabbled with Twitter, you’ll know that the concept is really quite simple: you have 140 characters to use to update your followers. At first this may seem like a novelty fad or something fun to play around with, but Twitter has proven to be a huge and effective tool when it comes to promotions. As it turns out, those 140 characters can make a huge difference in attracting people to your site and getting them to stay.


So what can you do to make sure that you are using Twitter effectively? The main objective is to remember that although Twitter was made to let you tell the world what you are doing, that is not where the real magic lays. The appeal of Twitter comes from the conversations that you can have with just about anybody from your favorite celebrity to a local small business. Ability to reach out to these entities lets followers feel connected and can create strong relationships.


Let’s take a look at how you can apply this concept to promoting your website.


Getting Ready


Before you get started, let’s make sure that your Twitter page is ready for all of the new traffic you will be generating. Here’s a helpful checklist to make sure your Twitter profile looks credible:

  • Make sure your username is easy to read and relates to the topic of your site or brand name.
  • Fill out all of the fields in your profile – not only does this make you look more credible, but it will also help people find you in searches.
  • Make sure that you include the URL to your website in the “Bio” field of your profile. Adding this information helps to drive traffic back to your website.
  • Choose a profile picture that relates to your username or website.
  • Make sure you have a couple of quality tweets before you start promoting heavily. People like to know that they will be following someone who is insightful. If you are just starting out, don’t be afraid to tweet and let people know that you are new to Twitter.

The biggest takeaway: the more welcoming your page looks, the more people will be willing to follow you. Remember that your Twitter page is a glimpse into your brand, and/or company.


Getting More Traffic


Twitter can connect you to thousands of people if you know what you are doing. Your main goal should not be to get as many followers as possible, but to get quality and influential followers. It is these followers that will help to drive more people to your Twitter page and ultimately your website.


Twitter was made to spread information virally, meaning information is spread in a chain reaction. For example, let’s say that you Tweet something amazing, and two of your followers decide to retweet the message to their friends. The retweet is seen by all of their followers, who could potentially retweet the message again to their followers, creating a chain reaction of information distribution. This is why it is so important for you to obtain followers who are likely to find your information interesting.


So how do you go about getting these quality followers? Here are a couple of strategies you can try:

  • Get your existing fans to follow you. Believe it or not, you probably already have a bunch of people who would be willing to follow you. Let your existing fans on Facebook or the visitors on your website know that you have a Twitter account that they should follow. These people are already interested in your website and can make a very strong starting point for your Twitter campaign.

*Tip: Try using our Twitter widgets on your website that allow visitors to follow you with a click of a button.

  • Follow the right people and add to conversations. Just because you are trying to get quality followers doesn’t mean that you can’t be one yourself. Start following people who are linked to the topic of your site. You can find these people by searching through Twitter for certain topics, phrases, or even location. As you follow them and they tweet about something in your field, feel free to respond to them (don’t forget to use “@” to mention them!).

*Tip: If your website is especially relevant to a tweet, feel free to link them to your site in your response.


Keeping People Interested


Now that you have a bunch of quality followers, it’s time to get them to interact with you. Just like your website, people only really respond to quality content. It might seem hard to create quality content in just 140 characters, but it can be done. Just remember that it is all about starting conversations. Here are a couple of tips to achieve that all powerful mention or retweet:


 

  • Links are your friend. Just because you can’t type more than 140 characters doesn’t mean you can’t link to your website that elaborates on a great idea. Remember to let people know what’s in each link though; for security reasons people no longer click on random links.
  • Tweet about your unique ideas or views related to the topic of your website.
  • Ask questions. Try to draw out responses from your visitors.
  • Talk about or retweet the latest news in your industry; let people know that you are on top of your field.
  • Be human. Don’t just throw out quotes from your company history page or your pamphlet. Talk like a human and be approachable.
  • Use hashtags (#) to label a topic of conversation and start a trend.

Remember that the conversation doesn’t have to end after one response. Keep the conversation going and build relationships. Once you get good at this, these relationships will eventually translate into beneficial conversions for your site.


Things Not to Do


Now that you have an idea of what to do, here are some important faux pas of Twitter that will drive people away from you or make Twitter difficult to use.


  • Don’t shamelessly promote yourself all of the time. Your followers don’t want to see that, in fact, they are probably already using your site.
  • Don’t over tweet. If you send out too many unrelated tweets at once, people will be annoyed at how you are filling up their feed.
  • Don’t send out duplicate tweets, over and over again. Maybe if you have big news or something time sensitive, but generally people don’t want to see the same tweet from you the whole day.


If you follow these guidelines, you will have a successful twitter campaign in no time. Just remember that Twitter is only a piece to the puzzle that is your website. Twitter is a powerful tool, but it alone will not make your site popular, let us help you :).


Did you find this post helpful? Have any questions about our tips? Do you have any awesome Twitter tips of your own? Let us know what you think in the comments!


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