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How Will Your Social Media Ring In The New Year?

Is your company excited about the holidays? Does that show on your social media?

December is already here, that means people are gearing up for the holiday season. This season is a great opportunity to adopt new social media tactics – with a holiday twist. People are already spending time on social media sites, and are getting excited about the holidays.  So why not get people excited about the holidays and involved in your company at the same time?

Give your followers another reason to engage with your company this holiday season.

  1. Start a Facebook Holiday themed promotion. There are several ways to do this. Consider a limited-time-only discount, supporting a charity, or giving a gift back to loyal customers. All of these promotions are ways to add a little something extra to your company’s Facebook effort.
  2. Promote a holiday-themed hashtag on Instagram. Encourage followers to upload holiday pictures using the hashtag, or pictures that are relevant to your brand. Make it a contest and award the contestant with the most “Likes” a holiday gift.  Make it easy for fans to enter the contest by just simply using the hashtag. Once a winner is selected, contact them to claim their prize through their social media account.
  3. Start a New Years countdown, asking users to share their resolutions. Try to think of ways your business could be part of a New Years Resolution.
  4. Host a gift giveaway that takes place between Christmas and New Years…this is sure to keep your fans in the holiday spirit!
  5. Use Twitter to show your holiday enthusiasm and excitement! Be sure to tweet any other contests or giveaways you have started on your other social media accounts!

The holidays are about giving back, so do something different and thoughtful for your fan base – thank them for supporting your business all year.  Even something small, like tweeting out holiday jokes, can put a smile on a customers face! The holiday season is known for love, happiness, and positive thoughts for the New Year – make sure to be a part of that when it comes to social media.

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Reward Your Customers

How do you connect with your customers online?

Rewarding your customers is an essential component of driving customer loyalty. Foursquare, the leading location based social network, offers a great medium to connect your offline and online audience. Foursquare allows users to check into locations on their mobile phones. Then, users can share that location with friends on other social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. Your company can benefit from these check-ins. When users’ friends see where they are checking in to eat and shop, they are more likely to follow suit to eat and shop there too!

Your goal on Foursquare should be to connect your customer’s online habits and offline habits. You can do this by offering deals and specials on Foursquare. Use specials to attract new customers, and reward loyal existing ones.  Personalize your rewards to your customer. For example, to reward a first-time customer, award them a free cookie on their first check in. To reward a frequent customer, offer them 10% off their bill every third check in.  Use a combination of different specials to encourage a growing clientele and satisfy returning customers.

Make it easy for your customers to check in. You’ve already gotten people in the door, now its time to make sure you capitalize on that. You must claim your business’s location! Make sure to claim ownership of your physical location. If you do not see your business listed, you can access Foursquare from your mobile phone and select “Add this place”.  Provide as much relevant information in your profile as possible – this will help inform your current and future customers.

Switch up the specials you offer and see what seems to appeal to customers most. Get to know your audience by running two specials at a time. This way you can see if your customer base are mostly returning customers or new customers.  Treat your customers well with rewards – they will return the favor!

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12 Best Online Marketing Strategies For 2012

At this time of each year we think about what we accomplished over the last year – and what we want to improve on for the upcoming new year.

From a marketing perspective, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all new ideas and bright shiny objects out there to pull our attention away from the marketing strategies that matter most – those that will actually improve your business and expand your marketing reach.

So, in honor of the new year – I present to you the 12 best online marketing strategies to focus on for 2012. There could be more – but these are in my opinion the best strategies to bring you quicker to your business goals using online marketing strategies that work.

Don’t choose them all! Focus on the 2 or 3 that you feel could impact your marketing effort the most – and carve out the time and plan for implementing them next year!

1. Improve your irresistible free offer. Perhaps it’s time to replace that outdated “free report” or “eBook” with an even higher value freebie to offer site visitors. As I referred to in my post about the best freebie out there – my favorite is still the Audio CD – which has huge intrinsic value because it’s a physical “thing” and you can capture mailing addresses in addition to just email address.

2. Launch a new product or program. There is always something you can “launch” whether it’s a new product or program. You can also “re-launch” something you did this year that performed really well. My post shares some great methods for launching a new product or program. Think about what you can do differently this time around to make it even more engaging and worthwhile for your audience. Add more bonuses and juicier incentives to help increase sales.

3. Do a new webinar or teleseminar. Each new year is a great time to host a new topic using either a webinar or teleseminar. It can also be a perfect time to switch up the format and see what works best. Been doing a bunch of teleseminars lately? Try a webinar? Doing just webinars? Try a teleseminar. And, choose a topic that is new to your audience and see what kind of response you receive.

4. Connect with a new joint venture partner. Have this year be the year you establish a great partnership with a new strategic alliance or joint venture partner. I explained how to do this in my post about joint venture as a great list building strategy. Someone that you feel can really pull you and help you in a big way – while you can do the same for them. I always like to think outside the box about who to connect with – and expect something great as a result.

5. Create an affiliate program. Perhaps this is the year you launch an affiliate program. Affiliates are a great way to spread your message and build your list – while also supporting your sales of products or programs. Pretty much most shopping cart programs support affiliate programs and are easy to establish.

6. Update your website / blog. Website looking a bit outdated? Perhaps it’s time to hire a graphic designer for that new logo you’ve been craving or hire a website developer to update your entire site. I shared how important design is when it comes to marketing online in an earlier post so don’t skimp on the important details when updating your website. First impressions matter most when designing your website.

7. Be more active on social media. Are you one of the folks who has a Twitter account but hardly ever uses it? Perhaps you’re wondering exactly what to post on that new Facebook fanpage you created? Have this year be the year you be more “social” on social media. Remember, you can’t be active on these social media sites unless you show up and do the work.

8. Start a pay-per-click advertising campaign. I’m a huge fan of pay-per-click advertising. One of my earlier posts about PPC explains that it’s one of the best and most effective ways to quickly and authentically build your list with highly qualified leads. Whether it’s Google AdWords or Facebook ads – they convert brand new prospects onto your list and you can target very specific groups of people searching what you have to offer. Yes, you gotta pay for the traffic – but – it’s definitely worth it on the long run.

9. Add video to your marketing. It’s 2012 and you’re still not using video in your online marketing? It’s time to jump onboard with the most powerful and effective way to connect and build trust online with visitors to your site. With the advances of technology and video equipment costs plummeting – you really have no excuse to do more video and start reaping the benefits immediately.

10. Generate more content. Only posting to your blog once every other week or once a month? This is the year you need to generate a ton more content – way more than you’re even doing now (unless you blog every single day.) Putting out high-content and high-value articles and blog posts is how you get new traffic as well as nurture the existing audience you have on your list. Content is king.

11. Be smart about SEO. Still don’t have a clue about search engine optimization or how it relates to your blog or website? SEO is critical for having massive success online – and can’t be ignored or overlooked anymore. Develop a comprehensive SEO strategy about how to improve your search engine rankings for your best keywords and let’s get to work.

12. Email your list more often. Only sending the email newsletter out when you have the time for it? This is the year we get you on a consistent and frequent schedule of emailing your list all this great content you’re now generating. If you’re doing monthly now – consider bi-weekly. Sending the newsletter every other week? Let’s make it happen by sending it weekly. The more you email your list – the higher your open rates and consumption of your content – which is all good.

There you have it! The official 12 best marketing strategies to grow your business with online marketing for 2012.

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6785650

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Social Media Marketing – How To Get Comments On Your Posts

This was a great article from Marketing Artfully

Social media marketing is a bear! It can feel like you are posting all day and no one is commenting or even listening. Don’t let a lack of comments get you down, you never know who might be out there watching and not talking.

 

How to get social media comments - social media marketingThe picture that I have on this post was taken out front of my house with an iPhone and the app TruHDR (one of my faves). I noticed when I got inside that I had my thumb in the picture – doh! If I was “smart” I would have cropped it out and had a “good” picture to post (most of our clients want everything to be perfect). What I did was post it to my Facebook with the comment, “they are paving the road! and my thumb…:)”. I got 7 comments and a couple of likes. Social media is about being human and humans are not always scripted and perfect.

This goes for companies too! When Dominos Pizza started losing market share, they did not curl up and die, they said that they would have to change their sauce and the quality of their pizza and sales rose. Many small biz owners are SO concerned that they look perfect that they become bland and boring! Snazzy it up a bit! If you would like to find out about other companies who have admitted to being less than perfect, check out the Washington Post’s, Behind Domino’s mea culpa ad campaign.

Does It Matter How Many Comments You Get?

Getting blog comments and getting social media comments follow the same formula as all regular human interaction. There is research from 2006 that shows this perfectly (and given that the stats haven’t changed in the intervening years, tend to be pretty compelling). According to Jakob Nielsen,

In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.

So think about that, for each commenter you have on one of your posts, there are potentially 90 people who will see it and never comment, BUT they saw it none-the-less! This is why you will go to a party and have someone you have never heard of say, “I am your Facebook friend” or “I see you on Google Plus all the time”. They see YOU and what you are doing, whether they talk to you online or not!

Funniest part of the Participation Inequality post was, “How to Overcome Participation Inequality – You can’t.” You can’t make people comment if they don’t want to, you can only post things that ENCOURAGE commenting and hope that someone jumps in to get the ball rolling.

Additionally, (I promise I will get to ideas of what to post to get comments soon), you need to be aware of WHEN you are posting things and who might be online at the time. If you are a nightbird and posting all your “stuff” at midnight, it may be pushed down everyone’s wall by the time they get up, OR you may have a hoard of people who are all up in the middle of the night with you who jump in to comment because there is not all that much else going on.

Timezones and posting matter too! If you are trying to target overseas customers, working on Eastern time won’t cut it. You are going to have to do some posting and commenting when it is mid morning and early evening THEIR time. Test this and see if it makes a difference in how many comments you get!

Social Media Ideas – What To Post To Get Comments On Your Posts

If you skipped down here, go up and read the rest, we will wait for you..:)

  • Personal items – The people working on the street outside my house are not inherently interesting, BUT it shows that I do not talk about marketing and small business all the time! It makes me more of a person and less of a company. I would say if you use social media for business that you should not talk about your baby, dog, husband, girlfriend or any other super personal thing TOO MUCH but that doesn’t mean that you can never talk about them! One guy who really gets this right is Daniel Webster Johnson. He is a Colorado Realtor who traipses around every morning taking pretty pictures of the Colorado countryside and his dog. It REALLY works for him!
  • Quotations – Now please note, these should only be quotations that have meaning to you. Just popping something up there everyday with no background as to why it is interesting is not that great a practive. I like quotationspage.com for quotes, the search engine is good and they have LOTS! Another good things to do is make up your own quotes – one fellow, Imran Rahman, has Imranisms. It always gives me a chuckle to see what he has posted!
  • Selling With People – You CAN sell if you are giving credit to other people at the same time! Kirsten McKay Smith is especially good at it on her Passion Rockstars pagewhich is a clearinghouse for her to talk to her team (and people who follow it may also want to become a member of her team after seeing how neat she is!)
  • Great Links From Your Industry– I am always looking for new things that could help my clients increase traffic or get more clients. Frequently I find good resources that I share with my online community. I also save these for my newsletter so they do double duty!
  • Post your videos– people like to see interesting things and if you can pop out a quicky video about your industry or a topic that will appeal to everyone, you can get some good interaction. Remember to be QUICK! 2 minutes or less.
  • Things from your past that are interesting– Could be reference to Woodstock from our baby boomer friends or a really great Muppet Movie clip. Just make sure you let us know WHY it is important to you!
  • Open Ended Questions – Ask your friends and circles an INTERESTING question that does not work with a yes or no answer. According to Buddy Media, Posts that END with a question (rather than having it at the beginning or middle) have a 15% higher engagement rate.
  • Trending topics – It is okay to comment on current events, I just make sure to stay out of religion and politics. Just think, if you are PRO REPUBLICAN or PRO DEMOCRAT, you are effectively alienating about half of the rest of your customers. I had a funny thing happen the other day, a fellow who was selling insurance threw out the term “Obamacare” and giggled like it was stupid. I can tell you, he DID NOT KNOW that would be offensive to some people in the room who would then choose someone else to work with. I KNOW, some people like to be very partisan on their social media and that is their choice. As a small business owner, I cannot afford to lose that many potential new clients. Nuff said.

The NUMBER ONE Most Important Social Media Commenting Idea!

Talk back. That is right, if you get one comment, talk back. If you get two, talk back again. People are more apt to interact with your posts if they know that there is a real person on the other side! If someone posts something nice on your wall, thank them. In general, just interact as you would with plain old humans you would come into contact in your day-to-day life.

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Social Media Video Tips and How To’s

After doing some videos I realized that I was NOT posting them to my blog! I cannot believe I did not do that. So I wanted to share with you a few videos that I have done to help you with your Internet Marketing. If you need help in any of these areas or have questions please feel free to contact me. Enjoy!

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Why Niche Marketing Is Important For Internet Marketing

What is a niche? A niche is a portion of the market that is not being addressed adequately. You must identify the niche that you are targeting so that you are able to focus your work properly. There are a few reasons why niche marketing is important that you must understand before you get started. The main thing about marketing online is to be prepared before you get going. Preparation is vital because it can take you from your dream to a reality.

1. If you get started with internet marketing and do not select a specific niche then you will likely lose your goal along the way. It is like going into something blindly and that just does not turn out well. You must know who you are targeting and what portion of the market is not being targeted already. If you go after a segment of the market that has a lot of competition then your likelihood of making a lot of money is very low.

2. Niche marketing is also important for your search engine optimization needs. SEO is a very important process and you must know what niche you are targeting so that you can use the proper keywords and carry out the process correctly. If search engine optimization is not carried out appropriately then your goals will not be fulfilled. Take some time to put some thought into this before you get started.

3. The best thing about niche marketing is that it provides you with a direction along your internet marketing process. It feels so much better when you have a direction. For some, niche marketing seems like such a simple part of the plan but it may not always be so obvious for everyone. No matter who you are, it is always helpful to have a direction and in this case, if you do not have a direction with your niche then you will fall off your path very easily.

Niche marketing is vital for many reasons. Take a look at a few of these reasons and learn to implement the ideas throughout your own internet marketing process.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5567855

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How Does Search Engine Optimization Apply To Internet Marketing?

If you have stepped into the world of internet marketing even slightly, you have probably heard the term search engine optimization before. This is an essential process that you will need to take on throughout your journey as an online marketer. A question you may ask yourself is why this process is so important. There really are a few reasons that this process is both important and beneficial for your business both short term and long term. Once you understand these benefits you will be eager to get started.

1. Once you have a website set up for your business, your next step will be to complete the SEO for it. Before you can carry out this important step of your plan you need to fully understand it. SEO is a process by which you design the internal structure of your site appropriately so that it can be found easier by search engines and site visitors.

2. Some things to pay attention to when you are designing the internal structure of your site are keywords and phrases. This is how sites are ranked among search results so when you structure your keywords and phrases appropriately, you raise your likelihood of being found by search engine spiders much higher. Also, when you are creating your site you need to be sure your content is both relevant and of high quality. This is important because it sets you apart from the competition and builds credibility with site visitors.

3. A part of your plan will always be niche marketing. When focusing on your search engine optimization you must be targeting your specified niche market. This will become relevant because the people that want your goods and services will find you much quicker when you are focused on a specific part of the market.

If you have ever wondered about search engine optimization, it is a good thing that you took some time to read up about it. The more you understand about SEO the better off you will be with your business goals. In the long term, your financial success will soar like it never has before.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5575421

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Video Marketing: Discover These 5 Tips When Marketing With Video

Video marketing is nothing new when it comes to effective internet marketing tools. The internet is always changing and if you want to stay ahead of the game, you need to know how to effectively use videos the right way. In other words, you cannot create a video, place it on your website and expect to get results. Video training is a must and I can tell you from personal experience that creating short videos and uploading them to the internet without effective strategies will not get you very far.

Your message needs to capture the attention of your audience. Let’s face it… the internet marketing game has definitely changed. Consider the fact that just several years ago, no one was talking about video to promote businesses. Nowadays, I think it is fair to say that most business owners realize just how important video is to their income.

Benefits That Video Brings To Your Business

•Videos equate to a great response (Everyone loves to watch videos)
•Excellent conversion rates
•The ability to create a captive audience
•Videos build trust!
•Builds relationships with potential customers
•Better online SEO (Google loves videos!)
•Videos are more personal giving you and your business that “personal touch”

Videos are fast becoming the way that people do business. Whether you are an online or an offline business, it does not matter. What matters most is that you get the business exposure and videos will give you the edge over your competition.

5 Tips When Marketing With Video

•Tell your personal story with an interesting video… the more compelling, the better
•Introduce YOU and your company with a testimonial from one of your customers because this will show your credibility
•Integrate video with social media by offering people something for free when they “like” you
•Creating videos will help you stay in touch and maintain relationships… following up is a must when marketing online
•Create videos as a way to automate your business using campaigns… doing so will allow your videos to work on autopilot!

The idea is not just to simply create business videos and then upload them on the internet. Instead, you need to do the following…

Separate Yourself From Your Competitors!

You can easily do this by creating videos to attract people to you and your business but again, knowing how to effectively do just that is essential to getting exceptional results. I believe that the majority of marketers understand how videos are playing a major role with marketing their business, especially over the last couple of years. My personal belief is that those who effectively use it with a compelling video will not only get noticed, but make a significant amount of money because of the power that this has on ones business results.

Just think about how many people are online marketing to others for just a moment. Think about when you go to a marketing event. Chances are you meet a lot of people but do you really remember everyone’s name, let alone what company they are with? Unless you have met the person before or have seen them in a video, it can be downright difficult to remember everyone. Videos can be a great tool to help build a relationship that truly lasts and they have the great potential of getting the results that equal more profit!

Sure, business cards, newsletters, brochures, flyers, postcards can be effective with your marketing efforts but I do believe that when given a choice, most people are more likely to watch a video which is why more and more online and offline business owners are taking massive action using videos to promote their business.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Josephine_Monty

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How to Manage Social Media

Social Media can be a little overwhelming sometimes and time consuming. When you started your business or got into the industry you are in, did you start it to do Social Media? Probably not! Social Media has become so popular over the past couple years that every type of business is doing it. Now, there are companies like mine you can outsource your Social Media campaign to, but not everyone has the budget to do that yet.

Today I am going to share with you a couple tools you can use to make your life much simpler. With Social Media you need to have a plan behind your efforts or you WILL be sucked into the black hole of Facebook, you know what I’m talking about.

Here is a schedule you can go by:
Monday– Schedule your posts (using Hootsuite and Onlywire, read further down in blog for link)
Tuesday – Follow 50 people on Twitter using www.Twellow.com and add 10 new friends on Facebook (add them to your business list to suggest your business page to them)
Wednesday – Follow 50 people on Twitter using www.Twellow.com and add 20 connections on LinkedIn
Thursday – Follow 50 people on Twitter using www.Twellow.com and add 10 10 new friends on Facebook (add them to your business list to suggest your business page to them)
Friday – Add 20 connections and LinkedIn and 10 new friends on Facebook (add them to your business list to suggest your business page to them) Suggest your business page to your new friends

There are two tools I like to use that allows me to schedule my posts out to my networks weeks in advance and one that allows you to post to 40 different profiles.
The first one is called Hootsuite http://hootsuite.com/p_1748 this is a FREE service and an amazing tool. You can add you Twitter, Facebook, Business Page, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Mixi, and WordPress to this service. Once you have all your profiles set up you can schedule your messages to go out.

The second one I like to use is OnlyWire http://www.OnlyWire.com now with this account you don’t need to post to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn but you can post to Delicious, StumbleUpon, Reddit, FriendFeed, and much more. This is a great tool to reach out to all of those other Social Media profiles that Hootsuite does not post to.

I hope these are helpful tips, if you need help on how to use these tools please check out my YouTube videos http://www.YouTube.com/YourMarketingVoice

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Suggest to Friends Button on Facebook BROKEN

Facebook use to have an awesome tool where people can suggest fan pages to their friends, it was easy, fun, and it worked! Well back around November the button was missing, then a few weeks later it was back but only the admin of that page could suggest it to their friends. This became a little difficult and I feel it broke some of the online communities that were being created. It was very simple to use, you would click onto suggest to friends, and then choose the list of people you wanted to send it to, click select all and hit send! What a great concept. Once a page was suggested to you then you would get an alert once you logged into Facebook on the right hand side and you could choose to like or fan at that point the pages that were suggested to you. It was such a great tool and really helped the small businesses increase their fans. Now the button is still there on the pages and you can click it and still select all the people you want to invite to like your page but now there is a catch . . . IT DOESN’T WORK! Once you hit send it says a message was sent out but nowhere to be found is a message in your email or on Facebook that a page was suggested to you. Now where is the building community in that?

Us as small business owners need to increase our fans so we can build that relationship through our businesses. Here are a few ways to still grow your fans:

1)    Talk about your page on your personal profile using @ (then type your page name) this way people that are your friends can see your post and go directly to your page and “Like” it.

2)    Create list of friends up to 200 and send a message to them asking for their support to grow your online community and give the link to your business page.

3)    Put your Facebook business page link in all email signatures, newsletters, marketing materials, voicemails, videos, blog, and website.

4)    Post to your Twitter account to “like” your page

This can seem a little irritating and frustrating, trust me I am right there with you, but until Facebook figures out how to manage themselves and page we have to follow their rules. Because so many companies were and still are creating fake people on there, Facebook is trying to control the SPAM. One person can ruin it for all of us. With that being said stay away from buying “Likes” they are mostly fake people! I hope this information is useful, if you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

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