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Be The Small Business That Does Social Media Right

So you’re a small business. That means you probably don’t have the budget to run with the big dogs of social media. AKA – stop trying to keep up with Starbucks. If you do not have the budget to giveaway the latest IPad – don’t do it. Offer a prize your company can handle such as a service, discount, or small product.  This also means that the participants in your giveaway are likely to be interested in your company, and not just in it for the free Ipad.

You have probably already picked up on the fact that there is no physical cost to join social media.  As a small business, marketing without fees probably sounds like the best kind.  But don’t be fooled – social media marketing is anything but free. Doing it right requires serious man-hours. The commitment to social media is unrelenting and endless. Engaging with followers and sharing valuable content is a full time job.

Most small businesses feel a sense of urgency to get onto social media because of the tidal wave big brands have made on all social media platforms. Focus on your social media goals. Whatever they are, the bottom line should be to build relationships and grow customer trust. That means that social media is not the place to display your promotional copy. Get rid of anything remotely resembling a “BUY ME” button. Social media is about social engagement. Think of yourself in a social situation – do you spend the entire time talking about yourself? Hopefully the answer is no. This type of etiquette applies to social media as well. Just as you would in a social environment, strive to be interesting on social media. Post content that gives your followers or friends something to react too. If someone were to walk up to you and give you a compliment or ask you a question, you would never just ignore it. You would acknowledge it with a “thank you” or a reply. The same thing should be done on your social media platforms.

As a small business, you do not need to be present on every social media account. If you use Facebook over Google +, it does not mean you are a social media failure. The biggest error you could make is to have a Google + account that is completely neglected and shows inconsistent activity. It is better to have one or two active and up to date social media accounts than have five accounts that are not receiving adequate time and management.

Avoiding these social media mistakes small businesses tend to make is crucial to your success. Be the small business that gets social media right!

 

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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!

How to work with the NEW Facebook Business Timelines and get an ROI on your Social Media!

What you will learn:

Facebook-

  • How to utilize the new Facebook Business Timeline
  • How to create a Welcome tab
  • Engage with people that “Like” your page
  • Making your profile stand out
  • Implementing keywords in your Facebook business page

 

 

Twitter-

  • How to use # marketing with your tweets
  • How to utilize Hootsuite to interact with your followers
  • How to increase your followers by using Twellow

LinkedIn-

  • How to find groups and interact with them
  • Adding new connections
  • Implementing your keywords within your profile

Details – How to Work With the NEW Facebook Business Timeline and get an ROI

 from your Social Media Marketing

When: April 4th 11am-2pm AND April 13th 9:30am-12:30pm

Where: Egg & I 80th and Sheridan

Cost:  $67

RSVP: Marketing@TheBIMSTeam.com


Email us the class you are attending, Marketing@TheBIMSTeam.com




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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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Social Media Best Practices: 12 Tips for Making the Best of Facebook, Twitter, Google + or Any Other Social Site

This is a great article I found by Frank Barry http://socialmediatoday.com/frankbarry/328381/social-media-best-practices-12-tips-making-best-facebook-twitter-google-or-any-oth?utm_source=smt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

Do you know how many of your supporters use popular social networks like Google+, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube?

Twitter has more than 16 million users, and 42.3 percent of the entire American population is on Facebook. YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world. Google recently made a big social medial play by introducing Google+ which saw 20 million users within the first three weeks.

With usage stats like that it’s probably safe to assume that a large portion of your supporters, customers and/or prospects use at least one of these sites on a regular basis, right?

Which means you need to get laser focused on figuring out how to best utilize sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

But as with anything, it can be challenging to figure out where to start or how to ensure your efforts are going to be effective.

With that in mind, here are 12 tips that will help you succeed no matter what social-networking site you apply them to.

1. CLAIM YOUR LAND

As you get more and more involved in using social media, be sure to claim your land by creating your organization’s Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube channel, LinkedIn profile, Google+ profile, etc.

Think about it like when the Internet became popular — you wanted to secure your domain even if you didn’t plan on using it right away so others wouldn’t register it.

2. FILL OUT YOUR PROFILE COMPLETELY

The social Web is essentially a place where relationships are built, maintained and enhanced in a digital space.

It’s really no different than real life in that people want to get to know who you are, what you stand for, how you’re changing the world and what they can get by connecting with you. So make sure to take advantage of all the profile space you have by adding a picture, putting up information about your organization, providing links back to your website and so on. This way others know you’re a real nonprofit doing real things.

3. SPEND SOME TIME OBSERVING (AKA LISTENING)

An easy way to understand this concept is to think about attending a party where you don’t know many people.

It’s doubtful that you’d go barging in to conversations or groups of people without first getting the lay of the land by observing the room, looking for others who you may know or know of, and thinking about what you could talk about with those attending. The social Web is no different. It requires that you learn the culture, people and way to interact on each specific site. Twitter is different than Facebook, and Facebook is different than LinkedIn.

Spend some time observing how others interact, speak, share and communicate before you dive in. Creating a social-media listening dashboard helps as you get started. You can get one up and running in 30 minutes or less for free.

4. LOCATE YOUR PEEPS

Once you’ve begun to get acclimated with the culture and overall way to interact on each social site, start to look for those who are talking about or interested in things you find interesting.

For example: If you’re a nonprofit that focuses on disaster-relief efforts in places like New Zealand, then you may want to connect with the Red Cross and begin building a relationship with it. Or you may want to find individuals who are talking about the events around the world where disaster relief is needed.

This allows you to engage with people who are interested in the things you do and who might become supporters of yours one day. You should also get familiar with using search features like Twitter Search to help you find the right people to engage with.

Here are 13 simple twitter search examples to get you started.

5. ENGAGE, BUT DON’T YELL (OR ASK FOR DONATIONS)

After you’ve been observing for a while and locating like-minded organizations and individuals, you want to begin building relationships with them.

The key point to remember here is that you should not start by selling your wares or promoting your programs or asking for donations. Even though Social Fundraising is a great way to empower your supporters it shouldn’t be the first thing you focus on. Start by getting to know the individuals who run the social-media accounts you interact with — offer your help, assistance and support to them. Be the initiator and giver.

Spend some time in chitchat-type conversations to build real connections and relationships with others — it will pay off in the long run.

6. BUILD YOUR FAN BASE (JUST LIKE BUILDING YOUR HOUSE FILE)

As you start to engage with the right individuals and organizations, you naturally begin to build your fan base — it’s the organic way of doing things on the social Web.

In addition to that, once you’ve developed a solid presence, part of your fan-, friend- and follower-growth strategy should include promoting your presence on social-media sites to your current supporter base. You can do this by putting social-media links on your main website and sending e-mail communications to your housefile, letting all your supporters know where to find you on the various social-networking sites you participate on.

This helps build your social-network fan base in two ways.

First, it gets all those who you have e-mails addresses for to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter and so on.

Second, it gives you exposure to your fans’ networks and provides the opportunity for many more to find out about you.

7. CREATE MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS

Now that you’re building a nice-sized following and engaging with the right crowd, you should focus on building relationships that are useful to others.

Sticking with the disaster-relief example, if you were engaged in helping those affected by a natural disaster in New Zealand, then you could help others by providing them up-to-the-minute news, pointing them to resources that would allow them to help or participate in the relief efforts, and creating conversations with others that help draw attention to the cause.

By being a resource to your community and helping others, you quickly build a great reputation online.

8. IDENTIFY AND INTERACT WITH INFLUENCERS

A key part of any social-media strategy involves identifying influencers — those who have nice-sized online networks can effectively spread your message and are able to activate others.

These individuals can help you reach more people because of the trusted relationships they’ve already built. As you build relationships with people online, look for the influencers and be thoughtful about how you engage and build relationships with them.

It’s very possible they can help amplify your message like you’ve never been able to do.

9. CONNECT THE DOTS

The social Web is very much a game of relationships and a place where those who are genuinely using the tools for good want to connect with other like-minded individuals.

As you build your network of fans, help them to get to know each other by connecting them. Make introductions on Facebook. Share something that one of your fans has done with another on Twitter. Help build a tight-knit network by being a connector who’s always looking for ways to build beneficial relationships between others.

10. PUMP OUT USEFUL INFO. AND CONTENT

Think of participating on the social Web like you think about your website.

Would people come back if you failed to update your website with useful information on a regular basis? Doubtful. The same holds true on the social Web, so make sure to consistently share great content that’s relevant and useful to your fan base. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be content that you wrote or created. It can be news stories, resources from other websites, information from a partner organization, etc.

The key is that you become valuable by sharing useful content.

11. ACTIVATE YOUR NETWORK

At the end of the day, doing the steps outlined above have a purpose.

That purpose is to build a community of people who are supporters of your organization and willing to take action in support of your cause.

Your online network will respond when you ask if you’ve built real relationships, engaged with people, proved to be a useful resource, connected others and had an overall positive impact on your online community.

12. SAY THANK YOU

Good manners apply in any social setting, and the Web is no different.

Make sure to continually show appreciation when you’re fans support you by donating, volunteering, sharing your content, retweeting a tweet, liking a Facebook status update, attending an event or any other action you’ve requested them to take. It shows that you’re paying attention and that you’re grateful for every bit of support.

And that keeps people coming back to support you every time you need them.

What one tip would you add? There’s plenty more out there that you’re doing a great job at, I’m sure!

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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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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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QR Codes and Mobile Marketing

QR codes are a new, mobile marketing technology that is quickly gaining in popularity and with good reason. Their potential is limitless. Today, it would be difficult to find someone who doesn’t own a cell phone. Most cell phone owners keep them close at hand, taking them with them wherever they go. Savvy companies are taking advantage of this, reaching out to both prospective and actual customers, via their mobile phones. They are one of the many methods companies are using to do so.

For those unaware of what a QR (Quick Response) Code is, it is a 2-D visual code that can be read by QR scanners, cell phones with cameras and Smartphones. QR codes can be encoded with all types of information, including, text, phone numbers and URLs.

When individuals come across a Quick Response code, they can scan it with their phone and instantly be taken to whatever website a company has encoded the QR code to. An increasing number of companies are utilizing these codes and with great success. They are a unique form of advertising which is cutting-edge and taking off in a big way. QR codes connect online and offline media in a way that has never been done before. Now individuals are able to go from offline to online adverts or web pages with a quick and easy scan of their phone.

Quick Response codes have taken off for a variety of reasons, one of the primary being that consumers seem to be responding to them. They are a bit mysterious. The codes are black and white modules in a square pattern. There is no definite rhyme or reason to them, at least visually. It is only after scanning the code, that individual can determine what message the company is relaying.

QRs are akin to a live website link or URL. Until now, the only way a person could go directly to a website with a simple click was if they were online. Now, this can be done even when the link is not online. QR codes are embedded with URL links and functionally, act as such. Individuals are automatically transferred to whatever URL the QR Code is embedded with when they use their mobile phone to scan the code.

Companies committed to staying abreast of the latest technologies and then using them to maintain and grow their business should look into QR codes. They are one of the latest technological developments available to businesses interested in entering the enormous and potentially lucrative, mobile phone market.

This article may be freely reprinted or distributed in its entirety in any e-zine, newsletter, blog, or website. The author’s name, bio and website links must remain intact and be included with every reproduction.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6229457