,

Optimize your Social Media Strategy in a Week

Social media is big and continues to grow and evolve. According to Fast Company, 93% of marketers use social media to promote their business and reach their business goals. Converting followers into paying customers is the ultimate goal of every business. To achieve that goal, you need to have a good social media strategy in place. If you manage your business’ social media marketing, read on.

Here are some tactics you can implement to help you get started on improving your social media strategy.

Choose your Image Wisely

Visual is king in digital marketing. Thanks to the availability of camera phones and social networks emphasizing visual elements, the ease of taking and uploading photos has increased dramatically.

Marketers who use visual content get more followers, more leads and more customer engagement. But to get that attention, you need to connect with the person on the other side of the screen. Choose images that appeal to your target audience, but make sure that it also fits your brand’s voice, style and mood.

In today’s mobile-driven world, producing content on a regular basis is a must in order to maintain a strong online presence. But with so many creative minds joining the social media sphere and great blogs emerging on almost a daily basis, capturing the attention of your target audience has become extremely difficult.

How do you cut through the noise and stand out in the online world? Visual content can help. Don’t believe us? Studies show that content with relevant images get 94% more views, likes and comments as compared to those without.

digital marketing and your business

How to Create Awesome Visual Content for Social Media

Customize stock photos

Stock photos have been tremendously helpful for those who don’t have a sizeable design budget and those who need them fast. But in order to stay with your brand and visual identity guidelines, it is important that you customize these photos. Plus, you wouldn’t want your audience to see the exact same photo in other sites, right? Tweak and customize stock photos to make them your own.

Use online editing tools

Creating visual content can be challenging. The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert in photo editing to create great images. There are several online editing tools like Canva, Picmonkey and RelayThat that can help you create stunning visual content that looks like it came from a professional graphic designer.

Add a call-to-action

Ideally, great visual content should eye-catching and entice people to take action. Now that you have successfully captured people’s attention, let them know what you want them to do. Do you want them to share, like or comment on your post? Or do you want them to click through your content? You can either add a call-to-action on the image, in the description or both.

Be consistent

Colors can help make your visual content pop. It can help you capture the attention of your target audience and provide amazing results. But it is also important to stay consistent with the type of visual element you use like colors.

Choose 2 to 4 colors and stick to them when creating visual content. Use it in your logo, texts, images etc. Remember, having a consistent color palette is a must.

Focus on Platforms Where Your Customers Are

 

In order to build an online presence, you first need to define your business’ personality. Ask yourself how you want people to envision you. Also, define a consistent brand voice to drive consistency in your content creation efforts. Even if people view your content on different channels, you want to make sure that they could identify the content as coming from your brand.

When you are defining your brand, pay close attention to the types of people you hope to attract. Where are you going to find them?

Just like everyone else, most small business owners are pressured to have a presence on every social media platform. The problem is that a hot, new social media tool hits the scene almost every few months, making it extremely difficult to manage all those social accounts.

To make the most out of your social media marketing efforts, you need to focus on platforms where your customers are. Fish where the fishes are. Don’t waste your time, energy and resources fishing in an empty pond.

social media management focus on one network

It is okay to not have an account on every social media channel.

In fact, we recommend only focusing your attention on the one of two networks that your tribe is using. Master these and then, if you wish, you can begin using and focusing on additional networks. My strategy if you don’t have a team to back you up is to choose one social media network and stick to it. Really focus your efforts on growing engagement, your network, and traffic to your site.

A lot of business owners feel like they need to do EVERYTHING, but this can get overwhelming quickly. It can turn your best intentions into a quick hatred of all things social media.

By choosing one network and mastering that, you can always expand later.

So how do you choose which network to grow? Think about where your target market hangs out. B2B businesses often choose LinkedIn, but Pinterest could also be a great avenue for growing your online traffic.

Having huge networks is great, but you also want to make sure they are made of the right type of people who will potentially buy from you in the future. Focusing on one network can help you see these results more quickly.

Get the Attention of Influencers

An influencer is someone who carries influence over others. In the new world of digital relationships, people are receptive of recommendations from people they trust and respect. In fact, one study revealed that 40% of consumers had made a purchase because of an influencer’s recommendation; while 49% seek purchase guidance from an influencer.

One of the easiest ways to get an influencer’s attention is to share their content. Go ahead and share those contents without asking anything in return. Link out shamelessly and unceasingly. When you do, they are likely to take notice.

Another great way to capture the attention of influencers is through guest blogging.

Guest blogging is where you partner with another website and write an article specifically to publish on their blog. This tactic is an incredible way to increase your exposure to a new network of individuals. In order to leverage each guest blog post, however, you need to give readers a reason to head on back to your website. This is where the content upgrade comes in.

A content upgrade is a downloadable resource from your website that complements your guest post article. This could be a checklist, eBook, PDF, template, or whitepaper/case study. The important thing is to capture the individuals name and email address when you offer them their freebie.

Our strategy is to link your by-line or author bio in your guest blog post to a landing page on your website that discusses the content upgrade and includes a form to capture their name and email address.

social media marketing and your business

What Tools Can You Use to Manage Your Social Media

Aside from your website, social media provides an effective way to increase your web presence. It provides a way to generate PR for your company, build your brand and drive traffic to your website. You need to be active on social media if you are serious about achieving these goals. After all, you can’t expect any results if your page is inactive. The problem is that, social media marketing takes time.

If you are a business owner, you can’t afford to spend all day hopping from network to network, managing your social media accounts, planning future posts and checking analytics.

Are you looking for a better way to manage your social media posts?

Here are 4 social media tools to add to your arsenal.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most robust social media management tools around, and social media managers swear by it. The tool has a feature called Autoschedule. If you have multiple accounts, you can use this feature to manage your posts and make sure that they don’t appear on different channels all at the same time. It also shares your updates at the best possible time of the day to give them the greatest chance of being seen. Hootsuite also allows you to monitor and analyze your performance on your main social networks.

Buffer

Buffer allows you to easily distribute your content across multiple accounts. Just drop your updates to your Buffer queue and you don’t have to worry about when it will be posted. These posts will be posted for you well spaced out throughout the day.

Buffer also allows users to schedule up to 10 updates at once. The paid version, on the other hand, allows unlimited scheduling.

SocialOomph

Twitter has become one of the must-have marketing channels for any business. If you are interested in automating your Twitter marketing, SocialOomph is the best tool for you. It has a feature called Twitter unlimited, which allows you to manage your Twitter followers and direct messages box from within the app. The free level also allows you to work on up to 5 Twitter accounts. It helps you track keywords and schedule tweets.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social allows you to manage all your relationships, interactions and customer support from a single dashboard. This tool also analyzes your audience to determine the optimal times to deliver content. Because it’s not free, this is recommended for larger businesses that are looking for an all-in-one solution to manage their social media presence.

Social Media Strategy | Manage Social Media Accounts | See a Difference in Social Media Networks | How to Optimize Social Media

, , , , ,

10 Ways To Build Your Online Reputation

This post is updated from December, 2010.

Social media presents a unique opportunity for anyone to develop a personal or business reputation to build their careers, boost sales and increase relationships. The key is to leverage the tools of the Social Media to effectively build your online reputation. You need to understand what your goals and intentions are in order to be successful.

Here are 10 ways you can be successful in this journey, so you can achieve your short and long term goals rather than waste time:

1. Be aware.Continually listen to conversations happening across the Web related to your career or business and learn from the content you read, listen to, or view online. Social media success depends as much on listening as it does on publishing.

2. Be focused.Define your niche and focus the majority of your social media participation on conversations and content related to that area of focus. A focused brand is more powerful than a broad brand. Always lead with your strengths on the social media and be consistent in your content and conversations in order to successfully build your online reputation.

3. Be authentic.Your social media participation is useless if your content and conversations read like corporate rhetoric or a promotional brochure. Instead, be real and be human. Imagine you’re speaking with your audience in person rather than online and adjust your content and tone to match your target audience’s needs and expectations for you based on your brand promise. This is where videos can be a great tool for people to really know who you are.

4. Be trustworthy.Honesty is an essential part of building your online reputation using the tools of the social media. Transparency isn’t just a buzz word, it’s a strategic imperative, which should apply to your social media participation as well as all other aspects of your career or business.

5. Be meaningful.The content you publish on social media must be useful and meaningful to your target audience or there is no reason for them to read it or start a dialogue with you about it. Furthermore, if your content doesn’t add value to your audience’s lives, they won’t talk about it and share it with their own audiences.

6. Be “non-self-promotional.”No one will want to read your content or interact with you on the social media if your content and conversations read like a marketing pitch. Follow the 90-10 rule of marketing and spend 90% or more of your time in social media activities that are not self-promotional and only 10% or less on activities that are self-promotional. When you do want to directly try to get more exposure to build your online reputation, you can do so without annoying other people.

7. Be accessible and responsive.An important part of building your online reputation via social media participation is understanding that it’s not all about you. Instead, you need to spend a great deal of time acknowledging other people on the social media in order to build a relationship with them. In other words, they need to understand that you care about them, too. You need to respond to questions, comments on your blog, tweets, and so on.

8. Be reciprocating.You can’t expect people to reach out to you and share your content on the social media and not return the favor. If someone engages with you on your blog, Twitter, Facebook or another social media destination, then you can’t ignore that person — just as you wouldn’t ignore someone in a face-to-face situation. For example, you also need to leave comments on other people’s blogs, share their content on Twitter and Facebook, and more. You can’t operate in a silo on the social media and expect to be successful.

9. Be uncontrolling.The thought of giving up control and letting your content, conversations and name spread across the Web can be frightening. However, without the sharing of content and interactive dialogue that happens on social media, your online reputation cannot develop. You have to be willing to give up control and let people share and talk about you and your content in order for your online reputation to grow. Don’t worry about negative buzz about you, your brand, or your business. There is always a way to react to negativity on the social media.

10. Be involved.Don’t spend all of your time in one place. While quality is more important than quantity when it comes to building an authentic reputation online, you do need to spread your wings and be social. Focus on other avenues such as a blog, YouTube, Google Buzz, Backlinks, and much more. You need to use all aspects of Internet Marketing in order to see return.

10 ways to build your online reputation: 10 ways you can be successful in this journey, so you can achieve your short and long term goals rather than waste time.

, , , , ,

Putting Together a Social Media Schedule

This is updated from a post on Oct 26, 2010.

One of the most important parts of being active in the social media world is taking responsibility for your Facebook, Twitter, and any other internet marketing outlets you have. When we put our posts out and we like other peoples posts that is a good start to taking responsibility. When we send out Newsletters or email marketing campaigns we want other people to read them right?

Well it is a two sided road; I mean we all have to put in our efforts to read other peoples stuff as well. My tip for that is picking your inner circle of people and people you have made a power partner and start by reading their newsletters and/or emails. The same thing goes with our social media posts. We want people reading our post, tweets, events, questions etc. also emailing us wanting to work with us or learn more about what we do. We have to do that with others. The one thing I always say about social media is it brings people, communities, and companies together all over the world.

So how do we do that? It is easy . . . we put together a weekly schedule and then we implement it into our routine just like checking emails, and making calls.

Monday- Using www.Hootsuite.com schedule your posts to go out onto your Facebook personal page, Facebook business page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Ping.fm. Using my post before this one to help first create your strategy so you know what you need to post on your social media profiles and when. (Schedule an hour and a half to start)

Tuesday- Login to Facebook and add 10 people into your business list, research these people. Find people that have common interest or maybe looking for your services and put them into the business list you created. Then get onto Twitter or Twellow and search for your Keywords or location. You can search for people using keywords or type in keywords people would use to find YOU and add 50 people. (Schedule about 45 min to start, once you get the hang of it you can probably get it done in 30 min)

Wednesday– Spend some time on LinkedIn checking emails and finding people you may know and ask them to connect with you. (Schedule 45 min)

Thursday- Login to Facebook and add 10 people into your business list, research these people. Find people that have common interest or maybe looking for your services and put them into the business list you created. Then get onto Twitter or Twellow and search for your Keywords or location. You can search for people using keywords or type in keywords people would use to find YOU and add 50 people. (Schedule about 45 min to start, once you get the hang of it you can probably get it done in 30 min)

Friday – Repeat what you have done Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We are going to add another step into today, Once you are done adding people on Facebook and Twitter you want to go back to Facebook and go to your page, under your logo you will find a tab that says “Suggest to Friends” Click on that and then click the drop down tab to your list you made once that list pulls up on the top right hand side it will say “Select All” hit that and then send invitations. What this is doing is asking all the people you have been adding as friends to become a fan of your page!

Now this is what I do and share with people you are more than welcome to move it around however it works for you. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions of things that have helped you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Putting together a weekly social media schedule: ne of the most important parts of being active in the social media world is taking responsibility for your Facebook, Twitter, and any other internet marketing outlets you have. When we put our posts out and we like other peoples posts that is a good start to taking responsibility. When we send out Newsletters or email marketing campaigns we want other people to read them right?

, , , , ,

Internet Marketing: Power of the “Wall”

The other day I was speaking with a new client and she brought up an interesting point . . . have you ever thought of this? Years and years ago we used a “wall” to communicate with the world.

People would write on walls and rocks telling their stories, telling about their journey, what to expect and educating each other. Now millions of years later we have started to use a “wall” on Facebook and Twitter to communicate; sharing our stories now, what we have learned, how we can educate and help people across the world. Obviously our way now is a lot faster and e bit easier. Interesting how things come around.

What’s that saying, “don’t reinvent the wheel”?  Thinking of how a “Wall” has always been a way to communicate across the world to others, back then it took a lot longer and was much more artistic in a way.   Now we have the world at our finger tips and we are only a “wall” post away from communicating with people all over the world.

When I entered the Internet Marketing world it seemed so surreal to me, being able to send emails, instant messaging, pictures, documents, etc so fast and being able to do business with people all over the world.  They did not even have to be in the same city as me as the internet it allows us to do business everywhere! That is the beauty of Internet Marketing, we are able to now grow our businesses nationwide and build those relationships in order to do that.

Internet Marketing can work wonders for your business if you provide a service that you can do from anywhere or have an online store that people can order from anywhere. Have you ever read the book “The 4 hour work week” or “Beach Money”? These books talk about being able to have an online business where you can work from wherever you are and all you need is a computer and internet access.  They talk about setting your business up in such a way where you are earning residual income so you do not have to be sitting in front of the computer 24/7 working. If you set up your Internet Marketing plan correctly,  you can do this with your business as well!

I challenge you this week to take a look at your Internet Marketing strategy and see if it includes the following things:

  • Social Media Plan (Facebook, Facebook Page, Twitter, and LinkedIn)
  • Have a real blog (wordpress or blogger)
  • YouTube Channel
  • Posting Blogs and video blogs at least once a week
  • Using other online tools like; Google Maps, Yelp, Four Square, Plaxo etc.
  • Making sure you have your backlinks set up to your blog ( You can use Squidoo for this)
  • Educating people via your blog posts and social media posts

If you need help figuring out an Internet Marketing plan I would love to assist you. I look forward to seeing more of you online.

Power of the wall

,

Keys to Selecting Highly Effective SEO Keywords

Driving traffic to their website is one of the goals a lot of online marketers and business owners share. This is especially important for those who are selling online. But it’s not just about getting people to visit your site; it’s more of driving the right people to your site. SEO plays an invaluable role here.

SEO will help your potential customers and clients find your website and increase your sales in the process. How? It all starts with the words they type into the search box.

Here are some keys to selecting highly effective SEO keywords.

Create a list of topics that are relevant to your business

Take a look at the content, articles, and categories in your site. If you have a business blog, there are probably some topics that you often write about. Start there. If you want to get a high ranking on a keyword, it should be based on a topic you’re already writing about. Otherwise, you’re going to fail.

From these topics, make a list of keywords that you think your target audience will be using to search for your business. For this to be effective, the terms you choose should be specific enough that you’ll be able to get a high search rank for it, but broad enough that a lot of people will search of it.

Use SEO tools

There are a lot of tools and data resources that you can use to gather and analyze the necessary data. These tools play a significant role in selecting your target keywords. This is important as the right keywords will build the foundation of your SEO campaign. Unfortunately, this can be a costly and tedious process, and not all businesses have the resources to invest in such tools

Luckily, there are several tools that you can use for free. Google Keyword Planner, Moz, Google Search Console, Keyword Tool and Google Analytics are just some of them. These tools will help boost your organic rankings on search engines and instantly improve your marketing.

Refine your list

If you notice an increase in traffic to your site but there is still no improvement in your sales, then you need to refine your keywords. As mentioned earlier, you need to attract the right people in order to reach your end goals. To do that, you’ll need to take a look at your keywords and determine which one delivers the most conversion. Use those keywords in your content and optimize your landing page as well.

Keys to Selecting Highly Effective SEO Keywords

, , ,

3 Ways to Turn Prospects into Paying Customers

3-ways-to-turn-prospects-into-paying-customersIn the B2B world, one of the marketer’s primary goals is to generate new leads. Most businesses have no trouble acquiring leads. The problem is, many of them fail to realize another important component of the sales funnel – lead conversion.

There is no point in generating leads if you can’t convert those leads into customers. After all, that’s how your business thrives and succeeds. Make sure you implement these strategies to prevent prospects from slipping through your fingers.

Quick follow-up

Time is of the essence in the business world. The speed at which your sales team follows up on the lead is important. Make sure that you follow up within 24 hours or all your efforts will be put to waste. Call them or just send a follow up e-mail. Offer to answer any questions that they might have. Sometimes, this is enough to get them into purchase mode.

People lose interest faster than you may think. As such, a quick follow up is recommended. If your sales team aren’t fast enough, they will move on to your competitors. Don’t let them wait.

Herd mentality

People are often influenced by the behavior of the people around them. This includes their buying behavior.

If you want a consumer to buy a particular product, you can use this to your advantage. Let them know how many people have bought your product in the last few weeks. This simple strategy can help boost your sales. If they see other people jumping on the bandwagon, they are likely to do the same.

Qualify leads

Not everyone who visits your site is interested in what you have to offer.  As such, it is important to determine which leads are worth your effort.

Qualifying leads can mean the difference between wasting lots of time and energy and landing a new, juicy business. You want to make sure you’re selling to right people. Check to see if they fit your buyer profile and their activities on your site before passing them off to sales.

, ,

Simple Ways to Generate Leads from Your Blog

Simple Ways to Generate Leads from Your Blogs

Your business’ blog can do a lot of different things. Blogging does more than let your followers know about upcoming events or recent news. Rather, it can help you develop better customer relationships, position your brand as an industry leader and generate leads.

If you’re not happy with the leads you’re getting from your business blog, then we urge you to keep reading. Use these lead generation tactics to drive more traffic and attract more high quality leads to your website.

Pen a killer headline

Make sure your title is interesting enough to capture the attention of your target audience and will compel them to click through and read your blog post.

Go social

Since you own a blog, you probably know how to write a blog post that that will generate leads. Now, your goal is to extend your reach to those people who know little about your business. Consider sharing your blog posts on social media so that people will come, learn something valuable and share them to their family and friends. This will help spread the word about your business.

Build a mobile-friendly site

A huge percentage of visitors use their tablets or mobile phones to access the internet. If they find it hard to read your blog posts or navigate your site through their mobile devices, they’ll leave even before they start reading your posts. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly or you’ll lose visitors.

Be consistent

Publish new content more frequently if you want people to visit your blog regularly. We know you’re busy, so you don’t have to write a blog every day. However, it is important that you keep up with your posting schedule.

Show up regularly and your readership will grow faster. You can’t expect people to return to your blog if you don’t have new content for them to read. Make sure you offer some valuable content to inspire them to keep coming back.

 

, ,

4 Ways to Use Twitter for Business and Marketing

4 Ways to Use Twitter for Business and Marketing

Business of all sizes use Twitter for a variety of reasons – provide information, interact with their followers, promote their products and services, generate leads and monitor conversations about their company.

Maintaining an effective Twitter presence can be a powerful part of your marketing strategy. Despite its growing relevance, a lot of small businesses are still not using Twitter to its full potential.

In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to turn 140 characters into online marketing gold. Read on for some useful tips on how to use this popular social media platform for business and marketing.

Engage in two-way conversations

Twitter is a great platform to reach your audience. As a business owner, your goal for using social media is to build a community around your brand and to foster relationships.

Don’t go overboard with promoting your business. If you do so, people will stop following you. Keep an eye out for particular issues you could help with. Join the conversation and feel free to give some tips and advice.

Retweet

The last thing you want is to bombard people with tweets about your business. It is worthwhile to retweet particular tweets from other users that you find particularly useful or interesting. Sometimes, this encourages people to follow you. Plus, retweeting shows your followers that you’re also willing to share tips and advice, and you’re not just about flogging your products and services.

Customer service

80% of customer service interactions take place in social media. In fact, a lot of people post complaints and product queries on Twitter. Twitter is a great tool for customer service because it allows you to resolve issues in real time. Be sure to respond in a polite and professional manner. Don’t forget to thank the customer publicly once the problem is resolved.

Make twitter a daily activity

Social media marketing success does not happen overnight. You need to spend time posting updates, responding to DMs, thanking new followers, following new accounts, liking and re-tweeting other content and responding to other users.

Because twitter moves so quickly, it is not something you can handle whenever you have the time. Daily postings and engagement is important. Otherwise, people will forget about you.

, ,

3 Ways Social Media Can Help Your Business

3 Ways Social Media Can Help Your Business

As a business owner, you have probably considered using social media to help you get the word out about your business. Building a strong social media presence may take a lot of time and hard work, but the pay off can be incredible.

Social media can be extremely beneficial to companies of all sizes. Here’s how social media can help grow your business.

Reach new audience

Sharing content to thousands of people at once is one of the biggest benefits of social media. But instead of trying to reach everyone, you need to find the right people to engage with. Social media provides the perfect opportunity to help you reach your target audience. Plus, it is one of the fastest and least expensive ways to connect with your audience.

Identify who your target audience is, and then determine which social platforms they spend most of their time in. If you share really interesting and engaging content, you are likely to reach thousands and thousands of people in no time.

Create meaningful relationship with your customers

Social media encourages two-way communication. It’s not enough that you share your knowledge or provide some updates about your products, services and upcoming events; you also want to communicate with your fans and followers.

Social media allows you to communicate with your prospective and current customers. Once you have earned their trust and goodwill, they would be much more willing to recommend your products to their family and friends.

Customer service

Providing stellar customer service is likely already a top priority for your business. Since most customers want immediate response, many of them would post their questions or concerns via social media. If they do, it is important that you respond and address the issue in a timely manner.

If you acquire positive feedbacks, ask the customer if you can share it on your page. People will trust and appreciate you when people say good things about your business.