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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.

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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?

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Creative Ways to Repurpose Content into Something New

Creative Ways to Repurpose Content into Something New

Many of you have probably spent a lot of time creating those high quality blog posts. Despite the effort, most of your blog posts are aging like milk, not wine. Now, no one is interested in them because it has been years since you published them. The good news is that you can make your old content valuable and relevant through the process of re-purposing. The key is to spice up each piece of content and making it a bit different than the last.

Repurposing content can be beneficial for your business. It’s a second chance at content promotion. People who weren’t able to read your post will have a chance to read about it. It also ensures that great content is never forgotten. Ultimately, reformatting your content helps you reach a new audience.

In this blog post, we have listed 3 different ways to repurpose old content. Read on and we’ll breathe new life into your existing content.

Write an ebook

One of the best ways to repurpose old content is by turning it into an ebook. While writing an ebook requires a great deal of effort, they are often considered as high-value pieces. There are dozens of tools that can help you design and publish your ebook. Papyrus, for instance, can help you create a beautiful cover page within a few minutes.

You can either distribute it on the Amazon Kindle Store or as a free giveaway for those who would subscribe to your newsletters.

Create a video  

Online videos continue to grow in popularity with web users. A lot of people prefer watching a one-minute video than to read a 1,000 world blog post. Contents that you have previously published to your site can be a great jumping off point for a larger discussion. This allows you to open up a whole new way to connect with others, especially for your audience who prefers content they don’t have to read. You can post your videos on Youtube or Vimeo for maximum exposure.

Create an infographic

People love visual content. You can repurpose your content as an infographic and then share it on social media. Take boring information like statistics or raw data and turn it into an infographic. This is effective because it provides a fun and creative way to present complex information quickly and clearly.

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Signs You Need to Outsource Your Digital Marketing

Online Marketing

As a founder of a growing company, you may feel that you need to do everything yourself to ensure that it is done right. We understand the buzz of excitement that keeps you going, even when you’re exhausted. We understand the passion you feel for what you do. But sometimes, outsourcing certain parts of your business is the way to go, especially if you have too much on your plate.

Here are some strong indicators that you need to outsource your digital marketing.

You don’t have the right skills

Many of you are probably familiar with social media marketing and search engine optimization. But the question is, do you know how to use them to grow your business? If not, consider getting professional help to harness the power of the internet and grow your business. Yes, you may have to spend money, but hiring an experienced marketer will help maximize the potential and profitability of your business.

You’re overexerted

As a small business owner, you have grown accustomed to doing everything on your own. As your business grows, you try to put in more hours hoping to tackle everything on your to-do list. After a few weeks, you show up to work feeling defeated because you know there is no way you you’ll be able to get all of those tasks done. You’re overexerted. It’s time to find someone who can help you manage your digital marketing.

You get a lot of traffic, but your sales are not increasing

If you’re not witnessing any growth in your sales, it isn’t always due to a poor sales force. In most cases, this is due to ineffective marketing. Maybe you should look into hiring an outside agency to help increase your sales and revenue.

An experienced marketer can help by looking at your current strategy, letting you know what you’re doing wrong and providing some suggestions on how to get your sales back on track.

 

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Social Media Tips for the Holiday Season

BIMSThe holiday season is the busiest shopping time of the year. According to the National Retail Federation, the average American adult usually spends about $810 during the holiday season. Because of that, retailers and brands are fighting for consumer’s attention to drive up their sales.

Incorporate the excitement and spirit of the holidays into your social media campaigns. Here are some tips on how to take advantage of the holidays with the help of social media.

Help your customers get into the holiday spirit

Most people are sprucing up their homes and putting up lights and ornaments around their home. Why don’t you do the same and add some seasonal touches to your website and social media pages? Update your Facebook cover photos, Youtube channels, Google+ images and Twitter backgrounds where possible.

Holiday promotions

While the shopping season usually starts in September, most people don’t start until November. Others would wait until the first week of December before they start shopping. It’s never too late to capture a holiday shopper.

Share holiday promotions with your followers and give them something to look forward to.  Take advantage of social media advertising options such as Twitter sponsored tweets and Facebook offers if you really want to bank on your sale.

Give back to the community

Truly get into the spirit of giving by adding a charitable element to your holiday campaign. Use your platform as a business leader to draw attention to a cause. Get your employees on board and give back to your local community.

Give away prizes

The holiday season is a time for giving. Since people interact with businesses more frequently during the holiday season, this is also the best time to run a contest.

Contests and giveaways are a great way to create buzz around your product. They also help increase social sharing, engagement and fan base. Ask for shares and likes for entries into the contest for a chance to win. The monetary value of the prize is totally up to you, but make sure that you provide them something they will value and appreciate.

 

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How to Use Pinterest to Attract Customers

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With over 70 million users, Pinterest is considered as one of the fastest growing social networking sites. Armed with that information, it is safe to say that Pinterest is just as important as Twitter and Facebook when using social media to reach your target market.

Since Pinterest is all about graphic images, your goal is to create visual images that your customers would enjoy. The more appealing an image is, the more likely it is to generate attention.

So, how can you use Pinterest to attract and engage customers? Here are some tips to get you started.

Build boards around your products

If you own a restaurant, there’s no better way to attract new customers by showing off your dishes. Be sure to create a collection of boards for each of your specialties. After all, food is the main attraction of your restaurant. So, focus on your menu.

Become an information curator

As an online curator, your job is to gather and organize all the best images related to your topic and present them to your virtual audience. When done the right way, people will see you as an industry expert and will eventually consider you as a go-to source for cool images and content.

Add compelling descriptions

If your goal is to capture the attention of customers, you shouldn’t stop at creating visually compelling content. Adding a description is just as important.

Since you’re using SEO to promote your site, why not use it as well to promote your Pinterest page. Use keywords in your titles, tags and pin boards. This is important as it makes it easier for people to find your content.

Engage with other users

The whole point of social networking is socializing. So, engage with customers, strategic partners and industry vendors by tagging them in your descriptions. Another way to interact with other users is to like their pins. This can be a way of telling them that you appreciate their content. Plus, it can help you build a following and convert fans into buyers.

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Tips in Using Video in Social Media

The Internet is filled with content and information. With the surplus of information, it may be difficult to entice people to read your contents or watch your videos, unless they’re actually in need of that information.

In this article, we’ll give you a few tips on how use video content on social media. Read on and get your message across your audience.

Introduce your company to the online community

Since you are on the Internet, it is best to introduce your company to the online community in a fun and creative manner. While fan engagement is encouraged, this does not mean that you have to post cute photos in order to gather likes. Instead, spend enough time to plan your video content and make sure to highlight your company’s strengths.

Capture the attention of your target audience

There is no denying that social media provides great benefits to business owners. However, most business owners find it difficult to capture the attention of their target audience and get them to view these videos.

Please bear in mind that the description that you include with the video actually makes a big difference. When writing a description, make sure to convey the message in a matter of 2-3 sentences.

Most importantly, be sure to grab the attention of the viewer, especially on the first 10-15 seconds. If you fail to do so, then there’s a greater possibility that they won’t finish watching your video and look for something more interesting. Your goal is to convey the message quickly and efficiently.

Video quality

You don’t need to create a video with the same quality as a cinematic trailer. However, please make sure that your video comes with a decent quality. A video taken from a shaky camcorder may not do well.

Meanwhile, an HD video with boring content may not attract as much viewers as well. So, we recommend a combination of both – creative and informative content matched with decent quality.

Length

A study which was conducted in 2011 revealed that viewers are more likely to watch videos ranging from 5 to 8 minutes. Longer videos, on the other hand, tend to turn people away.

 

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It’s Valentine’s Day. Has Your Business Been Showing The Love?

It is February 14th – that means love is in the air. This time of year is about love and generosity. Make sure that that love extends to your online network. Use this Valentine’s Day as a reminder as to the real reason you are on social media in the first place.

When it comes to managing your social media, remember that you are in this for a long-term relationship – not just some fling. Companies and brands are at a point where they are trying to figure out the “keys” to social media. In doing so, tracking metrics has become a measure of success. Although they are important tools, social media is not just all about numbers. It is great to follow users, add friends and get “Liked.” But more than that it is about following through, having meaningful conversations, and building real communities. Make sure that while you are keeping track of data, you are still keeping track of conversation. If your content is not getting reposted, don’t fret. Instead acknowledge the people that did respond. Reply to their comments and continue the conversation by asking another question. The people that comment on your content are users that are actually engaging with your brand – they may be interacting with you for more than just a discount deal or coupon code.

February 14th usually has people evaluating the relationships that are important to them. Use Valentine’s Day as a way to show your users that you care and that they are important to you and your company. Share content that would be helpful to somebody today.  Share a romantic idea, a funny love story, singles inspiration – get creative. Let your followers and social media friends in on the love that is in your company. How did your company start? Probably with a passion or love for your product or service – share that.

Nurture the social media connections you already have. Whether your users are married, in a committed relationship, have a crush or are celebrating love with family and friends – Valentine’s Day will is sure to be on their minds.

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Your LinkedIn Group Guide

LinkedIn is becoming a vital marketing resource for businesses. Make sure that as a small business owner you are taking in all the opportunities LinkedIn has to offer you.

The beauty of LinkedIn is that it is full of resources. You can join groups that are full of professionals in your industry. Then you can use these groups to get product or service feedback, network, and even connect with future business partners or employees. In addition to creating a personal LinkedIn account, you should also establish a company page on LinkedIn for your business.

If you are considering starting a group on LinkedIn, here are some tips that will help you take full advantage of all of LinkedIn’s opportunities as a group leader.

If you choose to begin your own LinkedIn group, you have the option of creating a closed or open group. An open group allows any member to contribute and is visible to the public. A closed group is private and requires a user to be accepted to the group before contributing. When making your choice, consider that an open group will clearly grow faster, but it is also likely the group could be prone to spam.   Alternatively, a closed group will grow more gradually. Yet, the members will be much more targeted. Consider how you want your group to be seen and used when making this decision.

Remember that you started this group, so you must be a part of it. Be active and let your presence be known to your members  – it will help you network rapidly.

As the leader of the group, remember that you can make rules – this is a power that should be taken seriously. If there is an unruly member of the group, you can remove them. On the flip side, if there is a member that is a great contributor to your group, be sure to acknowledge them!

One huge advantage to creating a group is that you can send weekly announcements out to your members! This is an opportunity for you to contact your members directly. Just be careful to fill those messages with useful information – you want to ensure that your followers actually engage with the message (not just overlook it as spam).

There are countless opportunities on LinkedIn that may be of benefit to your company – capitalize on it!

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Don’t Be Dull On Facebook.

Who can make a Facebook page? If you immediately thought “anyone”  you are absolutely right.  This is exactly why as a company it is incredibly important to make your page exciting. Getting those “Likes” does not mean all that much if you do not interact with your fans beyond that. One of the best ways to bring excitement to your page is to use Facebook apps.  Keep in mind that some of the ideas below are complex – they are often developed by a third party and then can be run on Facebook.

Create interactive quizzes. The truth is, as ridiculous as it may seem, people love taking quizzes about themselves. So whatever quiz you decide to create, make sure that the quiz is all about your customers. For example, if you are a frozen yogurt company the quiz could ask, “What frozen yogurt fall treat are you?” The bottom line is to make sure the quizzes ask personal questions. Keep it relevant to your business and all about your fan. To get it started, you could offer discounts to the first 100 people that take the quiz.

Use personal Facebook information to create a story about the user. People love interactive apps like this. Typically, apps such as these use the Facebook user’s photos, name, and hometown to fill in the story gaps. This usually gets a good laugh, which is great because it is likely to be shared. If you are a tax company, use the information to narrate a scary tax scandal

Make your apps about your fans. This option is not as complex as the two above.  Ask fans questions and encourage them to reply. Then, each month your company can highlight the fan that had the best response to your question. If you work for a beauty company, ask a question about the meaning of beauty. Offer a coupon or a free product to the participant with the best or most creative answer.

The Takeaways:

1. Make sure you are staying relevant to your business.

2. Be creative. Surprise your customers.

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