Knowing Whether Social Media Is Ideal For Your Business

The hype associated with Social Media Marketing (SMM) has been around for several years now. Since it has been on the lips of everyone and companies alike – both large and small – have taken the plunge and launched Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as blogs.

Social media marketing should not be embarked on blindly. Of great importance is getting to know whether social media is right for YOUR particular business.

Regrettably, this is a question that very few business people ask themselves prior to registering for a Twitter account or creating a blog. You must be asking yourself, ‘What is the best way of determining whether my business should employ social media to boost sales?’ The first step should be monitoring what your potential and current customers are saying presently and note which medium they use as their mouthpiece.

Having a Facebook fan page would seem very appropriate, but what if your fan base/followers are on Twitter only? Having a blog may seem like a no-brainer but if none of your clientele (present and potential) read blogs or subscribe to their feeds, it would be futile. You have to know exactly which media will give you maximum results and thus being worth your while.

I agree that collecting complete and accurate statistics for your Social Media Marketing campaign can be somewhat tricky and at the same time, very time consuming. Gurus in social media marketing have come up with a tactic that can help in determining the best way of deciding whether you should employ Social Media Marketing and if so, which media would be ideal for you. Begin pilot programs of various media campaigns and allocate equal time dedication per week. Post blogs, update profiles and statuses, and get to build as many relationships as possible. Keep this going for approximately two months since it is virtually impossible to create a buzz in a day or two.

After establishing your brand, analyze which ones have managed to generate the largest buzz. If more people are visiting and making purchases via your Twitter page or LinkedIn profile maintain them. If for whichever reason blogs aren’t getting you the needed attention, then you need to get to shut them down or dedicate less time and just make an online presence. In brevity, what I mean is that you should focus greatly on marketing outlets that are making you visible in the online fraternity since they are the ideal ones for your line and scope of business.

This is a vital process that allows you to avoid blindly following the social media hype which may end up being a waste of precious time. It allows you to join a social media where most of your customers can be found and allow you to converse with them whenever need be. It is important to be open minded when conducting the feasibility study knowing that NOT every business will require social media in order to be successful.

Happy monitoring 🙂 . Here’s to the future of your business and staying ahead of the game!

Voice Blogging – The Next Logical Step in Blogging

Blogging is undoubtedly the best way to reach out to your audience and create an impact. However, most bloggers detest the enormous amounts of typing that is necessary to maintain a blog. A simple solution to this problem is voice blogging, which means that now you can record and post your blogs onto your blog sites in your own voice, without really having to type. All you require is a voice enabled feature on your computer along with speakers and you are ready to voice blog. More often than not, people are excellent speakers and it is easy for them to share their thoughts orally than in writing and voice blogging is an excellent tool for such people.

There are two basic ways in which you can create voice blogs. Firstly, you record your message onto your computer and then post it onto your blog site. Alternatively, there are several social networking sites, where you call their allotted number to leave your blog message, which is then posted automatically onto your blog.

Voice blogging has its pros and cons, both of which have to be weighed before using this medium for reaching out to your clients. Primarily, this concept is truly easy and anyone who wants to blog can do so easily, even when on the move as all you have to do is call, record and post. Searching voice blogs is easy as they use the voice XML, however, ensure that you mention the exact term that denotes your blog as this makes searching easier.

One of the major disadvantages of this medium is the extensive nature of the content. In other words, there is so much content available on the internet that the probability of search engines finding your content and ranking it high is really difficult. In addition, there is no check on the content that is being uploaded, which increases chances of irrelevancy of content.

Moreover, while recording and posting your blogs cost no money, it could be expensive to call a number to post your blog, especially if you have to call long distance. Lastly, the constant advances in technology ensure that video blogging will soon overtake voice blogging, making the latter redundant in the future.

Irrespective of whether or not this concept picks up momentum and really succeeds, it is important to note that, as of today, this is a great tool to interact with your audience, which you can use even when on the move.

Avoid Being Annoying in Your Facebook Social Media Marketing Campaign

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I am certain that in your Facebook experience, there is a particular page you decided to ‘Like’ which got on your nerves completely; a couple of days into ‘liking’ and you ended up scouring for the ‘Unlike’ button. Having a Facebook Business profile doesn’t mean that you have to bore and nag your fans to get their attention. You need to have brilliant marketing skills to appeal to people on this 300 million plus member website.

Updates are certainly a very innovative way of communicating to your fans provided they are in lieu of communicating relevant and important things to them while still getting your bit of marketing done. Whether you like it or not, you have to practice Facebook Business page etiquette in order to maintain your fan base and avoid annoying any of them.

Updates

Do not abuse updates – it is that simple. It is so annoying logging into Facebook and finding 3 inboxes ALL from “Obama is The Best President Ever” fan page or “I Love Everything by Paco Robanne.” It is prudent to use the status update function for frequent updates and reserving the “Update All” feature only for important things. When it calls for updating all, have a clear trail of thought to ensure that you fit everything you want to communicate into one message.

Provide Worthwhile Information

As much as it may seem remarkable that you ordered pizza for all your employees, your fans would care less. Provide them information that will interest and affect them in one way or the other and make sure it is interesting to maintain interest from start to finish. Avoid throwing in links in every inbox message you sent. Be informative and don’t use the hard marketing technique. Of importance, ensure currency of your information.

Optimize Your Page for Better Usability

There are two major reasons for optimizing your page. Firstly, you need to ensure proper utilization of your page as a business resource and secondly, to improve navigation to certain areas of your site. You should add HTML codes and widgets in your business page to make it more interactive and usable.

Fill Out Your Profile

It is very surprising to have fan pages that lack bio and other relevant info describing the company. The main aim of a fan page is promoting your company. How do you promote a company that is not known? In essence it would take you a maximum of 5 minutes to complete; you owe it to your clients and would-be clients.

Add Content!

Your business page should be filled with content that is up-to-date. Include photos from company dinners, corporate social events etc, uplink videos and any other relevant content that you may have. I really do not need to caution against this but some people never know how far to take a joke. Avoid uploading a photo of yourself having drunk yourself to a stupor at the Christmas party.

Facebook has a lot of juice in it to boost sales volume, all you have to do is harness the resource and use it wisely.

Twitting Your Way to Discovery on the Web

I have to admit that the more I use twitter, the more reason I have to place it as my number one social media site. When Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends was interviewing approximately 17 business owners wishing to know their ideal and most preferred social media sites for marketing, my trail of thought was triggered instantly. Thinking critically about her question, which was:Which social media site would you use, if your goal was to grow a small online business and was allowed only one social media site?’ I realized that Twitter seemed to be the crème de la crème of all networking sites.

If Anita had asked me that question, I would categorize it as one of the no brainer ones that I have been asked in recent years. “Twitter!” would have rolled right off my tongue and I’d have 3 solid reasons supporting my answer. Twitter is a form of acceptable eavesdropping which allows and simplifies the process of joining any conversation. It is among the quickest ways of networking with people in your niche or industry. In addition, it gives a business, individual or company a personality – what they like and dislike.

Here are three reasons why I would choose Twitter as my sole social media marketing tool.

1.) Twitter is about the conversation.

You’re probably thinking that conversations can be held on other social media sites like Facebook and even blogs. The thing is that Twitter conversations are different, so to say. To elucidate on what I mean I will have to use analogies. While blogging, you run the show. It appears like you are on a dais speaking to the crowd and interacting with them via Q & A. Facebook on the other hand allows you one on one interactions with people who have profiles which give you a lot of insight. Now comes Twitter – a huge dinner party where people are having different conversations and you are at liberty of joining any that you please or starting your own which people can join! I’d like to refer to it as ‘conversational freedom’ since you can engage in multiple conversations simultaneously.

2.) Twitter can boost your blog.

It is possible to send a tweet with a link to your latest blog entry. Very many people consider RSS Feeds outdated with the advent of such tweets and prefer tweeting for locating good content. Apart from promoting your blog, Twitter has a plethora of blog topics which you may borrow for ideas or use as your own.

3.) Twitter is networking gold.

The importance of relationships cannot be stressed enough. Anyone wishing to launch a viral campaign, build links or get bloggers reviewing and blogging about their products needs relationships. Pitching is really quite simple even to someone without a journalistic background. All you require is to offer something of value and make an effort towards conjuring a relationship.

Twitter makes pitching easier since users share both personal and business information and as a merchant you can know a lot about your target.

In an ideal world such as this, I wouldn’t suggest using only one social media networking site for marketing your brand but Twitter should be your central social networking repository.

Untold Facts about Social Media Marketing

According to a study conducted by The E-tailing Group (an e-commerce consulting firm) and PowerReviews (an online customer review firm), Twitter and Facebook have undoubtedly seized the highest adoption rate in the realm of social media marketing, while customer reviews hold the highest ranking for a boost in increased customer engagement and sales.

This has caused numerous retailers and businessmen to rev up their social media marketing in the past 6 months by adopting Twitter and Facebook into their strategies. Out of the 117 respondents in the survey, three-quarters of them admitted to have accelerated their commitment and use of social media in the past half year.

The report dubbed “Community and Social Media Study” was released at an opportune time when companies were looking for breakthroughs that might help them shake off the effects of the economic crunch or the recession if you like, by cutting expenses. Social media marketing has been looked at as a very affordable way to promote various companies’ services and products compared to the basic online advertizing.

Considering that Facebook passed the 300 million mark [of registered members] towards the demise of last year, the customer base potential for retailers wishing to get their brand out there is so diverse.

The report goes on to reveal that 5 out of 10 social media tools reviewed in the study have been implemented by over 50% of retailers and brands in the market. It comes as no shock that the Facebook Fan Page tops the list having an 86% adoption rate.

Although the bulk of marketers prefer using Twitter and Facebook to promote their products, there are other equally good social media that can be implemented in marketing strategies. They include blogs and user or consumer reviews which have a 55% adoption rate by marketers and also viral videos which have been implemented by 50%.

“The intricate combination of social and community networking within e-commerce has reached a near-optimum level and thus is a benchmark that we will be monitoring yearly,” remarked the president of e-tailing group, Lauren Freedman. “Customer engagement in businesses has reached a critical mass and their involvement [via social and community media] or lack of, thereof can mark success or failure.”

What Continues Fueling The Already Stepped-up Pace?

It is a known fact that the chief reason of implementing social media marketing is to boost sales volume. Other than that, avid research discovered that there are three other reasons merchants have embraced this mode of marketing.

# 1 – All merchants want to be seen as trendy and current in their online presence – not obsolete using traditional marketing techniques such as promotional emails.

# 2 – Merchants fear that their clientele may ‘abandon ship’ and go to other e-commerce sites that are more socially engaging.

# 3 – Some want to clear their brand products or services especially if they are being degraded or spoken ill of by consumers or malicious competitors already on the social media sites like Twitter.

Freedman, in a statement predicts that the above named motivators which propelled the final wave of social media adoption will continue to do so in years to come.

Source: e-Tailing Group

How to Improve Business through Article Marketing

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Business is always meant to be a success and best profits should be always part in it. This is the reason everyone approach different marketing strategies for this success. A business can be improved easily through article marketing and it is the present trend of today.

INSTRUCTION:

1. Article marketing is the best procedure for any business improvement and through submitting best article on your product and service it can be made possible.

2. Identifying right niche product for this article is always vital in this marketing strategy. This right popular niche product will help in bringing the business to your website through this article.

3. Captivating content with important details about the product in the article is always best drawing factor. This is the reason many business firms hire professional writers for these articles writing.

4. Submitting these articles at best popular article directories along with resource box link is the main marketing strategy here. Always these popular article directories are the place for the prospective customers in search for their interested product or service.

5. This article marketing is always successful in bringing visitors to the website through its article content and resource box. Converting these visitors into sales needs another approach at your website. These conversions can be made possible through product reviews, best sales letter, product pre-sell, etc. from the website.

TIPS & WARNING:

Article marketing is definitely a source for bringing traffic to the website. But, converting them into sales is the important task before to the every business firm.

Getting Free Publicity through Press Releases

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If you own a business then chances are that you want to get as many people to become your customers as you can. Publicity, advertising and marketing strategies are often geared to ensure that information about your company and your products or services reach out to as wide a base as possible. More often than not this requires a lot of investment in terms of money as well as in time, leaving small businesses out of the foray, especially given their lack of monetary support. Under the circumstances, free publicity is something that all of us want for our businesses and the simplest way to ensure you have that is by using press releases.
Press releases are articles or noteworthy points written about your business and the latest happenings in your companies. These are distributed through various channels, thereby ensuring maximum reach for your business. The simplest way to gain free publicity through press releases is by writing one that is rich in content and distribute it to the media. Care should be taken, however, to ensure that your content promises something to the reader, which will make him or her visit your website.

Another simple way to gain free publicity through press releases is to post your press releases on sites like Craigslist, Del.icio.us and Digg. By doing so, you will reach out to more people who visit such sites. Starting your own blog and publishing your press release on your blog is perhaps another way to ensure free publicity. It is interesting to note that starting your own blog does not cost much and therefore it is a perfect way to gain free publicity.

Alternatively, you can attend a trade show or seminar or some event, which is related to your area of business and write a press release on your participation as well as the event or trade show. This will ensure that people interested in your business will read your press release and visit your website. Linking your press release to your website is very important as this will also ensure more traffic to your website.

Irrespective of the method you use to garner attention to your business, it is imperative that you write press releases on issues that are of latest interest and in a manner that attracts the reader to visit your website.

Simple Tips for Writing an Effective Press Release

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Businesses require a powerful marketing strategy to ensure a constant increasing patronage, which will result in increased profitability in the long run. A simple way to ensure increased visibility as well as patronage is by publishing press releases that talk about your company, its products or services, especially the latest news regarding both. However, for any marketing strategy to be effective, it is important to ensure it is done in the right manner. Similarly, with press releases it is essential that you follow certain simple tips, which will ensure that your press release is effective.

Firstly, it is important to ensure that your press release is newsworthy or rather talks about something that will interest the reader. Content of the press release and its language is definitely important but more so is the reason for which you are publishing the press release. In other words, you cannot rehash old information in a press release and expect it to work miracles for you. On the other hand, however, you have to ensure that you have something new and different to offer your reader, who will not only be entranced enough to read it but will want to visit your website and become your customer.

Title of the press release is equally important and should be eye catching, especially if you want to attract attention. It is pertinent to note that internet surfers normally do not waste time taking in the entire contents of any web page, unless they are attracted by the title.

Thirdly, it is important to ensure that your press release is properly structured and follows a certain pattern or style. This will ensure easy readability of your press release, which will in turn ensure that the prospective or existing customer actually reads it and acts upon it. Clear and concise words should be used to convey your intention. Number of words is not important in a press release as against its readability and ability to convey the exact meaning. Using third party opinions and quotes from the management are well known ways to attract the viewer into actually building a relationship with your company.

Formatting and sentence structure are the next most important factors in writing effective press releases. It is important to ensure that there are no grammatical as well as spelling mistakes in the press release, as this will surely act as a put off to most viewers. Well formatted press releases also attract the attention of the reader and keep him or her glued to the page.
Last but not the least, it is essential that you add your contact details at the end of the press release as this will ensure that the viewer is aware of how to contact you, in case he or she is interested.
A press release should include the following details:

Web Site (URL)
Company Name
Contact person
Address
City
State
Country
email id
mobile number

Link Love from Web 2.0 Properties with High Page Rank

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With the increased usage of web 2.0 in ecommerce, all of us are well aware about the advantage of web 2.0 properties in ecommerce and therefore, I shall not dwell on the importance but will deal with another aspect that can actually increase the advantage of web 2.0 properties in online marketing. Authority sites are sites that have been accepted by various search engines as trustworthy sites and are therefore ranked higher than other sites. If you want your website to be ranked higher in the search engine rankings, then the obvious answer is to link your website to any authority site, like Ezine articles, Hubpages, Squidoo lenses and the like. By doing this, you will not only increase your own page rank but will also be counted as one of the trustworthy and true sites by search engines.

Linking with such authority sites is possible by creating content that is rich in the keywords, specific to your area of business. Such keywords are popularly known as tier 2 keywords, which are more specific and ensure more traffic to your website, through its use. Any content that you put on these authority sites should be original and should adhere to the tier 2 keywords that are selected for your website. Having said that it is important to add that while some authority sites accept duplicate content, after giving due credit to the original writer, others require articles that can use the essence of another article but are rewritten in such a way that they seem original.

Having understood the basics of authority sites and the importance of linking the same to your site, it is important to dwell on the impact on your site, on the possibility of such sites being linked to each other. If a Squidoo lens was linked to Weebly or a HubPage was linked to another authority site that carries information related to your chosen tier -2, keyword, then the possible outcome is that your page gets ranked at a higher place, much faster than if it were through a single authority site. The fact that you use such sites and link it back to your own website increases your ranking status. However, if you were to use keyword rich content on many such authority sites and link the same together as well as back link it to your site, then one can only imagine the power of such linkages. This is called the spreading of love amongst the web 2.0 properties, as you are using these properties to further your own business as well as increase the stability of search engine rankings for your keywords.