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!

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

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.

The Role of Social Media Marketing in India this Yuletide Season

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Nowadays, every one else is utilizing the worldwide web for various reasons which eventually will give them best results, for distinctive purposes. The principle of social media marketing or social level marketing as others may call it, in India is like that of those in other countries’ around the globe. It has definite goals and a lot of driver factors when it comes to improving the entire company, its sales, customer satisfaction, service and public relations.

With India as one of the top ten countries, leading in internet market growing, we are never shocked of how the internet industry has been utilized and how it has flourished over the years and the next decades to come. Businesses in India are now considering the relevance of content in terms of reaching consumer. Not only that, a great chunk of Indians regularly go online, visiting media sites, registering to social networking sites or just making a conversation through blogs, etc.

Definitely, this Christmas season is another reason to celebrate in all the social networking sites. Remember the vast gifts and new stuff out in the market for this time of year? Think of a more effective way and strategy to garner customers. Social media marketing can fulfill your objective whether you are a young entrepreneur venturing on online world for business, a professional who wants the world to know what service you can best give, or just a common blogger who wants to be heard by other people via the high tech way of knowing which is through the powerful internet medium.

The collective group of web properties and its administrators has a growing population of potential consumers’ day after each day. Note that a specific attention should be given especially during this time of the year, when every one else is becoming busier and has full-packed activities. Be comfortable doing businesses online, hassle-free, time saving, and convenient way of doing it.

Nothing beats the comforts of your own place when it comes to shopping; making friends, reading updated news while sipping a cup of coffee in hand, or just becoming a fan of a specific brand. Put it this way, it is like a pestilence that is being spread throughout the nation or globally. It is also more of a viral advertising in an effort of reaching consumers through a company’s web presence.

Narrowing down the role of level marketing as a marketing strategy can be specified into four. First, it needs have its presence. Advertising the brand identity is another one. Plus, it needs to have a viral effect which should be have a relevant and interesting content. Lastly, attracting participative audience and potential customers is the last and a more challenging task when you are engaging yourself in this.

As I have said, India is like the rest of the global countries in terms of social media marketing’s purpose drivers this Yuletide season. No doubt, the aforementioned country is maintaining and striving hard to belong to world’s top ten largest internet market growths.

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Google Wave

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Google Wave is the latest and probably the best available mode of communication over the internet. Though it may seem a little daunting to those who are new to the Wave, understanding the basics will let you experience a truly exhilarating online experience. The main question that most beginners ask is – what is a wave? To answer simply, a wave is a beautiful blend of conversation and document. With the Google wave it is possible to communicate with people as well as work together on documents, photos, presentations etc.

The best part of the Google Wave is that it is simultaneously accessible to multiple users, which means that all parties to a particular conversation can participate at any given moment, work on a document and complete it, while online. Editing and proofing documents can be done together, which essentially means that you need not send emails to your colleagues and wait for them to get back to you, thereby increasing productivity and efficiency.

Using the Google wave, it is possible for you to share photos with your loved ones instantaneously by simply dragging them from the desktop and dropping them in the wave. Additionally, it helps you to maintain a combined online photo album, where anyone can add photos to your album, thereby making it comprehensive.

Google Wave also allows you to maintain a single copy of the schedule; plans and itineraries for any meeting that you wish to organize. It is also possible to use various gadgets like maps etc to add to the event, through the wave. Similarly, holding meetings, taking notes and writing minutes are very easy using the wave, as this allows you to record things in real time as well as playback to check if the sequence of events is correct.

Google wave is an excellent tool for brainstorming together as it helps bring all the people of a particular team together and allows them to add ideas wherever necessary or desirable. Adding images, videos and other links are possible, which will add richness to the brainstorming session. The details so added can then be reviewed and finalized while on the wave itself.

Lastly, the Google Wave is an excellent tool for playing interactive games with your friends and family. The best part of the wave is that you can add a robot, which will help you interact with people from all languages. This robot helps translate whatever is said in another language into a language you understand and that too in real time, which means you need not hesitate from interacting with people speaking different languages.

Simple Tips to Increase Traffic through Effective YouTube Marketing

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With the advent of technology and the extensive use of the World Wide Web, marketing strategies have taken a completely new look, opting to attract people online rather than offline. Various online marketing strategies are being used to attract potential customers, one of which is YouTube marketing, which essentially uses videos to market your product or service. Using videos to market your company has been recognized as a great strategy by many, especially because the visual medium is always more effective. Having said that, it is important to realize that video marketing or YouTube marketing, like any other form of marketing is effective only when used properly and in a manner that you are featured in the top ranks of search engines. There are certain basic features that need to be kept in mind while creating videos for YouTube marketing, which are essential to getting higher ranks on search engines.

Title

This is perhaps the most important aspect that should be kept in mind while creating YouTube videos. Always remember that all your videos should be created keeping in mind the search engines. Using attractive and keyword rich titles will help the search engine access your video and rank it among the top ranking videos in that category. It is important that your chosen title is relevant to the topic in question. For example, if you are creating a video on baking cakes, then the title could be “Simple ways to bake a cake” or “easy tips for baking” etc. Apart from being relevant, the title you use should be powerful and attractive and should catch the attention of the viewer immediately, making him or her want to see the video.

Content

Just as you would in an article, it is important to have good and relevant content in a video. It should contain material that viewers find useful or entertaining. It is essential to remember at this point that viewers normally view videos for entertainment or learning and it is essential that your video caters to those needs. Content used in such videos should be keyword rich so as to attract search engines.

Watermarking with URL

It is essential to note here that most people do not read the description box below the video, preferring to see the video and move on. Under these circumstances, it becomes very essential to watermark your video with your URL, which is extremely useful in cases where another copies your video onto his or her website. In such cases, the embedded URL allows you to direct traffic to your website.

Linking

The idea of using YouTube videos is to generate traffic to your website and in order to ensure people who view your video actually visit your site, it is important to provide a link to your site in the description box. This link should be accessible and should take the viewer directly to your site.

Call to Action

It is important to remember that most video viewers will hop from one video to another and this habit will not increase traffic to your website and will render your video marketing efforts useless. In order to change this routine of a YouTube video viewer, it is important that you have a call to action, where you can ask the viewer to click on the link given in the description box and ensure that traffic is directed to your website.
Rating or getting responses

Lastly, for any marketing strategy to be effective, it is important to communicate with the viewers and elicit responses from them regarding your video as well as company, product or service. It is important to have meaningful interaction with both existing customers as well as prospective ones.

Top Reasons To Invest in Social Media

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Despite tough economic times and tightening financial belts, most businesses and companies continue to invest in social media tools and online resources simply because they offer many benefits.

Social Media is a Great Marketing Channel

Social media offer many benefits that other communication channels cannot offer. It’s a very natural way to increase and direct traffic towards your website where your products or services are promoted. It spontaneously exposes the company brand to huge groups of people around the world. It is quite different from paid advertisement, which can be a risky and expensive proposition.

It Can Easily Increase Leads and Sales

Any social media expert would inform you that there is a real correlation between the financial performance of the company and the engagement of social media tools. Most of the world’s top brands have been able to increase their profits further by using social media tools to their advantage. As the owner of a business, you simply cannot ignore this trend, and should not be lagging behind others in employing the latest marketing tools. Social media is very flexible mode and blends in well with other marketing efforts. It can fit in with any advertising campaign targeted at search engines or websites. Good search engine rankings and traffic combined with social media marketing will surely result in increased leads and sales.

It is a global Phenomenon

Over the past few years, a steady upward trend is observed in the popularity and people’s interest in social media. Research reveals that many members on social media sites plan to either maintain or increase their participation in online communities. Companies benefit by opening communication and interaction channels with potential customers using such social media tools. Social media helps to build awareness of the business by word-of-mouth publicity, spreading customer loyalty, idea generation and often results in improved quality of customer support.

Offers More Control

Social media traffic can very easily be controlled through strategic planning of marketing based on mutual interests whereas search engine traffic cannot be controlled.

High Yielding Results Compared to Low Costs

Social media channels are usually free to sign up and maintain presence on. The only costs you would incur are your time and effort. Other advertising channels require thousands of dollars as investment but social media can do that for free.

A social media expert would have you know that most business owners are unaware of the potential of social media sites. So, investing in social media may be just what your company needs to climb to the next level of success.