• Are you telling your brand story in social media?

5 Tips on Social Media Marketing

Managing online marketing can be rewarding and provide an increase of financial activity with your business, in addition to increase of communication to your customers and potential customers.

Many statistics have been published about activity of online users. One of the best videos about the potential curve I have found is listed in a previous post:
“Social Media Revolution 2011”

With enhancements in technology, your customers are utilizing the “cloud” through online applications such as Google, eBay, CraigsList, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Applications can be run on a standard computer, smart phone, tablet and the like. With so much access to social information, the last thing you want is to assume your static website is driving business your way. There are many things that need to be done to enhance an active visibility to your customers, but starting with these 5 steps, you will be well on your way to establishing a solid business practice to online marketing.

1. Develop effective SEO

SEO is Search Engine Optimization. Simply put – the things your potential customers type into a search engine to find what they are looking for. These are specific keywords that drive traffic to your website and social pages. Your keywords need to be embedded into the code of your web page so people can find you.

► Come up with a list of 50+ important words that pertain to your business. Type in words you would assume your company should be found under and start there. As you receive contact from new customers, ask them the words they typed in and specifically find out what search engines they used to find you. This will help in developing the right set of words for your code.

► Search out your competitors websites. Determine the words they are using and be sure to include those in your keyword results as well. (View, Source in most browsers works well if the code isn’t hidden from viewers)

2. Find out where your customers play

It doesn’t make sense to develop social profiles on sites that none of your customers use. It also doesn’t make sense for you to create 50+ pages of social sites if you only have the bandwidth to manage a few profiles.

► Pick your top 3 sites – most businesses who market through social media build profiles on Facebook Pages, Twitter and LinkedIn.

► Incorporate a blog into your social efforts to increase visibility and character behind your knowledge

► Ask your customers which sites they frequent and the best way they would like to be communicated with. Some may say they like email, others may frequent Twitter Timeline, LinkedIn or Facebook Status. You will be surprised to find out how many customers read Blog RSS feeds each day on their phones or imported into their Outlook RSS Readers.

► Ask your customers what kind of content they may be interested in receiving. Some may want to hear about promotions as you have them, while others may be interested in reading in industry related articles you recommend, charities you are involved in, events you are attending or educational information about your product or services.

3. Make your brand an extension of your website

It is unappealing and confusing to your audience if your brand doesn’t match the look and feel of your website. Be consistent with use of logos, colors, content and choice of language in your posts.

4. Consistent Content is Key

We teach our clients that it is bad to have too much activity on your social profile, but not having enough is just as challenging. It is better to have an active stream of content than none at all. Think about your audience and tailor your activity to their needs. If you post something every day, that may be too much for your viewers. Try on a few different communication schedules and determine what is best. Here is a schedule that would be good to try on for these specific types of profiles:

LinkedIn – Posting more than once a day can become overwhelming and distracting to your viewers

Twitter – More than 1 post a day is appropriate pending that the same information isn’t shared more than once.

Facebook – consider a rotating schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Tuesday, Thursday. Posting more than 2-3 times a week can be overwhelming for your viewers.

Blog – Once a week to once a month is appropriate communication. Change the topics and provide active information – but be sure not to just “sell” your products and services on each post. Blogs are education and information tools that should be used for that purpose. (include back links and labels in each of your posts to drive traffic to your website & other social pages).

A good rule of thumb – For every 1 “business” post you should have 2-3 non “product” related posts. Examples could be reference to other articles, blogs or videos that explain a topic that you agree with, sharing in events or industry related news.

5. Use Applications and Tools Wisely

There are many applications that can be used on your social profiles to enhance your visitors experience.

There are also wonderful tools of the trade to allow for flexibility in scheduling your content / status posts on a continual basis. For LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, posts can be scheduled in advance via these popular tools. Become familiar with them & choose the one that works best for you.

HootsuiteTweetDeck

Social Media Marketing is fun and rewarding. Be realistic with your goals and don’t sell your self short. It takes time to build a following, maintain activity with your brand and build social relationships with your customers and viewers online. Be creative, have fun and don’t get left behind!

~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 

Hollie Clere, of The Social Media Advisor is a social media manager, trainer and author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+ , Pinterest and the tools to manage them. Click here for her Social Media Links

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Ready . . . Set . . . Google+

In the last few days, Google announced to users that on March 1, 2012, they are “getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that’s a lot shorter and easier to read.” It is good for each google account user to take a look at the privacy changes. If you didn’t get the email from them to your google account – here is the link they provided:
http://www.google.com/policies

So you have taken the plunge, ready to play on Google+. Much like other social sites, Google+ is designed for you to be able to share more information in a easy format. You set up your “Circles” of friends, and you are on your way. Not so fast . . .

You will want to take a look at your privacy settings on your Google+ account. The default settings might not provide much security for you.
This summer when I “tried on” Google+ for the first time, there weren’t many settings to keep privacy secure. I liked that I could select which sections to share information, but I found that I was still getting added to other peoples “Circles” that I didn’t know, and got tagged to photos and posts that I was not aware of. Honestly, having the Google+ account has been fun to play with and explore, but I don’t plan to use it for much – if any – communications with people I know at this time. Things may change down the road, but I feel there are still many things that need to be adjusted and would rather keep up with my friends on Facebook, LinkedIn connections and Twitter contacts than try to take on yet another social “connections” site. This is partially the reason for the inactivity on MySpace. I imagine a lot of you are dealing with the same issues.

So, in case you decide to play in Google+, be sure to modify the settings I have highlighted for you below. Understand your privacy & don’t just let anyone connect to you or your kids – monitor them appropriately.

FIRST – Decide how you want to be connected. Under options, you can modify all of your settings or find links to privacy sections. Look for the wheel at the top right hand side next to your picture:

SECOND – You can select how your notifications, posts , pictures, video and communications are listed on your Google+ profile.

THIRD – Customize “Your circles” by choosing who you want to “share” information with.

FOURTH – Customize your Photo and Video options. I highly recommend you unselect “Show photo geo location information in newly uploaded albums and photos. Your geo location will provide the longitude and latitude for the location the picture was taken. This not only is a violation of privacy, but bascially provides information about frequently places you may go to potential online abusers.

Google also announced you could “Circle” a series of celebs and and teen-friendly brands. This is in effort to promote the social site to teens & young adults.

Again, be aware of what your kids are looking at and monitor the content to ensure they are safe. Here is the link for that if you are interested:

Hollie Clere, The Social Media Advisor is a social media manager, trainer and author in the LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog and social media world. Click here for her Social Media Links

Using Newsletters in Email Marketing

September 15, 2011

Posted in Articles, Business Development/Planning, Sales & Marketing, E-mail Marketing Print By Hollie Clere

If you have a website, maybe a social media presence and the need to reach a large base of vendors, partners and customers, email marketing — and specifically email newsletters — are a great way to nurture those relationships. Sharing company blogs, links to company social media sites, company announcements and surveys are ideal for email distribution plus the cost for newsletter subscription services are low and the reach can be substantial.

So, where do you start?

Content. It all starts with content, including blogs, promotional pricing, links to specific sites and topics that could be of interest to the reader and are relevant to your company’s products/services. Remember to include only original information; do not plagiarize other sources. However, you may be able to secure permission from an author or publisher to use their work.

When developing your own content, think about every word as a driver for a specific goal. For example, if you are promoting a 10-day discount on widgets, you will want to specifically mention the widget, describe the details behind the discount, provide information on why the widget is a “hot” commodity, why the viewer should choose your widget and provide a link for the viewer to get more information about the widget.

It is also a good idea to embed images relative to your topic. Like articles, you need to have permission to use these images, so you should consider using your own photos/charts or subscribe to a stock photo service where you can purchase the rights to use the photos.

Length. The goal of the newsletter is to encourage the viewer to click through to a desired Web page with further information. Here is an example:

DISCOUNT ON SUPER FAST PINK WIDGETS
10% discount on our Super Fast Pink Widgets through October 21, 2011. Click here to receive your discount code.

or

5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD ALWAYS MAINTAIN YOUR WIDGET
It is a good idea to maintain your widget by cleaning the parts monthly. (Insert the URL LINK to the page that talks in more detail about this topic.)


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