Facebook has a network effect, with each user that joins, it becomes more valuable. People expect that Facebook will keep its users engaged for a while to come, which adds even more value when a business integrates with Facebook. Before, you could comment and like a page on Facebook – but now you can take a post from your Facebook page and embed it into your website so people can like and comment directly on the blog. [Read more…]
The following infographic is brought to you by University of Florida Online Masters in Social Media. You CAN make a career out of social media!
In our ever technologically advancing world, Google Local reviews are gaining importance in a variety of ways. For the younger generations, and those tech savvy older folks, online reviews are almost as trusted as word of mouth.
All webmasters worth their salt understand the value of good, solid SEO to rocket their sites to the top of the SERPS (search engine results page), and we all know the value of attaining a coveted top spot for a valuable search term.
However, while most of us spend our days building backlinks, tweaking metadata, and creating keyword rich content to appease the gods of Google, the truly successful among us will always be looking for new and untapped sources of traffic beyond the search engines.
So how can you join them? How can you move beyond the bounds of SEO to attract visitors to your site using new, exciting, and productive methods? Well, here are just a few ideas to get you started.
If one thing is certain it’s that the Internet is here to stay, and any business that fails to understand the importance of a solid online presence is sure to fall behind. While most of us have come to understand that a business needs a well-designed website as a bare minimum, relatively few seem to understand the true marketing potential of a strong presence in social media.
Times are changing. Customers now expect to be able to speak directly with the businesses they deal with. They expect a conversation, and they often prefer not to deal with businesses that don’t listen and respond. Social media is key, and yet all too many businesses farm out the job of presenting their public face to social media consultants who simply don’t know what they’re doing.
So how can you avoid this? What questions do you need to ask your prospective consultant to figure out if they have what it takes to create your social presence? Well, here are ten questions that will help you sort the wheat from the chaff.
Over the past couple of years, social media sites have evolved greatly. Many business owners have started to use social media networking given its huge marketing potential. Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+ are only a few of the most popular social media platforms. Here are some social media predictions for 2013:
Acting as a virtual pin board, Pinterest is a social media site that allows users to visually curate and share images and videos of the things they like in a unique and engaging way. Members can create boards on a variety of topics that interest them, pinning relevant content to form online collections of themed collages. Individuals often use their boards for a variety of purposes such as planning and inspiration.
There’s little doubt that LinkedIn is the most important social network for professionals looking to network, grow their business, and connect with new and existing clients. However, of the 187 million users who were registered with the site as of November 2012, only a small fraction truly optimize their profiles to make it easy for potential clients to find and contact them.
If you’re one of the millions of people who are missing out on all LinkedIn has to offer, here are just a few best practices for setting up your LinkedIn profile in a way that not only makes you much more discoverable, but also makes you look like a professional any client would want to work with.
Over the last 12 months, the world of social networking has been turned on its head by the incredible success of Pinterest, the world’s first purely image-based social site.
Nobody expected Pinterest to become so huge so fast. Why would they? On the face of it there isn’t much to the site, but beneath the surface, the reason for the success is clear: it’s all about inspiration.
Over the last few years we’ve seen case after case of social media gone wrong, and it seems as if every day an employee goes off the wall and posts something online that harms the reputation of their employer.
You don’t have to search for long on YouTube before finding videos of fast food employees brazenly breaking health code violations at work. The problem of social media foul-ups goes far beyond the occasional viral video, however.
In this connected age you can expect every one of your employees to have some kind of online presence, and without some sort of code of conduct in place, your business could bleed to death by a thousand electronic paper cuts as those employees alienate customers, complain about working conditions and, yes, occasionally post something so irresponsible that it becomes a deeply embarrassing viral phenomenon.
Why a Corporate Social Media Policy Can Help
Over the last few years we’ve seen a sea of change in the way search engines (primarily Google) rank websites. Until recently, the most effective technique for ranking on page one for any given term was simple brute force: use your primary keyword regularly throughout your content, and build as many links as possible back to your site using that keyword as the anchor text.
As you’d expect, this technique was open to all sorts of manipulation. Those with enough money could simply buy links, and while the algorithms used by the search engines weren’t quite simple enough to be fooled every time, it was common to see poor quality sites at the top of the SERPS (search engine result pages).
Brands are using social networks. It’s the 21st century of marketing. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are overflowing with brands desperate to connect with their customers. It can often become a little overwhelming.
There’s one social network, though, that seems tailor-made for promoting businesses: Instagram. Like Pinterest, Instagram is an image-based network that has ballooned in popularity in the last year, and like Pinterest, its users are devoted and enthusiastic to a degree unmatched in almost any other social network.
So how should you go about playing a part on the Instagram network? How can you make it work for your brand, increasing awareness and building your image to the next level? It’s simple. Here’s a brief guide to teach you how to use Instagram for business:
Like a frog in slowly warming water, we’ve often failed to notice the immense changes in the way we’ve used the Internet over the years, and just how quickly sites like Facebook and Twitter have worked their way to the center of our lives.
Now that almost all of us (taking ‘all of us’ to mean those of us in the western world with easy access to the Internet) use Facebook on a regular basis, it’s easy to imagine that we always have. It’s easy to forget that there was a time before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and similar networks.
Those of us who’ve been online since the early days have watched the Internet turn into something of a monster. Back in the early days if we wanted to catch up with a friend, relative or colleague we’d fire off an email and eagerly await a reply. It may have taken a few days before we received a response, but it worked after awhile.
The name Pheed may be less than inspiring, but the concept behind this new social media site is a little more intriguing, especially to those of us bored with Facebook and unimpressed by Twitter. I’m not saying I am, per se, but some of you might be!
While most other sites look at a single idea and a niche, such as 140 character messages or photos on Instagram, Pheed attempts to bring together the most appealing elements of each for one big, comprehensive package.
Essentially, the Pheed social network is one massive ‘pheed’ of information containing trending topics, an alternative version of the Timeline, photos, and other data with a couple of extra twists thrown in to add some identity. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of this new social network:
Foursquare is a location-based social media tool that has become increasingly popular among portable device users. This mobile site helps users find their friends, find companies or businesses using GPS hardware, search for tips on various business locations, etc.
Foursquare has become an increasingly useful social media tool for businesses/individuals looking to benefit from a social media strategy. People like to compete and social media is revolutionizing the way businesses/brands/people do that. Below are six reasons businesses should use Foursquare as a social media tool:
Fancy is a new social network that is similar to the rapidly growing Pinterest. It relatively new, and is only a fraction of the size of Pinterest, which in itself is not too old either. Pinterest is a social gathering site where users post pictures of their favorite merchandise. These pictures lead to comments by other viewers, and work their way up the image laden pages of Pinterest. The more they are liked by other users, the more quickly they move up the site.
Just about anything goes, so it has become a hip spot for “fanciers” to show off moods and expressions through things that they enjoy. Currently, 60% of the users on Fancy are men. Interesting, huh?
If you’ve never written a blog post and are interested in starting, here’s a quick “how to”:
LinkedIn is a professional network, “linking” people with businesses, friends, and colleagues. Many people use this social platform for professional recommendations, to build an online network of support and connections, as well as to research companies and influential people in various organizations.
Although I’m guilty of not doing more to promote my own business on LinkedIn (fortunately I’m staying very busy helping my clients promote theirs), I do know a few tricks of the trade. Here’s my advice to you:
Pinterest is a marketing tool for getting a brand’s images to the public. It has been a driving force to a dramatic increase in sales for many online retailers because people are gaining instant visual access to what friends and celebrities pin. Marketing is never as strong as when it occurs in this natural and organic way – through word of mouth and people you trust.
But there are definitely ways you can do it incorrectly and screw up your chances of getting new customers. I’ve talked about how you can use Pinterest as a solid social media tool for your brand in previous blog posts. This post will mainly focus on what not to do:
I’m so thrilled by the success that one of my clients has achieved recently. Stephanie O., a Denver fashion designer, has received a lot of media attention in the last several months due to the social media efforts we have put forth. Her Twitter and Facebook following is growing at a rapid rate, she’s gaining more and more Pinterest followers each day, and she’s been mentioned with high accolades on several media platforms.
There are various ways to create content for your social media campaign, but my go-to is always the social media calendar. I like to create an editorial calendar for each of my clients. If you’re managing your own online marketing, than creating a calendar should be simple. You just have to sit down and do it! Here are a few tips that will help you get started:
It is tragic what the fires have done (and are still doing) to Colorado. Yes, nature has its way of doing things and it might be the natural order, but they have devastated so much in the last month.
People have lost their childhood homes, animals have been displaced, and as a result of the chaos vandalism has ensued in some areas. My thoughts are with the crews battling the fire and those who’ve been affected by it…in the deepest way.
Only my closest friends and family know about my dive into the realm of social media, so I thought I’d share a little bit about how I got into it with some of my peers, colleagues, and potential clients.
Have you ever had the opportunity to guest blog? It’s pretty exciting! If you’re a blogger, it’s a sign that you’re really making strides in the blogging world. I ghost blog for a client (whose identity will remain confidential), and I was recently asked by a competitor of my client’s to write a blog post.
It felt really good, being recognized in that way. Anyway, I realized after the fact that I probably should have done a few things to promote the guest blog better on my client’s site. But, he didn’t mind, and it’s all a learning curve anyway, right?! I was just happy that my skills as a writer were recognized and desired.
Anyway, here’s what I learned. These are the things you should do as a guest blogger, tips gathered from Matt Ragland (@mattragland for you Tweeps):
Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media networks around, so it makes sense to use it if it’s remotely applicable to your business. If your company connects visually with consumers or clients (e.g. fashion designers, photographers, artists, retailer, restaurants, etc.), having an active presence on Pinterest could do wonders for your bottom line. Pinterest has helped many online retailers considerably since its debut; start thinking about how it can potentially help your business.
To be successful on this network, there are best practices to follow (e.g. repinning, commenting, liking, etc.), but it’s also very important to grow the number of people following you. The more followers you have, the more exposed and viral your content could become.
Pinterest is still comprised of mostly female pinners, but the number of males has grown significantly since its inception. And no, they’re not all gay.
The following four tips will help you gain more followers on Pinterest:
If you’re not on Twitter, you’re seriously doing your company a disservice. It doesn’t matter what kind of company you work for or own, you should be actively on Twitter to further the company’s interests.
Once you sign up for an account, it’s time to build followers. It’s easy to build them online, but what else can you do to build them outside of the Twittersphere?
The following 5 tips will help you gain more followers than you ever imagined:
Likes aren’t the end all, but they are crucial in gaining access to news feeds. Meaning, if someone has liked your page, they (in most cases) will see your posts. I say most cases because a lot of what people see is based on Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, which you can read more about here.
Back to the “like”. I’m here to help you get it. Here are 5 ways to do so:
Twitter can definitely help propel your business forward; however, tweeting occasionally to get followers and getting your message out isn’t always enough.
You have to understand your target audience: what they like, value, and enjoy seeing in their Twitter feed.
Make no mistake about it, if you tweet just for the sake of tweeting (without having much of a purpose), you can alienate your followers to the point of unfollowing you.
This is somewhat of a tangent, but an important side note: I have a fairly low tolerance for annoying Twitter behavior.If someone is tweeting more than once an hour (and has nothing smart to say), I will un-follow them. If they send me an automatic Direct Message (DM) after I follow them, I will un-follow them. If they don’t have a bio, I won’t follow them. Simple as that.
With that said, here’s what I think you should do to gain followers and keep them engaged:
Pinterest is the hot new social media network. And while you might be thinking that you’ll rip out your hair if you have to manage one more online networking platform, seriously consider this one before turn your back.
There’s a reason why this one’s so popular. It has helped retailers, among other businesses, launch products in the most innovative and creative ways. If used correctly, it can be an awesome marketing tool. It can propel your business forward in ways you never imagined.
If it does nothing else for you, you’re sure to get some killer style, recipes, and home decor ideas. You might also pick up a new addiction.
Here are 5 ways you can market your brand using Pinterest:
We all know how crucial social media is to get ahead in today’s market. Many of us also know how overwhelming and time-consuming it can be.
There’s a reason why a lot of small businesses haven’t jumped on the bandwagon. They may feel as though they don’t have enough resources to dedicate to social media efforts; or perhaps they just don’t know where to begin.
The truth of the matter is that yes, it can be a challenge to give the public an accurate portrayal of your brand.
But if you learn how to do it, and do it right, you’ll gain advocates and evangelists who will start doing the work for you (so to speak). Here are 10 rules of engagement to get your started:
I’ve met so many small business owners who are overwhelmed by the demands of social media. We live in an age where we must constantly be aware of what people are saying about our business because we can’t afford one negative comment going viral.
And when we have a positive comment, we want to do whatever we can to build the momentum and help it go viral. Let’s start with Facebook.
Pinterest is now the third most popular social media network. Are you surprised? I’m not. It’s helping retailers (especially e-commerce ones), growing among the male population, and extremely addicting.
For some businesses, it’s the leading referring traffic source. If your organization is one that benefits from displaying images, then you should definitely consider this network.
Here are a few strategies for launching your brand on Pinterest:
More and more brands are using social media to promote and grow their business. Small businesses that don’t have an advertising budget can easily hop on the online networks to give away valuable goods that require little out-of-pocket cost for them.
So, how can you go one step further to acquire more customers? Simply put, you need to be socially active all the time. Here are 5 ways:
I guess it’s fairly clear by all of my previous posts how much I value Twitter. You’d think I was an addict, monitoring my stream all the time.
I normally spend about 20 minutes a day tweeting, retweeting, replying to tweets, following new people, etc.
I spend about the same amount of time for each of my clients, unless they’re paying for additional monitor time. So I swear, I’m not obsessed.
Don’t get me wrong, Yelp is great in that it obviously helps users search and find service-based businesses that meet their standard of quality. I check it all the time. So, what seems to be the problem?
I have interacted with so many interesting and engaging people since opening my Twitter account.
I typically don’t follow everyone who follows me. If you take a look at my “Following” list, you’ll notice that it’s inundated with social media people, Boulder people, and Boulder/Denver restaurants. A girl’s gotta eat!
I decided to do a cost-benefit analysis on Groupon and other deal sites like LivingSocial and Google Offers. I wanted to determine how beneficial or detrimental these discounted venues would be for local businesses.
Companies used to spend tons of money on print advertising-snail mail campaigns, coupons, ad spots in mainstream media, etc. And now? The practice of paying for print advertising is becoming obsolete. It kind of makes sense-we’re not using paper like we used to, so why would it be logical to pay for print ads?
SOPA (Stop Online Privacy Act) is a pain in the butt. PIPA (Protect IP Act), its partner in crime, is no better. That’s why we need to stop it TODAY, or we set ourselves back almost 20 years.