Category Archives: Internet

Top 5 Reasons Why Social Media Is Good for Business

157According to Wikipedia,”social media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue.” Businesses are using tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube among others to effectively connect and communicate with their customer.

Out of 250 million Facebook users or 175 million Twitter users, or even 100 million LinkedIn users, how many of these consumers are you reaching with one or more of these platforms to grow your business?

In the world of business, using social media is a true game changer, according to a Fox Small Business article, “Social Media: Embrace It or Risk Falling Behind”. It’s a method of reaching your customers and potential customers when, where, and how they like to communicate. Basically, social media is like word of mouth marketing on steroids. It’s more than a phone conversation of one friend or colleague to another, it’s potentially hundreds, thousands or even more “friends” listening, talking, and sharing information. In this article, I will share the top five reasons why social media is good for business.

1. It builds on traditional marketing efforts

When you think of traditional marketing, you may think of television, print, or internet campaigns used to sell a product or service. But, ultimately marketing is focused on what the customer needs and providing those needs. When you integrate social media into your marketing strategy you give your company a turbo charged marketing boost. Social media is one of the most powerful forms of marketing, not only because it is cost effective, but it can produce a ripple effect, reaching your audience faster, with more precision.

2. It can increase your bottom line

Well, maybe not so fast, but having a social media strategy can produce favorable results. Whether you operate a small business or large corporation, building customer loyalty and increasing your bottom line takes time and effort. Having a Facebook page or Twitter account will not result in increased revenue immediately, but it can reduce your sales cycle. If you reach out to your customer (in a strategic manner) with valuable information, answering questions, announcing new product or service offerings, providing discounts, specials, or gifts, or even developing contests or polls, you can increase customer engagement. Building lasting and meaningful relationships with your customer through customer engagement can increase your bottom line. After all, people buy from people they know and trust!

3. Connect with your audience in a meaningful way

Why do people buy the same product or service time and time again? It could be because of relationship, satisfaction, or habit. We are all creatures of habit, we are social creatures, we want to feel a sense of connection and social media provides that for millions of people on a daily basis. With social media you can effectively connect, communicate and create meaningful relationships with your customer. If your customer is on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, for example, why not join the conversation? It’s a cost effective way to learn more about your customer and build meaningful relationships. As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Neither are relationships.

4. Increase brand awareness and visibility

According to an Inc.com article, “Why Social Media Really Is Worth Your Time”, business owners use social media to close sales and create buzz for their businesses. The number of consumers using social media to share, exchange, and discuss ideas is unparalleled. Facebook has 250 million active users, Twitter has 175 million registered users, and LinkedIn has more than 100 million members. These numbers represent opportunities to increase brand awareness and visibility for your business. Having a company presence on one or more of these platforms can definitely get your company noticed!

5. Improve customer communication, retention, and referrals

How do you get repeat business? One of the most effective ways is to know what your customer wants and needs and providing it. When you connect and communicate with your customer using social media, you create opportunities to learn more about what they want and need, simply by asking, sharing, discussing, and listening. If your customer is using social media and they are satisfied with your product or service, they can be your best champions for spreading the good news!

Bottom line

Create a social media strategy that aligns with your business goals and objectives. Listen to online conversations; they provide valuable consumer insight like no other form of market research. Talk with your customers or potential customers online, it can be an effective way to develop meaningful and lasting relationships. Finding the right marketing mix takes time, effort, and commitment, but the results can be deeply rewarding. Are you ready to get started? Give us a call to set up a no obligation consultation today. We want to hear from you.

Connect With Courtesy On LinkedIn

156Have you figured out that the Internet has changed the way we do business and the way we connect with other people? Social media has exploded, and most of us are overwhelmed. Not only do we not know which platform to use, we don’t know how to use each one.

In the beginning of this explosion I tried each one of them as they came along. I felt inadequate if I wasn’t on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google +, Flikr, Tumblr and all the others. If you look up “social media sites” online, the size of the list will take your breath away, just as it did mine. The experts are now telling us to narrow down our list so that we don’t spend every waking moment checking each site. They are also advising us to use two or three sites that make sense for our business. The general consensus seems to be that LinkedIn is the most worthwhile business-oriented social networking service.

It is one thing to identify LinkedIn as a valuable resource. It is another thing to use it correctly and courteously so that it works for you. If we think of LinkedIn as a networking site, then the rules of every day face to face networking should apply.

Here’s what I mean. If you were attending a business networking event, you wouldn’t just walk up to the first person you saw, shove your business card in their face and say, “I’d like to connect with you.” Yet many people do that online. Some days it is hard to keep up with all the cryptic invitations we receive.

What then is the answer to how you connect online? You do the same as you would in person. You approach another person, introduce yourself, mention your business and then ask questions about the other person. Your intention is to have a conversation to see if there is a business fit for the two of you. If you are really savvy, you would find out about the other person ahead of time and would already know if this would be a worthwhile connection.

Do the same online. Do your research before you contact people on LinkedIn. My technology guru, Jerry Gitchel, recommends that you don’t go snooping around on their LinkedIn profiles. People can see that you have been checking them out. Find the website of people you want to connect with and gather your information there. Then when you invite them to join you online, you can tell them who you are, what you know about them and why you think connecting would be of value to you both.

Don’t send that canned invitation that LinkedIn has created intending to simplify your life. It is impersonal and for most people, it is a turn off. If you simply can’t resist taking the easy way out, at least add the person’s name at the beginning. A little tweaking to the invitational statement can make a big difference.

What are some other ways to connect with people whom you don’t know but would like to? Once again it’s back to old-fashioned face to face networking. Have you ever asked someone to make an introduction for you? You can do the same on LinkedIn. Do your research and find someone you are both connected to and ask that person for an introduction. That strategy carries a lot more weight than any other.

Finally how do you handle invitations from people you don’t know or never heard of? You have several options. One is to ignore the invitation or check the box that says you don’t know this person. Another tactic is to reply, thanking the other person for the invitation and asking how this connection would be beneficial to you both. That stops people in their tracks if they were in this to grow their list haphazardly, or it elicits a worthwhile response from them. If you like the answer you receive, at that point you accept the invitation and continue the conversation.

Just as face to face networking is not about how many hands you can shake or how many business cards you can collect, online networking is not about how many people you can list on your profile. It is quality over quantity. The point is to make connections with the appropriate people and to build relationships with them in order to grow your business and theirs. My opinion is that LinkedIn should be called a mutual admiration society.

 

Social Media Strategy For Your Internet Marketing Business

155People are turning to the internet to get information, to connect with others, to earn a living and do business; it is crucial that your social media strategy is in tune with what people need and that it provides for those needs. And the needs that you can effectively fill using your social media while growing your business at the same time are:

1. The need to connect – Although our lives have gotten busier, we still have the need to connect with one another; because we are social animals. In this fast paced world, people no longer connect in the same way they used to and have therefore turned to the internet and to the social media in particular to fill the need for connection. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc….owe their success to that. Also the internet leaves us with the feeling of being in control with who we socialize with and who we connect with. It is a non-threatening way to connect and explore other people’s views and to disconnect with an easy click of the mouse if you do not like the person on the other side. So, as you integrate social media in your marketing strategy, remember that these tools (Facebook, Twitter etc…) are primarily social sites. Socialize with people, talk to them; do not simply pitch your business… do not be one dimensional but let your personality shine.

2. The need for valuable information – People also go on social media to find concise info about various topics.

And those who give the most valuable info generously dominate these sites. On Twitter for example, you have people like Guy Kawasaki and Mashable who are incredible sources of info in their niche market and therefore have an insane number of followers, retweets and twitinfluence. So, as you provide info, be critical about its value and make sure that it is info that can be used and shared so that you can be a valuable member of your online community and your influence will grow accordingly. The success of your social media strategy will directly be reflected in your online business.

3. The need for self-branding – Remember that people do business with those that they feel they know, like & trust. Social media is the tool of choice for self branding. As you present your opportunity to the potential business partners online (through free marketing strategies or through paid strategies), people will do their due diligence and check you out on the web. They will want to know who they are about to partner up with in business and there is no better way to do so than to check out your web-footprint through your social media sites. So as you tweet, Facebook, or video market; remember that you are leaving a legacy that people will use to judge you by. Make it good. Giving value will serve you in the long run.

Exploit the Power of Social Media in Your Job Search

154We hear a lot of buzz about the social media these days, how it has helped us staying updated with everything. Social media has helped people to connect and increase their existing networks and build relationships. And it’s about relationships after all, when it comes to creating new job opportunities. But if you are among those who think making a profile on such social cum professional networking site like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and putting up a decent display photograph is enough to land new job opportunities, go back over! This is probably just the first step towards your goal. You must learn how to efficiently exploit these immensely powerful resources in your interest. Here are some smart and strategic steps to keep in mind while you job search in context of social media.

“Connect” with LinkedIn. LinkedIn is now a potential hub for all employers to dig out the right candidates for them. What you need to do first is, showcase your profile with all key ingredients like work history, achievements and yes, a nice profile picture. Connect with people working in the same industry you would like to work in using your existing contacts or you may use the associated note to personalize your “connect” request.

You can also join related groups on LinkedIn and follow companies you are more inclined to work with than others. LinkedIn helps you to keep updated with all big and small company updates and job opportunities before they might hit the popular job portals. The company LinkedIn page gives a clear insight to many company details and value in the market. You can easily search the hiring manager profile and get an idea of the educational background and other interests. It’s always better to know your “enemy” before the battle.

If not anything, it may help you to find out any commonalities giving you a chance to say “Oh… You too!” and make the hiring manager more interested in you.

“Tweet” your Industry Knowledge. Twitter is another great medium to network with people related to or already working in your industry. The best thing about twitter is, it allows you to connect and follow the industry experts who you do not know personally or not even have any mutual contacts, but just based on common interests. You can make industry-relevant tweets and show your awareness and skills about the industry trends while engage and attract other industry experts by re-tweeting and regular comments. Also, you can network with other job-seekers searching job in the same industry as you.

A company’s twitter profile also gives you an idea of the company’s following and how well-connected it is with the audience. You can always get the best job search advice from experts on regular basis without the need to surf different websites and subscribing emails.

Your tweets may help you reach out a larger number of people and let them know that you are searching a job and ask for references. A twitter tool called “Twellow” searches people’s bios and URLs in their bios and gives you the list of people associated with that specific company by just the company name.

“Like” to Network on Facebook. Facebook is part of our daily life now. It is now a great way to easily connect with friends and people while to reconnect with people in the past. But we often ignore the platform when it comes to job hunt. It is a great networking tool for job search as well. Obviously, people who know you personally will be more inclined to help in your job search and not the ones you know out of common interest. May be not your friend, but may be your friend’s friends can help you landing the right job. For this you must let people know that you are searching a job through status updates and convey your aspirations. Writing “notes” and tagging your friends will help people notice, as “notes” tends to stay longer on any person’s profile than status updates. The more they see, the more they remember you.

“Like” company pages you are interested to work in, to keep abreast of the latest updates and posts. You should comment on the posts and show your knowledge and skills to get noticed. You can also post informative links or write ups on the company page.

Top Rated Social Media Optimization Services to Improve Your Brand Image

153Social Media Optimization (SMO) has become the next important trend in online marketing. When combined with SEO, SMO can do wonders for your business bringing additional traffic, conversion and sales within a short time span. Social Media Optimization services include opening and maintaining an account on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and such other popular social media sites.

Facebook is one of the most popular social networking website today. It has over 1.5 billion active users. Companies are increasingly using this platform to connect and engage with potential customers. Social Media Optimization services companies in India and in other parts of the world work for their clients to create a customized Facebook page and produce compelling content, images, videos, and links to attract more visitors for increasing the fan base and number of followers. Facebook offers the unique opportunity to connect and converse with endless numbers of people in real-time. You will get their response and comments on posts and updates that you make on a timely basis.

Twitter, the micro-blogging website, lets you create 140 characters text for sharing your company’s USPS with the global audience. You can also share relevant page links on this site. There are others like Pinterest which enables individuals and organizations to create pins or upload images with a catchy description for increasing follower base. Video-sharing sites such as YouTube can also help to increase your brand awareness by establishing a direct connection with the target groups. Nowadays, social media is increasingly influencing people’s views and making or breaking a brand’s image in the long run.

SMO services companies plan comprehensive social marketing for enhancing your brand’s exposure on the social media web platforms. Best of companies provide SMO services such as setting up your profile on multiple social networking websites, adding new, appealing content and links on the pages, encouraging comments, likes and shares every day, and monitoring the performance of social media marketing campaigns on a regular basis. Online reputation management is very necessary to maintain a clean, transparent image on the web. Through highly informative and positive content, you can strengthen your brand’s image in almost no time!

Best of SMO companies also spend their time creating ‘out of the box’ content, videos, events, news, articles, etc. to encourage visitors to tag, share and interact with your online content and activities. The firms also ensure your website has icons of popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. for quick redirecting to the pages.

A great way of promoting your business is through free and paid advertisements on social networking websites (Facebook ads) to drive Geo-targeted as well as global target audience. You must choose a company that is well-known for creating custom applications for Facebook, MySpace, etc. Social bookmarking is also an important tactics of social media marketing. Blogging is a very popular form of attracting the attention of your target audience to your site for increasing conversion and sales. Online product reviews and RSS feeds also help to broaden your client base.