Tag Archives: social media and direct sales

Managing your Social Media Accounts

Chances are you have several different social media accounts that you use for your business or for personal reasons.  But remembering to visit all the different websites, not to mention the passwords, can be a cumbersome duty.  Thankfully, there are some programs out there that will help you with this task.

The great thing about these programs is that you login with one ID and password and you have access to your different accounts.  They do require you to provide your username and password to start, and they request your permission to login to authenticate, but then you are set and ready to go.

Nederlands: Gebruikerspagina-icoontje

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hootsuite

This is the program I use to manage my accounts.  It is a web-based program which is great because you can access it from any computer that you may be on.  The free version lets you monitor five different accounts from various social media.  I personally use it to monitor Twitter, Facebook and my Fanpage.  But you can also add LinkedIn, MySpace and RSS feeds.  If you want to link and monitor more than 5 accounts on Hootsuite, you will need to pay for the service.

TweetDeck

I have recently started to use this program as I have more than 5 social media accounts that I monitor.  TweetDeck is a download so you do need to install it on your computer.  I am not sure if there is a way to set it so that you can use it on a second computer with the settings intact.  One benefit I have found to TweetDeck and Facebook is I can set it to view status updates and wall posts only so I do not get the game notifications like I do on Hootsuite.  You can hook up LinkedIn, MySpace and a variety of other social media accounts to this program.

These programs are capable of much more than just having all your social media in one place.  You can set them to watch for certain hashtags or words that are tweeted even if these people aren’t in your friends list.  You can program updates to be sent when you are going to be away or you know you can’t access your computer.  If you poke around in the settings, you can find different statistics about your account and what people are clicking on.

I know that these programs are not the only ones out there but they are the ones I am familiar with. Do you use one of these?  How about a different program?  Would you recommend it to others?

Leveraging Social Media and Other Marketing Mediums

There are more marketing channels available to small companies than ever before. These range from the tried-and-true broadcast channels to more experimental online approaches. The good news for start-ups and small companies is that it is more affordable than ever before to launch a well-calculated marketing campaign with serious potential. The bad news – if there is any – must be that competition is fierce. Actually, that’s an understatement. ‘Cutthroat’ is probably more apt.

Leveraging Technology

Leveraging Technology (Photo credit: giulia.forsythe)

For those hoping to capitalize on new marketing possibilities, we are going to review a few of the major marketing channels that are open to start-ups and small businesses. We’ll start with a section on social marketing and take it from there:

Social Media
This is the big one that everyone is anxious to master at the moment. Social media is free (though you are certainly welcome to pay the piper for more, better targeted exposure). Furthermore, a person can’t help but suspect that – if they play it right – a strong social media presence could completely reinvent their company image. This suspicion isn’t completely unfounded, though it certainly takes a best-case scenario approach to social media marketing.

If you want to get ahead on social media platforms, you either need to hire a guru or become one. Posts on the platform need to be regular and compelling, and meaningful engagement with fans, friends and followers must be the core objective. It’s easy to talk about successful social media strategies in a forum like this, but actually turning those talks into actionable strategy is complicated. In other words: hire an agency to do this for your company.

Broadcast
What started with radio waves gave way to television and, in this age, a string of YouTube-like websites. Broadcast marketing still has a strong (if changing) role to play. Just understand that purchasing advertising time on television – or even on the radio, for that matter – probably costs more than you would have assumed. This isn’t meant to suggest that it’s overpriced or to be avoided. However, do be advised purchasing broadcast time is only worthwhile if you are willing to invest a great deal more in high production values. That’s when you really start getting your money’s worth.

Brick and Mortar
Long before there was social media – or even broadcast television, for that matter – there was good, old-fashioned brick and mortar marketing. Giving away freebies and sending a crier out into the public square never disappeared from common practice; furthermore, it’s had a strong resurgence of late. As people spend more time absorbed in their digital lives – tweeting, texting, surfing, watching and otherwise feeling like a slave to the screen – it has actually become refreshing to be engaged in the real world.

This is where brick and mortar marketing has a strong advantage. When you pass out wrist bands, promotional pens and similar items, you are literally setting yourself apart from the digital competition. The items you distribute possess a ‘realness’ quality that interaction in the digital realm lacks entirely. You’re likely to be surprised how much you can accomplish these days by distributing promotional freebies.

Print
Print ads are rapidly being supplanted by a more ephemeral online equivalent. Of course, newspapers and magazines still sell ad space. The problem is that fewer people are reading print publications in general. This is especially true of those who own tablet computers and e-readers. Of course, those people are still reading news and articles; they’re just doing it from portable screens rather than from pieces of paper. To that end, many companies are taking out digitized ‘print ads’ that are displayed on e-readers and news-reading sites.

Author Bio:

Brianna Flierl is a writer for Dynamic Gift in Australia, one of the country’s most reliable providers of promotional items. By visiting their website, people can browse through their selection of promotional pens and more.

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Tips for Using Social Media for your Business

The world of social media can be used for much more than just talking to friends and keeping up with the latest dating drama in the news. Social media can be used to promote business, and drive traffic to your web site, blog etc.

Social Media Week 2012 SP

Social Media Week 2012 SP (Photo credit: Fora do Eixo)

There are a few tips that I can give about using specific platforms to help with that. Twitter is a great platform to use to let your followers know when sales come up, or when you are offering special discounts. Twitter, like with all social media platforms can take some time to build your following, and online presence. Once you put in the time and effort though to get it built up twitter can become a very powerful tool to let a large number of people know about anything quickly.

Google+ is another great tool that can be used for business purposes. You can actually go into Google+ and set up a page for you business, or company. When your business or company posts anything on that page and it gets 1+ clicked on it can help it show up more in the Google search results pages. You can also set up a small add with images that will show in the side bar of the Google searches when your product is being searched for.

Some of the hardest things to do with social media I have found is to have the patience to keep working on it consistently, even if the results are not immediately apparent. Putting in some consistent time even just a few times a week will really start to add up.

One of the most important things I can stress about gaining followers/likes etc. is to keep it personal. Don’t just go around saying here add this link, like this, click this! That just turns people off as spam. Instead I suggest you get involved in the online world of whatever your product maybe. If you are selling soccer balls then go find some of the best forums and websites where soccer players chat. Spend some time getting to know the community, and build your reputation up. As you begin to build a reputation in that specific niche’ it is much much more likely that others will want to follow your sites. Try not to be pushy, but don’t be scared to venture out into the unknown a bit as you learn. With time, and consistent effort results are sure to come, don’t get discouraged normally big success takes time.

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My name is Ryan Crappa. I am 26 years old, and just got married this last May. I am a marketing student currently attending Snow College in Ephriam, Utah. I love to write, and recently have gotten more into the blogging side of things. I currently do two blogs, and I run a third that a few friends also post on. If you would like to know more about me feel free to check out my blog at http://avsblogz.blogspot.com/ and leave me a message! I will get back to you ASAP.

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Corporate Social Media: 5 Ways To Bolster Your Brand With Social Media

If you are a business owneBranding with Social Mediar or manager and are looking to improve your marketing, then you have undoubtedly been exploring the concept of social media. Social media is the fastest growing communication platform in the world. More people than ever before are using social networking websites to stay in touch with their friends and family, as well as look for the products and services they need. This is what makes social media marketing such an excellent opportunity for any business. Below are five of the most important ways that you can bolster your brand by having a strong presence on social media.

1. Provide Valuable Content

Social media websites are set up in a way that makes sharing links to various types of content extremely easy for their users. Because of this, businesses that are consistently providing valuable, entertaining and useful content to their social media followings are seeing excellent growth in their marketing results. By sharing high quality content across all of your social media accounts that is relevant to your industry, you can establish your brand as an authority in it. This content can either be your own or something created by someone else, properly attributed, of course.  However, some industry professionals argue that you may not want to share your best stuff through these channels.  This is certainly debatable. They suggest, though, that your most sharable stuff should initially be generated on your site—on your blog for example (see section 4), and that the content can then be shared from there.

2. Connect With Leaders

Another one of the greatest ways that social media can improve your branding efforts is that it can allow you to easily connect with social leaders across a wide range of industries and topics. Connections mean everything in the business world, and it could clearly be good for your business to have connections with smart or influential people all over the globe. The possible benefits that could arise from this are virtually endless.

3. Communicate Openly

Social media presents a unique opportunity for you as a business owner or manager, which is that you will be able to communicate with your current and potential customers instantly and publicly at any time. Communication across social media websites is very open and visible, which can be a great way for you to show excellent customer service and really prove to your followers that you care. Brands that communicate honestly and transparently with their followings often see the best results on social media.

4. Start A Blog

By having a blog that is updated regularly, your business can see some great improvements. To start, you will have a steady stream of new content that will be picked up by search engines, which can increase your website visitors and attract targeted customers. In addition to that, this content can be shared through your social media accounts. People can read it, share it and communicate with you about it, which reinforces your brand in their minds.

5. Highlight Your Customers

Shining some light on your most loyal and interesting customers through your social media accounts is one of the best ways for you to cast a positive light on your brand. This will give you a chance to attract new customers while also letting your dedicated followers know that they are appreciated. This can only reflect positively on your brand, and is something that people will often strongly connect to.

These are just a few of the ways in which social media marketing can allow you to bolster your brand and see more success in your business than ever before. You can find the best online marketing company today to get started and learn exactly how to implement these strategies.

Promote Events with Twitter

Twitter has become a powerful tool over the years for businesses. Contacting colleagues, talking to customers, answering questions – it’s all right there at your fingertips.

Twitter

Twitter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One aspect of Twitter that’s sometimes ignored is the ability to promote your events. Sure, you tweet about them from time to time, but they can easily get lost in the hustle and bustle of the daily grind. To really take it to the next step, use the following tips.

Hashtags

Hashtags are keywords tagged with the “#” sign on Twitter. By creating a Hashtag around your event, you make it easy for others to track info, news, and conversations about your event.  Make it something specific yet simple for the best results. #meetinginsanfranciscoforbrainstorming may be detailed but it’s way too long – go for #SFbrainstorm so people have room to add their thoughts.

Twitter Tools

Tweetvite  – Tweetvite allows you to create invitations for events you’re hosting through Twitter. There’s no sign-up-you register with your Twitter account. Tweetvite offers step-by-step instructions on creating your tweetvite, allows for customization of colors and themes, and even allows you to add your own pictures or video. You then publish your invitation, which  makes it live so other people can view it and RSVP. It also can be found in the listing of Tweetups on the site.

TweetMyEvents  – TweetMyEvents is a real-time event sharing platform for Twitter. It allows you to create an event and then tweet it. Events can then be retweeted by viewers to help increase your exposure. TweetMyEvents also has a real-time tracking counter so you can monitor your page and see how many people have retweeted your event. You can also search for events directly on TweetMyEvents.

Event Tools

Eventbrite – Eventbrite allows you to create a customized online event registration page, and includes the ability for professional ticketing and to sell the tickets directly from your website. As far as promoting the event goes, Eventbrite lets you leverage search engines, use email marketing, create custom contact lists, and offers 1-click integration with a variety of social networks including Facebook and Twitter.

Meetup – Meetup allows you to find or create a meetup group around an event. It’s a very simple interface to use and allows you to connect with friends, fans, and followers on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. 

Other Ideas: 

Tweet Your Press Release – One of the easiest ways to get the word out about your event is to tweet the event’s press release using the event hashtag mentioned at the beginning of the post. This way users get the whole idea of the event instead of having to search through old posts to find out where the event is and other details.

TwitPic – Don’t forget to follow up to the event by posting pictures of it using TwitPic. TwitPic is a tool that allows you to take a photo and then upload it directly to Twitter. Anyone following you on Twitter will see your Tweet and then click the link to view the photo.

mickieBy Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases, the online leader in affordable PR distribution since 1998.   Download a free copy of The PR Checklist, a must-read 24-point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts.  Follow eReleases on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Social Media and Search Rankings: Keywords Are Your Friend!

You’re probably aware of how companies go to great lengths to appear on the first page of Google’s search results. High rankings usually mean increased traffic and better sales. Social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn are also great places to be noticed. Keywords — a tried and tested SEO element — are becoming an important part of social networking.

keyword blueprint

keyword blueprint (Photo credit: SocialMediaScience)

Optimizing a website with keywords and phrases helps search engine algorithms rank it. While significant for companies, individuals can also take advantage of keywords when starting a business or looking for a job. Companies have gone the distance to optimizing their websites, even hiring an SEO company to maximize success.

Can a Profile Be Search Optimized?

Major social sites are increasingly being used to find information on companies, for example by HR departments to vet candidates, and to search for experts in different fields. In effect, their search functions are often used in a similar way to larger search engines. As such, you need to decide which words will best optimize your profile.

The individual site can make all the difference in the keywords. On professional networking sites like LinkedIn, industry terms and job positions are better listed in their full form. You may, however, get away with abbreviating words and giving the actual product more priority on Facebook. Study the tone of the site, the competition, and the keywords most associated with your type of company before proceeding.

Is There a Smart Way to Add Keywords?

Most social media sites offer you a chance to write summaries, headlines, and status updates. All are excellent opportunities to include keywords; the ideal word in a headline, for example, will make your profile more visible on the social site and Google at the same time. Any chance you get to provide a description, like with a summary, is an opportunity to steam ahead of the competition.

Photos, a common thread with most social networks, are another focal point for profile optimization. When you write a caption, including keywords can help search algorithms index your profile. Plus, most people cannot resist looking at images and reading their captions, which enables you to hone in on your social media marketing. In addition, don’t forget about the words you place in status updates; getting this right can put you at the top of the search results.

When Keywords Are Not Your Friend

Basically the same rules apply to optimizing a website as a social media profile, as far as keyword stuffing and other questionable SEO tactics are concerned. Use your phrase too many times and in an unnatural way and the rankings will likely suffer. The search engine powers that be will strip your high rankings title, or eliminate your profile from any search queries.

Do your research and don’t jump into things too quickly. A good profile takes time anyway, so you can get a start on things while social media picks up steam as a marketing tool. Begin planning your strategy for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Google+ now and once the competition discovers the benefits, you’ll be ahead of the game.

Byline: Carly is an aspiring writer who currently works for a SEO company. She’s passionate about everything related to marketing, specifically Internet marketing. In her spare time she loves writing about anything and everything. She loves that blogging allows her to share her writing with people all over the world.

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Social Media

There is a good chance that you are using your Facebook or Twitter to promote your business. But is it working for you or do you need to figure out how to use these methods better?   Maybe you haven’t started using them but would like to be but are not sure how to get started.  Here are a variety of posts on different social media platforms.  Most of these were guest posts as I do not know a lot about social media myself but am always trying to learn.   

General

Will Social Media help my Direct Sale Business?

Using Social Media to Promote your Direct Sales Business

Where Social Media Lets You Stand Between Your Business and Customers

Social Media Marketing and Direct Selling: 3 Fast Ways to the Young Consumer’s Heart

 

Facebook

Based on what I see, Facebook is the most used social media platform out there.  If you are not on there and promoting yourself, what is holding you back?

Creating a Facebook Fanpage for Direct Sales

Using Facebook to Promote your Business

Twitter

Twitter can be a little intimidating and has scared of many people but if you use it properly, you can do quite well with it.

Twitter and Direct Sales

Other

There are so many different platforms out there that it can be hard to keep track of them all.  Here are a few other ones out there that people have written about.  Check them out and see if you think they can be helpful for you.

Interesting Pinterest Marketing Campaigns

Why Instagram is Great for Your Business

Using BizBrag to Promote Your BusinessAre there other social media platforms you are interested in learning about?  If so, let me know and I will see what I can do about getting you information.
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Using BizBrag to Promote Your Business

In recent years, many businesses have turned to social media as an easy way to market products and services. Direct sales businesses can benefit greatly from utilizing social media, as they are typically localized businesses that serve a certain niche. However, with the plethora of social networking sites available today, it can be difficult to choose which sites to use; it can also be very time consuming to monitor all of your social sites and hop around to each site updating it on a regular basis. It is also hard for direct sales businesses to rank well in search engines, as they are small local businesses; in the beginning stages of your direct sales business you simply do not have enough internet traction to make an impact on a search.

If you are experiencing these set backs with your direct sales business, you may be able to solve your problems thanks to the unique internet tool BizBrag. BizBrag is currently the only social platform that allows you to extend your content to both search engines and your social networks in order to increase your customer base.

When you begin to use BizBrag, you first create a “Braggit.” A Braggit is a simple, stand alone web page in which you can use text, images, video, etc. to market a specific product or service, job opening, upcoming event, and more. After you create your Braggit, you can publish it, so that it becomes visible on the web. You can also send your Braggit to one, a few, or all of your social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, Pinterest, and more, to extend your business’ social reach.

BizBrag also uses search engine optimization (SEO) to increase the influence of your Braggit and allow it to rank well in search. SEO refers to the process of increasing your website’s visibility on a search engine results page. The higher your page ranks on a results page, the more likely a user is to click on your link and reach your website. Braggits have built-in SEO technology, and are ad-free, localized, and content-rich. Because search engines value content, this allows Braggits to rank well in search engines. Also, Braggits contain “call to action” buttons that can be linked to your website or fan page, and use specific key works that you want to rank for.

As a member of BizBrag, you also have access to our BragForce, a social network of businesses that share each others Braggits in order to reach new potential customers and find interesting content for their pages. As a BragForce member, you can partner up with complimentary businesses or businesses in your area, and work together to increase each other’s social reach by sharing one another’s Braggits. In doing so, your business is exposed to a completely new pool of customers.

Each Braggit also comes with a report card, containing analytical and social data. Analytical data includes number of clicks to your website, traffic sources, and key words. Social data includes the number of likes and tweets your Braggit has gotten, as well as how many members of your BragForce have forwarded your Braggit to their social networks.

By using BizBrag to help market your direct sales business, you will be able to find new customers and utilize social media and SEO to help grow your business. To learn more, you can visit www.BizBrag.com.

Where Social Media Lets You Stand Between Your Business and Customers

It’s no secret at this point anymore: there is nothing more efficient in establishing a B2C relationship than the utilization of social media. Websites like Facebook and Twitter have given businesses of all types the opportunity to better understand their customers and audience like no other. However, despite the fact that these websites have been such an influence in the trade for more than four years now, it seems that many businesses do not understand how to conduct and develop these relationships. All of the tools are there for the taking, yet they don’t all seem to be used.

Just how involved should you be on your Facebook fan page? Well, in short, you shouldn’t be afraid to be as engaged as possible. From my perspective, a 23 year old, I have taken a liking to the smaller businesses on Facebook who are consistently communicating openly with those who “like” them. They aren’t just creating advertisements and letting fans know of deals (thought that is of course important).

You will often see a representative of the business responding directly to comments made by customers on certain matters. This isn’t any secret to what the return can be: this sort of personalization as a fan makes me feel that my thoughts and comments are actually being heard. Is it a little extra work to try to achieve this sort of reach out? Sure – but can you really imagine other equally effective ways?

These are just some points to consider coming from a prospective patron to your business; the kind of conduct I like to see.

1. Media Media Media

So you have a Facebook fan page, and you’ve racked up an ample number of fans who have liked you. They have provided you with some internet influence, so what is a simple way to thank them? Give them a little access to what you’re doing as a business by including plenty of videos and pictures. People love when they are provided with some “exclusive” access to what people at your company are doing.

For instance, as a fan of small craft breweries, I love how generous the marketing teams are with releasing media. Whenever they are preparing to produce a new product, they might snap a few shots of raw material shipments that just came in for the fans to see. Not only does this entice some excitement in the fans, but also provides them with a sense of belong to the company – that they are part of the process.

2. Posting/Comment Involvement

As mentioned earlier, it looks like some businesses don’t quite get what kind of opportunity they get when someone publicly tries to get in touch through social media. When a fan places a post on your wall or comments on something, respond to them! I get kind of bothered when I reach out to companies and they don’t respond. I know there’s a lot happening, but I also know that you saw what I posted (unless you don’t c

heck your pages anymore – which I doubt.)

Simply put: just be more responsive with your fans. Individual reach out is extremely powerful, as this sort of personalization seems to have never taken the lead in customer relations. Sure, phone calls and emails can arguably be applied in the same concept, but through social media – the individual is speaking to the company.

3. Integrate Apps

Apps are what keep the social media wheel turning, and given that there are so many to choose from, it can be a little intimidating in knowing what to use for maximum effectiveness. Facebook allows you to integrate your fanpage with very helpful apps that will expand your information to fans.

– Twitter

You might notice how some Facebook pages have posts from the same person/company’s Twitter. The Twitter app on Facebook will put what whatever you tweeted right on your Facebook page, which in turn expands your news and updates to a wider audience.

– Skype Me

If you’re feeling bold with how you want to connect with your audience, you can put a Skype app right on your Facebook, which allows for open conferencing and discussion with the people who care about what you have to say, as well as showing that you do consider the thoughts of others.

There are plenty of others, and luckily Facebook makes it easy for you you to filter out and see what is most important to you.

4. Instigate the Conversation

Some might say that enacting on a conversation towards a customer is a bit of a precarious move; that you don’t want to get too close to your fans. I say: what’s so wrong with that? Any company that approaches me personally (say, write on my wall; contact me individually) is going to get my attention like no other. Obviously, you’re not going to be reach to everyone, but to those that you do, they will remember it and tell their friends just how focused and personal you are to them.

While these points I have made are not in terms of metrics for generating sales, it is about customer relationship establishment. Of course, this kind of trust that gets put in place when you and your business such a high level of transparency can generate the kinds of relationships that you seek. All in all, don’t be afraid to be more open with the potential patrons. They are already following you in one way, so reward them, and the rewards just might reciprocate just as you were hoping.

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Mike Lamardo is a blogger and marketer based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. Expanding into various subjects, his work can be seen in ZME as a music critic, the Washington Times Communities as a blogger about the business and awareness of craft beer, and as an entertainment writer for DX 3.

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Using Cutting Edge Social Media To Promote Your Direct Sales Business

Infographic on how Social Media are being used...

Image via Wikipedia

Guest post by Sarah Howard

Social media is a new innovation that allows people to connect and interact in a new and exciting way. Businesses are quickly realizing the boundless power of social media and are utilizing it in their business strategies and the way in which they operate. So how can your direct sales business benefit from using social media tools?

Social media tools that direct sales businesses should consider using are:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  •  Google
  • Tumblr

You can use social media to allow clients and customers a chance to preview upcoming projects and products. People enjoy feeling as if they are part of the business rather than just another number, so give them a glimpse into how your company works with photos and slide shows. Direct sales businesses may also want to ask for feedback on sites like Facebook and Twitter before launching new features to gauge public opinion before the debut.

YouTube is a great way to show off your company’s expertise in any areas in which you excel. Don’t just tell the public what you do, show them with videos. This gives your direct sales business a unique opportunity to boost its reputation and brand. Videos are also an excellent way to get people excited about new products since they get to see first hand what they are in store for.

If you’re looking to draw more traffic to your website, sites like Digg and StumbleUpon are just the social media tool you need. Digg and StumbleUpon allow users to share and recommend content with their friends. Look into installing a widget like AddThis or Facebook’s “Like” widget that will automatically link to their site.

If you do decide to use social media tools, make sure that you create an interactive experience rather than one that is one-sided. Engage your audience in conversation, answer their questions and ask them questions in return. Let the public see that you are more than just a company or a name brand, let them see who and what they are supporting and giving their money to. Business owners should also think about adding things like coupons and special online deals for their customers. Doing this can bring in new business and keep regulars satisfied and coming back as they spread the word about your excellent service.

Social media is a powerful tool, one that every business can benefit from. Do a bit of research and see how your particular company can implement your direct sales business on Facebook, Twitter or StumbleUpon, and consider posting videos on YouTube to showcase your products and projects. Put your business out there and start socializing.

Sarah writes on behalf of Team24 a healthcare jobs specialist. Team24 work within locum recruitment and are always on the look out for qualified doctors and nurses nationwide.

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