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Thursday, 30 May 2013

It’s Time to Jump On the Pinterest Bandwagon

Social media marketing. It’s the marketing of the future. It’s the true sign of human interaction that Google and Bing are missing in their rankings. It’s going to prevail beyond the downfall of SEO.
Like me, you may be critical of these assertions. You may hesitate to drop your traditional optimization strategies for social signals, and that’s just fine. But there’s no denying that Pinterest has been the poster child of social success in the past few years, and there’s no better time than right now to make it a part of your marketing strategy.

You heard a lot about the crazy exponential growth of Pinterest back toward the end of 2011. But what you may not know is that even though it hasn’t been so dramatic, Pinterest is still growing, largely due to their increasing presence on the mobile Web during the second half of last year. People just love to pin it.

Even more interesting is the unique demographic split. Unlike other social networks, such as Tumblr and Instagram, which are primarily made up of a 30-and-under audience, Pinterest is split almost perfectly between the age ranges of 18-29, 30-49, and 50-64, with an audience just above or below 15 percent of the Internet-using population of each. This has led to great results for big department stores or retailers like Starbucks, who are able to “sell without selling” (by reinforcing their brand, and keeping their products at the front of their customers’ minds). And it can lead to great results for your business, too.

Time to Get Started!
If you don’t have a Pinterest account yet, it’s time to make one. You can’t change your username once you’ve signed up, so use your business name or the username you’ve used across other social sites. Setting up your profile is easy, but if you need a refresher, read these Pinterest for business tips.
One of the most important parts of configuring your account is verifying your website. Doing so will give you access to Pinterest’s Web Analytics, powerful free tools for tracking the success of your pins.

When it comes to pinning, you might need to take one of two slightly different approaches, depending on if you already have great product photos on your business site. Read on for the two options:

If You Have Great Product Photos
If you have an eCommerce store with beautiful shots of your products, you’ve already won half the battle. (You’ve really got it made if you sell jewelry, dresses, crafts, wedding garb or accessories, quirky gift objects, or anything related to cooking/baking.) Retailers naturally fit into Pinterest’s image bookmarking model.
Who is your ideal customer? You might have one perfect type of customer, but most likely, you have several. Don’t just think in terms of hard and fast demographics, but instead in terms of personality types. Though Pinterest is still composed of primarily women, communities already exist around a number of hobbies, interests, and personality traits. Are your target customers eco-conscious consumers and animal activists? Are they planning their wedding or homeschooling a child or planting a garden? Are they doing DIY renovations to their home? Do they love to cook? There are a number of target demographics that have huge influence on Pinterest. Find the ones that suit your business and latch on.
If you’ve got great product photos on your site, be sure to add “Pin It” buttons to your eCommerce pages; that way, your visitors can more easily share your content themselves. When doing your own pinning, be sure to strike a balance between repinning others’ images and pinning your own. Obviously this doesn’t mean that you should repin your competitors’ products, but try to find compelling imagery to accompany your own images.

If You’re Lacking Compelling Photos, Don’t Lose Hope
If your business is not hinged on your beautiful product photography, don’t lose hope. Think about your ideal customer, and what they are most likely pinning. You can probably find one or two areas that overlap with your business or service.
You might need to get a little creative about what you pin, but there is still room for your business to contribute original content to Pinterest. Use a free image editing tool like Pinstamatic or Pixlr to create tutorials, industry memes, or quotes/sayings that would appeal to your audience. If you are a little more ambitious, do some research and hire a designer to create an infographic for your blog; infographics do well on Pinterest, and you might even get some links from other sites. You can also pin videos; if you’ve got an industry expert at your disposal, put him on camera and share the knowledge!
Pinterest is a small network compared to Twitter and Facebook, but it is still growing much more quickly than most other networks. Your business has the opportunity to make a big splash there. What other ways are you using Pinterest to promote your business? Share in the comments!


http://www.sitepronews.com/2013/05/06/its-time-to-jump-on-the-pinterest-bandwagon/

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

8 Great Reasons to Start Using Pinterest for Your Small Business

In the past several months, use of the new social media platform ‘Pinterest’ has increased exponentially, especially among young, professional age men and women. While the appeal may not seem obvious to those of us who did not grow up with social media, many small businesses are getting greater reach and building deeper relationships with new prospects and clients.
Here are eight reasons to use Pinterest to market your business and online Web presence now.

1. Consumers searching less, discovering more
There has been a dramatic shift in Internet behavior from pointedly searching for products, services or information to a more free-form method of discovering new things. Discovery allows people browsing the Internet to find not only information, but inspiration. Pinterest is riding the wave of this new phenomenon, stepping in before you perform the Web search on Google. Often, it is even before you have thought of paying for a particular product or service. As such, it is a great way to get exposure for your business by creating quality image-heavy content that people can re-pin on their Pinterest boards. In addition, frequent keyword term searches in Google now result in pinterest page URLs by other companies when optimized for SEO correctly.

2. Little interaction needed to build brand awareness
One of the most pressing concerns for any department managing an online brand is the question of “Do we have the resources (money and labor) to do this right?” Luckily, your involvement with Pinterest can be minimal, and there is extremely low overhead. With a few minutes of regular pinning, categorizing, and tagging a day, there’s little else to worry about. No need to manage commenting or spend a lot of time following and friending others; you simply promote your content in your own time.

3. Connect with your audience visually
Pinterest is almost exclusively a visual medium. It attracts a different type of crowd, as well as behavior, than your standard Weblog. To many people, images and videos have a greater appeal than words, but most information on the Web is rarely delivered through this medium. Think of how many people make their livings as bloggers and podcasters. You can tap into a whole new segment of buyers by building a community around your pinned images. Browsers who are inspired by your account spread the word, giving you more free referrals.

4. Helps connect with people too shy to have their own blog
Many people are simply too shy to have a blog, or don’t care for the work involved of constantly creating content. With Pinterest anyone can have their own online Web presence made up of interesting and inspiring images. People don’t have to actually create their own content, but can express themselves using other found content online. Additionally, this spares you the time and effort of constantly creating fresh content. You can still increase your traffic simply by building relationships with people through unoriginal, re-pinned content.

5. Amplifies original content.
Pinterest is usually best compared to Tumblr, a similar concept, but applied to all forms of Internet content rather than primarily images. The average Tumblr post gets picked up and rerun somewhere else on the Internet nine times. Using Tumblr, it reaches far more people than if it had solely remained on the original content site. It is still too soon to have any definitive metrics from Pinterest, but one would assume the effect will be the same. As your content is re-pinned regularly, your audience grows exponentially.

6. A Re-Pin is the new ReTweet
It is entirely possible to build a community without creating any original content simply by sharing other people’s pins. This is extremely similar to the way Twitter power users were able to build an impressive following by simply retweeting and Tumblr bloggers who have simply reblogged other people’s content.

7. Allows you to find nichesPinterest allows people to express themselves through a blend of their many disparate interests. This allows you to not only find out about new and different market segments, but see the relationship between differing markets and differing segments. You can further divide your content and offerings into particular segments within your market. For example, a garden store might have a pin board for different gardening tools, flowers, vegetables, and other reader-generated needs in the market.

8. Builds authority.
Even if your business doesn’t necessarily lend itself to Pinterest’s model, you can still use the tool to share experiences and expertise on a particular region, industry or relationship. Again you can build different boards to target particular segments and showcase your knowledge areas. For example, a Web strategist might have boards such as “Social Networking Tools,” “Top Pros in the Web Analytics Business,” etc.

http://www.sitepronews.com/2013/03/15/8-great-reasons-to-start-using-pinterest-for-your-small-business/

Friday, 24 May 2013

10 Proven Ways to Go Viral

Although there is a debate as to when the term viral marketing really originated, it did rise in popularity in the mid to late 90′s. Viral marketing works just like a virus. One person reads a marketing message, gets infected by it and passes it onto another person. The better the message, the more it spreads. And the term viral marketing is born! There are many methods and techniques for spreading your viral marketing message. The explosion of social media marketing has brought viral marketing to new heights. But along with social media there are also more traditional ways to spread your marketing virus. Below are ten totally doable ways to launch and propel your viral marketing campaign.

1. Free eBook – eBooks have been a very popular and effective means of viral marketing for quite some time. Compile a free PDF eBook using articles you have written, useful information, resources, etc., and start spreading that virus. Offer the eBook to your visitors for free. Write a message inside encouraging them to give the eBook to their visitors and so on and so on. Submit the eBook to free eBook sites and directories. Add a link to the eBook in your email sigtag. The better the content of the eBook the more the “virus” will spread. If you feel that you cannot write your own eBook, there are a lot of PLR and rebrandable eBooks you could use to achieve the same results.
 
2. Newsletters - If you publish a newsletter, you can use that to increase your viral marketing. Make it easy for people to share it with others. Encourage your subscribers to forward a copy to their friends so they can subscribe. Offer a free gift to the subscribers who can get the most people to subscribe.

3. Articles – Writing and submitting articles can be one of the most powerful viral marketing techniques. This will be most likely happen only if your article is well-written and contains helpful, useful information. Do not try to pass off a long sales pitch as an article. Submit your article to quality sites that allow visitors to reprint the article with your resource box. Add a Send to a Friend link in your resource box. When possible, thank the person for reprinting your article and let them know of any other articles you might have. Compile a list of newsletter publishers who accept article submissions. There are countless ways to spread your quality articles and infect many people.

4. Social Media – Social media has the capabilities of expanding your viral marketing to new heights. Try to regularly participate in at least the top three social sites which are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. A newcomer that is rising in popularity very fast is Pinterest so I would recommend starting with that one as well. When used effectively, these social media sites allow you to spread your virus in ways that were not before possible.

5. Blogging – Blogging is a form of social media marketing and can do wonders for your viral marketing. A quality blog will pull in many readers on a regular basis. Make it easy for your readers to interact with comments and opinions. Update your content consistently and always respond to reader comments for more success.

6. Tell-A-Friend - A free tell-a-friend script is a handy thing to have on your site or blog. It allows people to send your webpage to anyone they think would be interested thus launching your viral marketing. The easier it is for people to share your message the more your virus will spread.

7. Social Media Share Buttons – These highly effective buttons allow your visitors to easily share your blog, site or information with all their social media followers and friends. You can find many options for free that have these buttons for many of the social media sites. The first site to come up for some of these options is ShareThis.

8. Videos – Over two million people watch YouTube videos each day so getting your marketing video visible to this massive audience will pump up your viral marketing. You can also post video clips on your site with a well-spoken marketing message or demonstration. Make it easy for people to pass on your video to their friends and followers.

9. Word-of-Mouth – Word of mouth is one of the oldest forms of viral marketing. It was around long before the internet was ever dreamed of. It is also one of the most effective because people are passing on your message to people they know and their opinion is probably taken with more approval and consideration. It can also be more difficult because it requires people to take a more involved action than clicking a button. Make your customers feel happy and satisfied and they will spread the word (or virus).

10. Email - Email is one of the more traditional online viral marketing methods. How many times have you received emails that have been forwarded to you by people you don’t even know? That is the power of viral. Don’t be afraid to ask people to forward your emails to everyone they know. Sending out emails of value, quality and usefulness just might cause a widespread infection! The power of viral marketing is unlimited but your marketing “virus” needs to be unique, useful, entertaining and powerful. People will not spread something that is not worth spreading. Study marketing tactics of other companies but try to develop your own unique idea or twist of an old idea, that no one else has used before. Develop a new virus for which there is no cure!

http://www.sitepronews.com/2012/08/26/10-proven-ways-to-go-viral/

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Tips to Become Better Integrated in Your Niche Community

The new wave in marketing is clearly social media. However, social media marketing involves more than just creating accounts on every social network. Businesses that are using social media to its full potential are seeing more click-throughs and more conversions. These companies are using social media integration strategies to engage customers, expand their reach and enhance the online reputation of their brand.
Social networks provide platforms where communities can form around specific topics, industries and interests, and your business can become an influence in the conversations revolving around your own brand.

google plusUsing Google+ for Your Business

Google+ is fast becoming a necessary part of any social media marketing plan. With personalized search results, Google+ is one of the best ways to reach your niche community. Take advantage of the following G+ capabilities.
1 Become a member of any Google+ Communities which relate to your industry. You can’t circle an individual until they circle you, so Communities allow you to extend your reach and create business contacts when appropriate. You can also influence conversations amongst consumers about your brand.
2 Google+ Hangouts are an easy way to create content marketing. You can hold panel discussions with experts from your field or Q&A sessions with actual customers about new products and services. Record this video chat session and upload it to YouTube from the same G+ network. One Canadian photographer, Billy Wilson, has had success creating a following on Google+ using Hangouts On Air. He brings together artists, musicians and personalities every week to discuss world issues in a Hangout called, “That Show With Billy Wilson.”
3 Being that Google is already a search engine giant, establishing Google Authorship is the way to place your business at or near the top of search results. This is established simply by linking your G+ profile to your company website or blog and vice versa. Google ranks Google Authorship posts at the top of the results. The link to your post, which will include your profile picture, will stay ahead of any knock-off posts which might have followed your original content.
4 Google+ Events is a great way to promote parties, promotions or sales, and webinars for your business. The invitations sync automatically with Google Calendars, and attendees can share photos of the event directly to its photo album using a mobile app.

facebook_like_buttonDevelop a Community on Facebook

Approaching one billion users, Facebook is obviously a marketing force that can’t be ignored. Zappos, an online shoe sales company, has created a successful Facebook marketing campaign. Their slogan, “Let’s be in a Like-Like Relationship” is a clever invitation to become a fan of their Facebook page. Here are three other ideas which can help you develop a Facebook following.
1 Offer certain “fan-only” content.
2 Start a photo contest such as Fan-of-the-Week where fans can share photos of ways they are using your products.
3 Giveaways encourage fans to invite their friends to like your page.

Integrate Your Platforms

An essential part of any marketing plan is knowing the message you want to share. The delivery of this message should vary with each platform but the message itself must be clearly maintained. Consumers lose interest quickly in businesses that copy and paste content into multiple platforms. However, you can link your accounts and platforms to help spread the word about your brand. For example, Vivint, a home security and automation company, is an active user on Google+, using it as a platform to connect people to their blog and websites. The final three tips for integration are taken from Vivint’s example.
1 Post regularly to a company blog and share the links on social platforms.
2 Use a variety of content for posts including video, articles and photos.
3 Use widgets on your blog and websites to encourage users to share content.
With these tips, you can use Google+ and social media platforms to develop a community. When customers feel a part of your community, they develop trust, which results in more loyalty and referrals for your business.

http://www.onesocialmedia.com/tips-to-become-better-integrated-in-your-niche-community/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tips-to-become-better-integrated-in-your-niche-community

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

10 Things Entrepreneurs Should Be Tweeting About

Apart from creating a vibrant branded Twitter account for your startup, business owners should consider creating their own personal account on Twitter. Fans and followers often want to connect with the person behind the brand.
Giving customers and prospects a glimpse into the entrepreneur's life and mindset can allow them to cultivate a deeper relationship with customers separately from the brand. The goal, of course, is to increase customers' loyalty to the brand.
Here are 10 things every entrepreneur can tweet about, which can allow your clients and prospects to see another side of you:
1. Personal news: Share the big events of your personal life -- vacations, weddings, births -- the type of info you'd share with close friends. It can help keep your followers feeling like they're "in the loop." You're also more likely to make a connection with followers who have experienced something similar.

 
2. Mistakes and lessons: Sharing mistakes and what you learned is a sign of growth, not weakness. Try doing a "What I learned this week" tweet and see how your followers respond.
3. Answers to questions: If someone asks a question on Twitter and you know the answer, share it. This can also be a way to develop a FAQ within your industry, which you can later point them to via a link.

4. Links to articles: They key to sharing articles is to also include your unique opinion. Let others know why you liked or didn't like an article.
Just remember that your opinion paints a public image, which means you should be cautious about which opinions you choose to share -- ideally only those which are congruent with your market. Keep the rest to yourself.
5. Pictures of unusual things you see: If something catches your attention, it's probably going to catch the attention of others, too. So why not share it? This includes visually impressive products, food and architecture.
6. Wisdom from the book you're reading: When you hit a "golden nugget" of wisdom in a book, share it. It not only shows that you're well read, but that you value wisdom. Those are two things that can only help your reputation.
7. Interesting advertising: When a billboard or any other advertising catches your attention, take a picture and tweet it. Everyone can benefit from seeing smart marketing.

8. Fun purchases: Sharing your recent purchases, such as music, video games or sports equipment can stir up comments and conversations from others that have bought similar items and enjoy the same kind of entertainment.
9. Share wisdom from outside the world of business: Quotes from sports heroes, military leaders and artists can teach us about innovation and leadership, which are essential to business success.
10. Your work: The greatest links you can share are links to your personal work, but don't limit that to what you do professionally only. If you have a hobby or passion for something creative, share it.


http://www.entrepreneur.com/blog/224972

Monday, 13 May 2013

How to determine what’s working in your social media campaign

Social Media Plants
Even though social media has been around for a quite a while and is still trending, many digital marketers are struggling with how to measure the ROI of their social media campaign. This question gets asked a lot, even though many large and small organizations have already integrated this communication medium into their traditional marketing efforts.
Naturally, it’s common sense that businesses want to see if their social media campaign is helping them reach their goals. Social media is all about the community which you do your business with, and actually has little to do with “media”. So in truth, if you are measuring your social media campaign, it must focus on and reveal insight about the members of your community and how engagement with them impacts your business. Social media is a medium that works because it allows people to communicate with each other and it’s not about disruptive communication where you don’t have a say.
With social media it is key to continuously evaluate and monitor what people are talking about that is relevant to your company and respond to them appropriately. There are hundreds of tools available that you can use to measure basically everything regarding your social media campaign, but in reality it’s a waste of resources, time, and money if you fail to monitor only selective metrics that matter to you.
There are many metrics you can use to measure your campaign and many of the tools that measure this will have their own metrics, but which actually matters? Find below a couple of metrics that I use as a baseline for all my social media campaigns.
Social media measurement metrics
Engagement: How many comments or replies are generated by the updates and posts that you make? This is a key metric that will reveal the level of interaction that will show you what content works and what doesn’t. Tracking and analysing the responses you receive from your posts, tweets, and status updates will give you a view of which topics are the most effective in engaging with your target market/community. By measuring this, you can adjust your content plan to get the best engagement.
Number of shares: How many shares do your updates and post receive? This metric takes advantage of the fact that each update and post that you make to your community is the start of a conversation or share on another network. It can gain momentum if your content gets shared outside of your direct network.
Reach: What is the size of your network and how many people are you reaching with your updates? Your target audience consists of the people who complete an action or interact directly with your brand. If you combine reach with engagement, it can allow you to prepare magnetic content that has the ability to go viral. If you have a bigger reach, you have the potential that your updates can turn into a snowball and increase your exposure.
Sentiment analysis: What are the emotions expressed by your network in regards to your updates and posts? This metric isn’t always easy to measure and can be hidden by your social media efforts, but there are many tools (like socialmention.com) where you can view how people feel about your business and brand.
It isn’t always easy to measure the success of your social media marketing strategy, but using these metrics as a baseline in your reporting will give you a good indication of what is working and what is not

http://memeburn.com/2013/04/how-to-determine-whats-working-in-your-social-media-campaign/

Friday, 10 May 2013

10 Tips for Using Twitter Like a Pro

It's been seven years since the popular social network was first launched.
In honor of the milestone, we've compiled this list of tips for how entrepreneurs can get the most out of Twitter for their businesses:

1. Ensure your Twitter account reflects your brand.
Believe it or not, some companies don't take full advantage of Twitter for branding purposes. When setting up your account, create a handle that's related to your brand name and use your company logo as your Twitter picture.
 
2. Keep photo size in mind.
When choosing images for your profile, be mindful of the type of image you're selecting and the size it will appear. Profile pictures, for instance, are small: 81 x 81 pixels. Your header image should measure 520 x 260 pixels.
3. Go beyond general, impersonal marketing messages.
Of course you want to use Twitter to spread the word about your products and services. But if that's all you share, and if you share them frequently, you can bore your customers and turn them away. In addition to your marketing, sprinkle in unique, personalized messages that engage consumers one-on-one, as well as links to interesting, useful articles online.
4. Don't ignore customer service.
An increasing number of your customers are most likely taking to Twitter to voice their satisfaction -- and potentially their problems -- with your products and services. Don't ignore these messages. Monitor Twitter for mentions of your brand and respond quickly to any questions or concerns. You might also consider creating a secondary account specifically for customer service.
5. Use hashtags wisely.
You can use hashtags -- a word or series of characters preceded by the # symbol -- to categorize messages and can make it easier for other Twitter users to search for tweets. But remember that you can't control what your followers and others on Twitter will say using hashtags you've created. Some of those comments could be negative or otherwise used in ways you didn't intend.
6. Play nice.
You might be tempted to talk politics on Twitter. Or bash your competition or voice personal opinions about sensitive topics. But if you wouldn't say these things in front of clients, it's probably best to keep them off your branded social media accounts. On Twitter, adopt a tone that reflects your company's image and keep your personal opinions to yourself.
7. Try creating a Twitter contest.
Help spread the word about your products and services for free. When a third party spreads positive comments about your products or services, it gives your company credibility and helps sell your products.
8. Track analytics to develop more effective marketing campaigns.
Although Twitter doesn't really offer an internal analytics program for standard users, tools such as Tweriod and Followerwonk can allow users to track things like the geographic distribution of followers and the hours your followers are most active. Understanding this type of information can help you plan more effective marketing campaign and schedules.
9. Clean up your account.
On Twitter, one of your primary goals should be to interact with followers. Consider unfollowing low-quality accounts including spammers and people who don't follow you back. FriendorFollow is a popular service that makes it easy to see and disconnect from any non-followers.
10. Change your password regularly.
You don't want your branded Twitter account falling into the hands of hackers. Change your passwords frequently, and consider using random numbers, letters and symbols that aren't necessarily related to your brand.


http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226178

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Facebook marketing: 5 effective ways to cater to your mobile audience

Facebook logo
There are 1.08-billion active monthly users on Facebook, which is why your business would be crazy not to have a marketing strategy for this platform. However, many businesses don’t realise that it’s also important to cater to a mobile audience. Currently, there are 680-million monthly active users, and this number is growing. So here are five effective ways to improve your mobile Facebook marketing efforts.

Optimise all website content for mobile users

If you plan on sharing content on Facebook, you should realize a lot of users will click through on a mobile device. So you need to make sure all of your content is mobile optimized. This means you need to have a mobile website that adjusts your content for smaller viewing screens.
According to a 2012 Mongoose Metrics report, only 10 percent of websites are currently optimized for mobile use. This presents a unique opportunity for you to boost traffic. A developer can help you out with mobile optimization, or you can choose an app to turn your website mobile.
It’s also important to note that the number of mobile users is growing, making mobile websites even more important to businesses. According to HubSpot, more smartphones than PCs were sold in 2011, and one in seven searches is performed on mobile devices.
Case in point: Kiddicare.com grows via mobile optimisation
A good case in point would be Kiddicare.com, an online nursery and infant supply company that experienced significant growth thanks to a mobile optimized website. Kiddicare discovered that seven percent of its traffic came from mobile devices, but its website was too difficult to use on a smaller screen. That’s why they decided to optimize, which was a process that took seven weeks from concept to launch. After the optimization, they predicted 20 percent of their revenue came from mobile users in 2012.

Build brand awareness with Facebook business pages

It’s important for every business to have a website, but it’s equally important to have a Facebook business page. This can drive more traffic to your website, which helps acquire more customers. Additionally, people search for local stores and businesses when they are away from home, and Facebook drives some of that traffic through its mobile app.
The mobile business page on Facebook features recent photos, events, and check-ins, so it’s very important to use compelling images that look good in a mobile browser. Plus, as more and more people use the Facebook mobile app to interact with brands, fostering brand awareness is more important than ever. Ergo you need to carefully choose the content you share.
Case in point: Property Minder gains new Facebook fans
Property Minder is a web-service firm that offers services to real estate companies. The company used its Facebook business page to establish credibility in the industry. It worked on brand awareness, and subsequently gained new fans. It also had 584 whitepaper downloads through brand-awareness efforts.

Integrate coupons and promotions into your Facebook posts

Facebook users want to read informative and useful posts. Your business will be “unliked” if you’re too promotional. So the best way to overcome this is by integrating coupons and promotions into your Facebook posts. For instance, you can offer a coupon or run a contest via Facebook’s “Offer, Event+” function. You’ll be advertising, but users will also like the content.
Promotional Facebook posts are also important from a mobile user’s standpoint. Conversion rates are 12 times higher with sponsored ads on Facebook mobile than with the desktop version.
Case in point: BellaSoleill increases sales
BellaSoleill is a Tuscan home d├ęcor retailer which decided to offer a special code on their Facebook business page for 10% off merchandise. This offer increased profits by $10 000, and it helped subscribers grow by 200% in only three weeks. This was all because Facebook users had to like the page to gain access to the promotion.

Create targeted Facebook ads to promote your business

Facebook was originally slow to adopt ads on its mobile platform, but it now nets US$305-million from mobile ads quarterly. These ads look and feel more like natural posts, which means more clicks for your business. Additionally, people using 4G phones can access Facebook feeds as quickly as someone on a laptop or desktop computer.
The Facebook app is the third most downloaded app for mobile phones — it’s only behind Google Maps and YouTube. This means mobile ads on Facebook get a lot of views. You can used sponsored stories to drive more traffic to your business, because these stories have a click-through rate that’s seven times higher than regular posts.
Case in Point: Zappos.com increases annual ROI
Zappos.com claims that Facebook ads drive traffic in the US$10-million range each year. This demonstrates the obvious advantages of using Facebook ads. Plus, these ads can be targeted toward specific demographics, meaning you gain traffic outside your page’s own fan base.

Build a customer list and discover customer interests

From a marketing standpoint, one of Facebook’s biggest advantages lies in creating a huge list of followers with relatively little effort, especially if your business is already has a big name in the mainstream public. Then you can learn about customers by reading their comments and viewing the limited information on their profiles. You can also target potential customers based on their location. If you have a physical location, there’s also a check-in feature for mobile customers to share their patronage with friends.
Case in point: Sugarbush Resort increases subscriber list
Sugarbush Resort had a goal of increasing their email subscriber list and Facebook fans to have more opportunities for targeted marketing. The company ran a sweepstakes on it Facebook business page and gained 3 000 likes in only one month. Additionally, they gained 2 000 email list subscribers. This helped Sugarbush in its mobile marketing efforts, too.
Mobile marketing is a constantly changing animal, but your business is missing out on a lot of traffic if you don’t implement a mobile strategy. Use Facebook in your marketing efforts and you’ll likely see a significant increase in sales and customer loyalty.

http://memeburn.com/2013/03/facebook-marketing-5-effective-ways-to-cater-to-your-mobile-audience/

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Ranking #1 in Google for 110K Exact in 30 Days

Is your social campaign being ignored? Here are 6 ways to draw attention to it

Pay Attention
Most of the social media gurus and experts will tell you that social media is all about setting up monitoring processes for your brand, and to be responsive to the questions and needs of your target market. It’s very rare that they will tell you what to do when you have no audience at all when you start with your campaign.
What do you do if you have no audience and no one is talking about your business or brand at all on the social web? What strategies can you implement to get the ball rolling with your campaign? Do you feel lost? Fear not because there are a couple of things you can do to start sparking the conversation on social media.
1. Get involved
One of the most common reasons anyone struggles with conversation on social media is simply that they are not present. It’s a fact that social media rewards consistent and regular content. If you are not present and consistent on the social web, you are not adding any value to anyone and no one will talk to you. The first step to generate some conversation and buzz around what you do is to be on the social web on a regular basis and to provide value to the people who might be interested in what you do.
2. Start the conversation
Social media is really not just about monitoring the conversation busy happening online. How are you going to become part of the talk? There are thousands of conversations happening every minute on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and the blogosphere that you can become part of. Make a point to regularly add insightful comments and thoughts to these conversations. Jump in and get involved. The more you contribute, the more conversations can be created.
3. Ask questions
A great way to start a conversation online is to start your conversations by sharing interesting topics and asking questions that will encourage discussion. Once your network consists of a couple of followers, it won’t be difficult to get some responses if the questions you ask are on-topic. In many cases, no one is talking because they don’t have anything to talk about. Change your approach and use a conversation starter to get the ball rolling.
4. Content is king, but so is conversation
Another great way to get the conversation going is to create and curate valuable and insightful content that your audience would like to share with their own networks. If these people are your clients, you will most likely have a pretty good idea on what interests them. Create a free digital download such as a whitepaper and ask them to share it with other people who might find it useful. Creating magnetic content is of the best methods to draw people into your campaign and to start a buzz.
5. Create a list of your network
Create a list of your network consisting of people who you would like to talk to on a regular basis. A very easy way to do this is to create a list on Twitter and regularly follow the stream of that list to see what is happening. You can also create a simple spreadsheet with the names and social media profiles of the people you want to engage with on a regular basis. Either way, be sure to make it a point to build relationships with key individuals and influencers online.
6. Reward your network
No matter who you are or what business you are in, I bet you there will be someone who will be willing to talk about you online. When this happens, reward them. A simple thank you goes a long way and can be done directly by acknowledging them on Twitter or Facebook. We are in this social boat together and people value recognition.
By now you most likely know that creating your network and generating conversations plays a key role with social media, but getting the ball rolling can take up quite a lot of effort in the beginning. Be sure to stay consistent with the conversations you are part of on the social web. If you are regularly talking and it has become a part of your daily routine, the rest of the pieces will all fall into place.

http://memeburn.com/2013/04/is-your-social-campaign-being-ignored-here-a-6-ways-to-draw-attention-to-it/

Friday, 3 May 2013

10 big lessons for anyone looking to market themselves on YouTube

YouTube iPad
I was recently fortunate enough to attend two really cool Google events: Engage and YouTube All Stars. Getting the chance to interact with some of the intriguing innovations and latest news to do with Google is pretty cool. Getting the chance to do so with products developed solely to help any business out there succeed on and off-line is even cooler.
Engage was divided into three segments — Pitch Perfect, AdWords Bootcamp and Above & Beyond — meaning that you could tailor your experience according to your interests.
The presentation that stood out for me surrounded building and maintaining client relations, where Google’s Craig Wing made it clear that “when selling your business, you are not just selling your business, but you are in fact also selling yourself”. This is so true! Avinesh Pillay backed this up, saying: “even if you fail the pitch and you do not get the deal, do not fail selling yourself as you as a person will always be remembered”.
Those lessons are applicable to any business but are also clearly ones that the success stories at the YouTube All Stars event had taken to heart.
YouTube All Stars Event

At the event, YouTube showed how the likes of Caspar Lee, Rob Vamplew (Rob The Ranger) and energy expert Martin Lorton, make a substantial monthly income through Google AdSense and how people like acapella singing group The Soil achieved international fame after showcasing their talent on YouTube.
Peter Cilliers is another of these success stories. Cilliers started the channel Six Pack Factory as a way of chronicling his weight loss. It’s since become a serious money spinner for him. In one month, he made R80 000 from Adsense ads alone. He shared some tips and advice when to achieve success while earning revenue through your own channel on YouTube:
1.Take action and get started
Create an account and start uploading videos, no matter what camera or phone you are using. Just start and keep going.
2. Continuity is key
Do not be demotivated after uploading one or two videos with little interaction, sharing or no views at all. Sometimes it can take anywhere from six to 14 months before getting noticed and going viral. Tell people in your video to share, take action or when your next video is due to be uploaded.
3. Have a clear goal for your channel and videos
Before you start make sure every video you upload is towards your main goal for your channel and videos.
4. Be unique and different
If you are competing in a niche where someone else is already established (or not), you have to make sure that what you are presenting or at least the way you are presenting it, is done in a unique and different matter to ensure engagement and growth of your subscribers. Target a really microscopic, detailed, refined niche.
5. Interact with your fans
No matter how big you grow or small you still are, remember to interact with your fans and at the same time listen to them in order to make sure you give them what they want. Reply to comments, ask them questions, give away prizes, feature them in videos or Do Google Hangouts.
6. Customize / brand your channel
From the start you can brand your channel making sure the background is relevant and standing out. Also make sure your avatar is universal stays the same all over each and every social network. When you reach partner status ensure the added features compliment your branding.
7. CTA: Call to action
Ensure you use annotation features of YouTube and visual design and recorded movie effects to bring forth your call to actions. People will then tend to respond, as it is more user-friendly.
8. Never leave your videos open-ended
At the end of your video you can add annotations over nice CTA images to ensure the viewer does not end there but continues to other videos or engages more with your channel.
9. Use annotations
This function gets repeated a lot as there is so much one can do with it. For example, create a video with images which link to all your other videos via annotations over these images that form or look like navigation buttons.
YouTube annotations
10. SEO your videos correctly
Make sure you use the right title, description and tags relevant to your video and its content. Also make sure your custom thumbnail is relevant and attracts attention.

http://memeburn.com/2013/03/10-big-lessons-for-anyone-looking-to-market-themselves-on-youtube/

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Using Twitter for Sales and Marketing

Using Twitter for Sales and Marketing
image credit: theglobepress.com
 
Businesses are discovering that Twitter is a very effective tool for marketing, sales, technical support, and customer support. Your prospects and customers are talking about you and your competitors on Twitter, so you need to be listening to what they say and adapting your Twitter strategy to respond to their conversations. You can also use Twitter to proactively promote your brand, generate leads, promote company events and engage with your customers and prospects in real time.
Here are some ideas for using Twitter as a marketing channel:
Promote your brand by optimizing your Twitter profile.
Be sure to:
Use your logo as your profile picture.
  • Use your brand name as your Twitter handle and your Twitter username.
  • Use your brand name in your Twitter bio, and add a link to a white paper in your bio.
  • Add your website's URL to your profile.
  • Use your brand name as your hashtag and include it in all Tweets.

Generate leads by offering white papers, instructional videos, e-books and product samples if appropriate.
Write a compelling Tweet with a link to the lead generation asset. Always send visitors to a separate landing page with an opt-in form for each asset you Tweeted about. After visitors opt in to receive the asset, follow up with a series of emails that introduce them to your products and to additional white papers, videos and e-books. Track your results so you know which assets are most popular and which Tweets generate the best response. Tweets are like subject lines in your emails, so track your Tweets in a spreadsheet so you know which work best.
Promote webinars, conferences, training classes, and other events sponsored by your company.
Write Tweets that promote the events, and include a link to a landing page where customers can sign up for the events. Again, use a separate landing page for each event and track your results.
Display the Twitter logo prominently on your website and encourage people to follow you on Twitter.
Also add links to your Twitter page in your email footer, on your blogs and in your email newsletters. Constantly ask people to follow you in all your marketing materials.

If appropriate, offer discount codes in your Tweets.
Twitter has also become a very effective sales tool for both B2B and B2C businesses. In B2B sales, Twitter helps you keep your name in front of prospects when you have a long sales cycle. In B2C sales, you can Tweet promotions and coupon codes and create contests to generate sales. Here are some ideas for using Twitter for sales:
Listen!
Monitor your competitors' brand names and hashtags to see what people are saying about them on Twitter. When you see negative Tweets about their products or service, use it as a competitive selling point. Listen for positive and negative comments about your products and services as well. Engage unsatisfied customers or prospects immediately to defuse the situation. The key is to address their concerns quickly so you can turn the negative sentiment into positive sentiment publicly.
Use Twitter Search to find people using your target keywords in their Twitter profiles, hashtags, and Tweets.
They may be dissatisfied with your competitor's product and are looking for a solution to their problem. These people are potential prospects, so you should check out their profiles and follow them. After you follow them, see who they're following and keep following more potential prospects as you find them. Add your prospects to a Twitter list so it's easier for you to monitor and communicate with them.
When you have a prospect in your sales funnel, engage them in conversation publicly on Twitter.
Send them links to new white papers or videos to introduce them to new features in your products.
Hold contests to generate sales.
You could have people Tweet a picture of themselves using your product, with the winner receiving a discount on their next purchase.
Tweet coupon codes.
One of the most popular searches on Twitter Search is for "coupon codes" for specific brands or products.


Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226149#ixzz2R0ACiSRZ

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

10 big lessons for anyone looking to market themselves on YouTube

YouTube iPad
I was recently fortunate enough to attend two really cool Google events: Engage and YouTube All Stars. Getting the chance to interact with some of the intriguing innovations and latest news to do with Google is pretty cool. Getting the chance to do so with products developed solely to help any business out there succeed on and off-line is even cooler.
Engage was divided into three segments — Pitch Perfect, AdWords Bootcamp and Above & Beyond — meaning that you could tailor your experience according to your interests.
The presentation that stood out for me surrounded building and maintaining client relations, where Google’s Craig Wing made it clear that “when selling your business, you are not just selling your business, but you are in fact also selling yourself”. This is so true! Avinesh Pillay backed this up, saying: “even if you fail the pitch and you do not get the deal, do not fail selling yourself as you as a person will always be remembered”.
Those lessons are applicable to any business but are also clearly ones that the success stories at the YouTube All Stars event had taken to heart.
YouTube All Stars Event

At the event, YouTube showed how the likes of Caspar Lee, Rob Vamplew (Rob The Ranger) and energy expert Martin Lorton, make a substantial monthly income through Google AdSense and how people like acapella singing group The Soil achieved international fame after showcasing their talent on YouTube.
Peter Cilliers is another of these success stories. Cilliers started the channel Six Pack Factory as a way of chronicling his weight loss. It’s since become a serious money spinner for him. In one month, he made R80 000 from Adsense ads alone. He shared some tips and advice when to achieve success while earning revenue through your own channel on YouTube:
1.Take action and get started
Create an account and start uploading videos, no matter what camera or phone you are using. Just start and keep going.
2. Continuity is key
Do not be demotivated after uploading one or two videos with little interaction, sharing or no views at all. Sometimes it can take anywhere from six to 14 months before getting noticed and going viral. Tell people in your video to share, take action or when your next video is due to be uploaded.
3. Have a clear goal for your channel and videos
Before you start make sure every video you upload is towards your main goal for your channel and videos.
4. Be unique and different
If you are competing in a niche where someone else is already established (or not), you have to make sure that what you are presenting or at least the way you are presenting it, is done in a unique and different matter to ensure engagement and growth of your subscribers. Target a really microscopic, detailed, refined niche.
5. Interact with your fans
No matter how big you grow or small you still are, remember to interact with your fans and at the same time listen to them in order to make sure you give them what they want. Reply to comments, ask them questions, give away prizes, feature them in videos or Do Google Hangouts.
6. Customize / brand your channel
From the start you can brand your channel making sure the background is relevant and standing out. Also make sure your avatar is universal stays the same all over each and every social network. When you reach partner status ensure the added features compliment your branding.
7. CTA: Call to action
Ensure you use annotation features of YouTube and visual design and recorded movie effects to bring forth your call to actions. People will then tend to respond, as it is more user-friendly.
8. Never leave your videos open-ended
At the end of your video you can add annotations over nice CTA images to ensure the viewer does not end there but continues to other videos or engages more with your channel.
9. Use annotations
This function gets repeated a lot as there is so much one can do with it. For example, create a video with images which link to all your other videos via annotations over these images that form or look like navigation buttons.
YouTube annotations
10. SEO your videos correctly
Make sure you use the right title, description and tags relevant to your video and its content. Also make sure your custom thumbnail is relevant and attracts attention.

http://memeburn.com/2013/03/10-big-lessons-for-anyone-looking-to-market-themselves-on-youtube/