1. Get on Facebook
2. Establish a business account if you don’t have one
3. Create a 200pix wide x 600pix high image for Facebook
4. Add Facebook links to every page of your website
5. Fill out your entire Facebook profile
6. Obtain a Facebook vanity URL to help customers find you
7. Add your vanity URL to your email signature
8. Add your vanity URL to your marketing materials
9. Post daily updates to Facebook regarding your business
10. Answer any customer questions on Facebook, whether they originate from Twitter or an email. It will help foster conversation.
11. Send an email or newsletter to all clients/contacts letting them know you are on Facebook and asking them to “like” your page
12. Make sure all privacy settings are updated to keep all personal information separate from business pages
13. Post links to articles other people have written as a way of adding value to your clients’ businesses
14. Don’t make your Facebook page about you — make it about your customers
15. Use features other than posting updates: add conversations, photo albums, blogs, etc.
16. Brand your page so that it is instantly recognizable as going with your website
17. Establish a conversation with your customers
18. Be part of the community
19. Run Facebook promotions — try a giveaway or contest using Facebook to promote
20. Try Facebook advertising
21. If you sell tangible products, use pictures to tell a story of that product
22. Realize Facebook allows you to humanize your business — try doing a funny video of your employees
23. Engage your own employees using Facebook
24. Crown an employee of the month on Facebook — it amuses customers and gives positive reinforcement to staff
25. Get on Twitter
26. Write a stellar Twitter profile, just because it’s 140 characters doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be amazing
27. Start tweeting at least one tweet a day for 20 days before you start trying to get Twitter followers
28. Make sure those tweets are helpful and interesting, otherwise nobody will follow you
29. Make your tweets 1/3 new content by you, 1/3 retweeting other content you think is interesting, and 1/3 conversing with other tweeters
30. Start courting followers
31. Try to follow people who you actually think are interesting. Don’t just follow someone who you think will follow back
32. Sign up for a service like TwitterUnfollow
33. Sign up for a service like HootSuite
34. Decide if you want to be a planned tweeter or if you want to be organic
35. If you want to be organic, be on a constant look out for good tweet ideas
36. If you want to be a planned tweeter, start planning your tweets days, or even weeks in advance
37. Write 10 tweets a day and spread them out over two weeks
38. Download the Twitter app to your smart phone so you can tweet from anywhere
39. Start exploring Twitter lists
40. Make Twitter lists so you can keep track of those who really matter to you
41. Retweet when others talk about you, especially if they are positive reviews
42. Share business updates in real time
43. Start a blog
44. Add the blog to your website
45. Make sure the style and header match the rest of your website
46. Brainstorm tons of ideas before going live
47. Write as many blog posts as possible before going live
48. Post at least one blog post a week
49. Make sure the posts are SEO friendly and you know how to use SEO plugins to optimize your blog
50. Put a link to your blog in your email signature
51. Send an email blast or email to your contacts/customers letting them know you have a blog
52. Understand that blogging is about adding value to your customers and keep that in mind with every blog post you write
53. Start looking for free pictures you can use with your blog
54. Get a feel for how long you want your blog posts to be
55. Hire a ghost writer if you don’t have time to write the posts yourself
56. Do a series of blog posts that all interact and help your readers accomplish something big
57. Learn how to write the best headlines you can
58. Learn how to write for the web — its’ different than print
59. Cut yourself some slack as you start, there’s a learning curve
60. Tell your story
61. Personalize your blog without being unprofessional
62. Make sure your brand is consistent on your blog
63. Establish yourself as an expert amongst your customers and amongst your peers — write what you know about
64. Foster your own creative thoughts
65. Disseminate your blog posts among social media including Facebook and Twitter
66. Start a monthly newsletter you send to customers encapsulating your favorite posts
67. Get on LinkedIn
68. Join groups to foster interaction
69. Make sure your profile is 100% up to date
71. Recommend others
72. Put up a business appropriate pictures
73. Make sure all your employees are on LinkedIn
74. Recruit talent using LinkedIn
75. Answer LinkedIn Questions
76. Take the time to connect to all present and past customer
77. Use LinkedIn to keep in touch
78. Network with peers
79. Spy on your competition
80. Start an email marketing campaign
82. Create a long and impressive email list from past clients and contacts
83. Put a place on your website for visitors to sign up for emails/newsletters
84. Write the blasts so they are helpful to readers and not about you at all
85. Make sure they are 100% branded with your company
86. Use short headlines that are informative
87. If possible, make your email mobile friendly
88. Include pictures, but no videos
89. Keep it short
90. Proofread like crazy
91. Use writing to engage in content marketing
92. Write and distribute press releases about new services or products
93. Brand the press releases
94. Hire a copywriter to write a case study — they are the newest wave in sales copy
95. Update your website copy
96. Make sure your copy is professionally written and edited
97. Hire a copywriter who can use words to turn visitors into customers
98. Make sure your website design is up to date, both visually and technically
99. Make sure you have a logo that is on everything from your website to business cards to email signatures to your social media profiles to EVERYTHING
100. Set aside dedicated time to keep up with social media, your business will thank you
101. Keep looking to the future, there will always be new ways to use social media to better your business, be first to jump on the bandwagon!
When I was younger I used to make myself multiple lists of new years resolutions. I never kept a single one. Ever. It wasn’t because I didn’t try, it was because I would give myself impossible goals to reach.
Not only that, but half the time I had no idea what exactly my goal meant. Save more money? That sounds simple, but really that goal doesn’t just involve eating out less, it’s also includes taking the time to keep track of money, figuring out where I’m spending that I can cut back on, etc. A better new years resolution would have been: track my spending using Quicken.
The past few years I’ve gotten better at making resolutions. The reason? I follow five simple steps that allow me to make goals that I can follow and are beneficial to me and my life and my business.
There are a lot of business owners who are making social media their #1 goal for 2011. Whether it’s to get started on Twitter or to get more involved in accounts that are already set up, behind losing weight and saving money, I bet it’s high up on many people’s lists. However, in order to make smart goals, I suggest following these five steps:
By making goals that are specific, you have something tangible to work toward. For example, you don’t want to make your goal to join Twitter. Instead, your goal should be to tweet once a day. This is something you have control over and can work toward.
Don’t set your goal as something that most likely won’t happen. If you’re just joining Facebook, don’t make your goal to have 3,000 followers by the end of 2011. Unless you’re a big name brand, that’s just not going to happen. Instead, set a goal that is optimistic but attainable, perhaps trying to get 10-15 new Facebook followers a month.
Take the time to sit down and think about what will really make a difference in your business. Do you have very old web copy on your site that no longer applies to what you do? Then don’t make your 2011 goal to get 1,000 more Twitter followers. Those 1,000 followers aren’t going to do you half as much good as a really well-written website.
Do not set a goal for all of 2011. That leaves you 12 months to forget about the goal and therefore, not achieve it. Instead, set time increments. If your goal is to get new website copy, set several goals that will ultimately lead to new copy. For example, your first goal can be to have hired a copywriter by the end of January.
New years goals are hard to keep in the first place, so try to set goals that won’t only help your business, but get you excited thinking about them. If social media doesn’t get your tongue wagging, but the thought of using a case study on your website does, then make your goal to write a case study.
What goals are you setting for yourself in 2011?
p.s. I wanted to let everyone know in 2011 I am changing my blogging schedule from Mon-Wed-Fri to Tues-Thurs. So look for new posts Tuesday and Thursday mornings!
Did you know that social media is basically just inbound marketing? Social media gives companies the tools they need to get interested potential customers to come to them, rather than spending their money on trying to reach them with traditional marketing.
I’m not going to say that traditional marketing is dead, because it’s obviously not, and probably never will be, but nowadays, inbound marketing is the way to go.
The idea of inbound marketing is to “get found” by those who are looking for exactly what you do. The way it works is to set up your website and social media sites in such a way that it naturally appeals to those who would want to hire you.
So if you were going to stop putting time and money into traditional marketing and instead go the route of inbound marketing, where would you start?
You need to set up blogs, videos, ebooks, an amazing website, etc. By putting all of this information into the Internet, there’s a larger chance those who are looking for you will actually find you.
Making the investment to hire an SEO firm and doing what is necessary to get you on to the first page of the Search Engines will pay off tenfold. However, it is an investment. SEO doesn’t come cheap.
Encouraging people to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn means you will be in their face every day. Most people check their Facebook accounts before even their email. Being in those people’s faces with daily updates is a great way to remind potential customers that you exist.
In the end, Inbound Marketing is less expensive than traditional marketing, and targets better. It’s definitely worth the switch. Do you already practice Inbound Marketing? Do you have any tips for those just starting out?
Ghostblogging is the process of paying someone else to write blog posts for you. There has been talk in the blogosphere about whether or not this is ethical. I say blergh to those people who think it is not.
When businesses blog as a part of their company’s marketing campaign, hiring someone to write the posts for them is not unethical. In fact, it’s smart.
Understanding the importance a blog has on a company today is essential. This ties into to Monday’s post so I won’t go on a big long soapbox again, you can just scroll down to read it. But I will say that one of the most common excuses I hear from companies on why they are not blogging is they just don’t have the time.
I understand that sentiment, I really do. There is hardly enough time to get work you get paid for done, so how are you going to find the time to blog?
That’s why ghostblogging is so smart. If you didn’t have time to finish a project for a client, you’d call in a freelancer, so why is blogging any different?
What a lot of people don’t seem to understand is just because someone else is writing your blogs that doesn’t mean it can’t have your voice, your opinion, and your content.
Developing a relationship with a ghostblogger and working with them in the beginning to make sure they understand the tone you are trying to set will ensure that you get to kick blogging off your overly crowded to-do list, while still getting the end product you want.
As a ghostblogger, I know that listening to a company and delivering blog posts that reflect their voice can be done and done effectively. It just takes some time in the beginning to get to know each other, and the rest is smooth as silk pie.
While this opinion may be more controversial than some of my others, I stick by it. Blogging is too important to a small business to not be able to delegate.
What do you think? Do you agree that ghost blogging is ethical?
I was talking with a friend the other day about how I come up with my blog posts. Any blogger knows that it’s not an easy feat to put out many posts a week. My friend is thinking of starting a blog and her biggest concern is whether or not she would be able to come up with enough topics to sustain a 3-5 posts a week schedule.
I understood her apprehension and didn’t sugar coat things. It’s difficult. At times it’s a task that seems impossible, but I gave her a piece of advice that I am sharing with you now.
What is going to set your blog apart from other blogs? It’s most likely not your topics. Most blogs about blogging cover the same few main ideas over and over. Most blogs about graphic design say the same things over and over. What is going to set you apart is your voice and your opinions.
In the spirit of this advice, which seemed to strike a nerve with my friend, and therefore, I hope one with you as well, I am starting off a week of opinions! I am going to write all my posts this week on an opinion I have about my industry. Let’s get started.
I’ve gotten so good at giving this lecture that I basically have it memorized. However, I still find a lot of resistance to it. Small businesses I talk to want to get on Facebook and Twitter and use the “popular” platforms. Everyone is doing it and they want to do it too!
That’s not a good enough reason. Unless you know how to use Facebook and Twitter to increase your reputation and build your business you could just come off looking like an ass.
Using FB and Twitter for business isn’t about posting any post, it’s about posting deliberate and targeted posts. And that can be very difficult if you’re not a restaurant announcing a special or a clothing store announcing a sale.
That’s why I always suggest that small businesses use blogging as a way to increase their social media effectiveness.
It works like this:
You write a blog post that shows you know your business, you’re an expert, and you deserve to be thought of as among the best of the best. Then you send that blog posts out to your customers using Facebook and Twitter.
It’s so much more successful at showing people why they should be following you.
You have accomplished the following:
- Proven yourself an expert
- Used Facebook and Twitter to disseminate real information and opinions rather than just little blurbs about how you’re feeling or what’s going on that particular day
- Increased your SEO
- Added value to your readers and customers
Blogging really is an important part of social media. There are obviously companies that use FB and Twitter without blogging to great success. And there is obviously a chance that you could do that too. But I also truly believe that adding a blog to your business will only help your social media efforts – not hurt them.
What do you think? Do opinions matter? Are blogs as important as I make them out to be?