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Tag: twitter

101-ways-to-use-social-media-to-improve-your-business-in-20111. 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

70. Ask for recommendations

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

81. Join MailChimp or Constant Contact

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!

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5-simple-steps-for-social-media-goals-in-2011When 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:

1. Set specific goals

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.

2. Set realistic goals

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.

3. Set goals that really make a difference

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.

4. Set goals in time increments

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.

5. Set goals you’re excited about

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!

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The Secrets of Inbound Marketing

the-secret-to-inbound-marketingDid 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?

1. Content

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.

2. SEO

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.

3. Social Media

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?

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A Week of Opinions: Ghostblogging is Smart

a-week-of-opinions-ghostblogging-is-smartGhostblogging 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?

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Is Today The Day You Take Action?

is-today-the-day-you-take-actionTake a moment to close your eyes and visualize your to-do list.  Is it long and overwhelming?  If so, today, you’re going to take action.

I am going to let you in on a secret. Almost every email I get requesting my writing services has this line embedded in it: “I’ve been putting this off for months now.”

I have issued a challenge before, and it actually worked out quite well for a few of you. So here I go again. Today I challenge you to pick the one line on your to-do list that you’ve been meaning to work on, and make some progress on it. Here are three steps to follow to ensure your success:

1.) Identify your project

This might be the most difficult part because you probably have many things hanging over your head. Pick the one that gives you that bad feeling in your stomach when you think about it. Or else pick the project that will yield the most positive result for your business when it’s done. This is about improving your business, so keep that in mind while deciding.

2.) Do research

Just because I am issuing a challenge and you want to improve your business that does not mean you should make hasty decisions. Most likely you’ve been putting this off because it’s is going to take some time to complete, and is more complicated than just calling a client back. So if what you want to do involves hiring somebody else to get it done, do your research. If it includes doing something technical you’re not very familiar with, learn it.

3.) Take action

Once you’ve completed all the steps you need to in order to make this happen, make it happen. I’m not really sure what else to say.

So that is my challenge. Those are the steps. I am going to get in on this challenge too. Would you like to know my shameful secret? I don’t have business cards. I own a business, I meet with clients, I promote myself, but I do not have a business card to hand out. Shame on me.

I will be taking my first step toward becoming the proud owner of some really stupendous business cards as soon as I publish this post. I am going to do my research and see if this is something I should do myself or if I should hire a professional. I have to decide what to put on these bad boys, as in my mind, my business card isn’t just about getting in touch with me, but I want it to represent who I am and all I can offer. Not exactly a small order.

Today I begin this momentous journey toward having business cards. What is your journey going to be? Please leave a comment and let me know. Perhaps I can even help you on your way.

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