Social Media is Enormous, Where is My Audience?

Your social media audience, customers and prospects are not on every social channel.  Focus your marketing strategy at the start on the places your customers and prospects are likely to use.

One easy way to tell which social networks are popular with your audience is asking them.

Here is an idea, start a poll at the receptionist desk. Ask your existing customers directly and record their response. It is the best source of data.

Looking at specific web analytics data to determine sources of traffic is another insightful source. See traffic from a specific network – that is where your target is.

Finally, ask social media fans and followers whether they also subscribe to your company newsletters or email promos. Email subscribers are your brand ambassador; thank them for promoting your social media in advance.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the big three. Pick the social network with the most customers and start networking. Post valuable content, share links to articles about your industry; congratulate customers and competitors on milestones like anniversaries and birthdays.

 

 

The right approach is different for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Facebook: Ultimately you need likes and activity on the Facebook Page to drive the post to be seen in the newsfeed. Develop a mix of content and share often with fans. Provide occasional promotions and share inside looks at life inside your company. Facebook is a place for fun and entertaining topics, ask a lot of questions to gain responses and comments.

Twitter: Special offers and deals are a draw for Twitter followers.  Your Twitter strategy is to feed influencers content that gives them something to retweet and share. Short commentaries to draw curiosity to your company as well as establishing a voice and personality go a long way. Prompt attention to replies and retweets as well as compliments and engaging others is a best practice.

LinkedIn: Lead generation is a focus of your LinkedIn connections. Engaging in group discussions, interactions via messaging and sharing reputable content is more effective than treating this as a sales channel.  Avoid the sell sell sell, focus instead on building reputation, nurturing connections and liking other shared content. Create then post original ideas, inside tips and share valuable articles are just a few steps to lead generation.

Tie social postings together; coordinate your Facebook updates, tweets and LinkedIn updates to build awareness for upcoming events, special promotions or product launches. Connect one or more networks together, set up your tweets to post to LinkedIn or vice versa. Auto schedule posts in advance based off your marketing plan.

Do you have any ideas to add? Please speak your mind, leave a comment below.

Social Media Egg Basket

We’ve all heard the common phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”.  Your online presence needs to adhere to the same advice.

Social media networks always evolve. Social media strategy does also.

There are rules, guidelines, policies, and a quagmire of other items we agree to when we sign up for any social network account.  If your business breaks any of these rules, poof your social media site is gone, buh bye following, images and time spent building engagement and connections. Hello new social media strategy.

Your egg basket is something you control. Establish a traditional web presence as in a dot com website.

 

Feed traffic from social media to that dot com website but build authority and share valuable content more than to drive traffic on social media. No one wants to be sold to all the time.

Have a regularly scheduled strategy meeting and set attainable goals.

How can you share content if you don’t create any? Start a blog, call it a resource hub, secret sauce page or something similar. Use it to create narratives that will be valuable to your target audience. If you just can’t write well, share relevant content by posting links on that blog page and compliment the article in a few sentences above the link. Customers will find your page and appreciate your input. Studies show businesses who blog have higher customer satisfaction ratings. Just do it.

Your dot com website isn’t set it and forget it. Dot com websites necessitate costs for hosting, coding, protecting and updating. If you are savvy like me you have the time to do most of it. I only pay for hosting and it’s minimal. If you need professional help to set up your dot com, invest in it early. Your dot com is your best face forward online so make it shine, load fast and make sure search engines find it. Search engine optimization is best left to professionals, however SEO shouldn’t neglect social media which does provide valuable connections of the dot com to other web properties. Okay enough about that.

Be proactive, list your dot com on all business stationery, especially business cards.

In your connected world the old fashioned hand shake face to face meeting happens. Always have business cards ready to hand out.

What are your thoughts? Please speak your mind below, leave a comment.

Triberr and Social Reach

Triberr is a blog sharing social network that caught my interest a few years back. I remember it as clunky and buggy.

Fast forward to Fall 2013 and hello again Triberr your social reach really matters!

Ms. Ileane Smith of basicblogtips.com wrote a blog post named What Changed My Mind About Tiberr that reminded me of my Triberr account. Honestly mine had fallen off as inactive because of the previous issues.

Ms. Ileane discussed many important items such as sharing, interactivity and popularity. It was my inspiration to reactivate on Triberr. I find myself checking in every day or so. Hello reach – look at this screenshot of my personal profile!

maria-snyder-profile-triberr

Ms. Ileane wasn’t kidding.  Her Ms. Ileane Smith Blogging tribe reach is at 1M. The M means million.

Get on over to Triberr, renew or create your profile and spoof it up like I did with a header image and links. Begin to share blogs, comment on others and even ask questions as I have over the past few days.

Here is Ms. Ileane herself talking about Triberr.

 

Many users appear socially engaged, you will see active discussions, comments and free flowing ideas. The interface is fast, clean and easy to use. Become part of numerous tribes with common interests.  There is so much to offer, so much to gain and Triberr really is easy to use. Expect your reach to grow naturally over time as you continue to participate on this content rich network.

Have you thought about joining Triberr? Let me know in the comments below. 

5 Marketing Tools to Attract Mobile Customers

three girls chatting with their smartphonesIf your business isn’t mobile, you’re at a significant disadvantage. Six out of 10 of businesses target customers with open email campaigns for digital devices, according to a 2013 survey by marketing firm Movable Ink. Consumers also rely on their smartphones to perform product searches, check service reviews and make purchases. Your social-marketing strategy is not complete without mobile business tools that reach your on-the-go customers.

1. Mobile Website

A mobile website is a simpler version of your business’s desktop website that can be opened and easily accessed on a smartphone or tablet. When a client clicks on your business’s URL, the mobile device will instruct the browser to load the mobile site. The design may include only one column, large buttons, links, and only the essential information about your business. If it offers product or service purchasing, the e-commerce steps should be easy to navigate on a small interface. Many professional themes offered through self hosted WordPress.org sites are mobile friendly such as my web site. Google researchers found 67 percent of smartphone users prefer to make purchases on a mobile website.

2. Google Offers

Google Offers is an Internet coupon tool like LivingSocial that sends a discount or promotion to a customer email list. A smartphone can save a mobile-friendly version of a redeemed offer. It also provides the merchant a code to scan. No printing is necessary. A mobile notification will alert customers prior to the coupon’s expiration date.

3. Free Mobile Apps

Creating and customizing a free mobile app is a few simple clicks away. I prefer and use the services at Pixtas.com. Small businesses need every mobile tool available, why not an easy to set up and free app? Click this link for the free iPhone or Android app for Maria Snyder Consulting, get yours now!

4. Google Places for Business

A local informational and review website will help your on-the-go customers find your brick-and-mortar location. Yelp is a widely used site that draws 86 million users per month, and the app has been downloaded 9.2 million times, Search Engine Journal reports. Through Google Places for Business, your business can also display its address, reviews, photos, hours, and other essential information on a Google search page based on an SEO ranking.  Ensure your business’s local Web details are accurate from the outset.

5. TextUs.Biz

Send a coupon, sale announcement or appointment confirmation to a customer with a text message, and receive one from them in return. TextUs.Biz costs a few cents per message, and the view rate is high. Use the service to send a campaign or an individual message.

Guest post by: Robert Coleman

Robert is a serial entrepreneur with six small businesses under his belt.

Flaws with Social Media

Yes there are flaws with social media, if you don’t see the flaws maybe you aren’t looking at social media posts from others, just your own.

What social media flaws should you avoid:

  • Accusatory/derogatory/mean posts
  • Misspelled/ALL CAPS/hard to read posts
  • Repetitive/sell sell sell/slimy intention posts
  • Nude/food in your teeth/stain on your shirt photos
  • Lying/bragging/false information anywhere
  • Narcissistic/me me me/mine mine mine language
  • Stalking/trolling/bullying/stalking – it is just wrong
  • Theft of content/theft of photos/fighting – don’t steal or fight online ever
  • Teenagers without monitoring/kids promoting drugs/sexy inappropriately staged photos – if I’m friends with your parent I will call them, you should too!

Need I continue?

Sadly we all know more than a few people who ask almost daily “did you see my post or photo or status update?”.  Ninety-nine percent of the time my answer is no, and I strategically ask them why. The question of why is powerful because it will help you to find out if it was a good post, bad post or if was just some exciting news you happened to miss.

Narcissism is fierce on the social web. Many users selfishly think people are reading and studying their every syllable, photo and check ins all the time. I recently showed an unnamed person how to view the news feed on Facebook – astonishingly they had no idea. For the past year they’ve only looked at their own timeline, not anyone elses waiting for comments and likes in frustration.

Shockingly certain friends stalk my various social media posts. Trust me I’m as boring as they come but it doesn’t help people from telling me personally how happy they are that x happened or that my photo of x was funny.  My comments are usually wow or thank you and immediately I ask how often they stalk my posts if it’s frequent enough.

Stalkers are creepy so if you do it stop. 

Oh and to freak out any stalkers who don’t think there is a way to see if someone views your Facebook page, yes there absolutely is a way to find out.  You have to know quite a bit about web coding and how to see the source of a page, then find specific numerical referencing to determine who views your page. So I know you’re stalking me and yes it’s very creepy.

Enough on stalkers.

Be professional, put your best stuff on the social web.  The more you represent your best self, the better you become.

So what to do?

Educate, teach, share in person also and be happy you know the formula.

Here is the social media formula. Help prevent flaws.

[Image] + [Engaging question] + [Call to action] + [Link]

You really can’t mess it up.

Please share this content below using one of the social media buttons. You may head off a stalker or help someone how to be better socially.

 

 

What to Look for in a Social Media Consultant

Most business owners today realize that SEO and Google ranking are integral to revenue, and according to a new study by research marketing group Ascend2, 50 percent of companies facing challenges in this area are not utilizing social media effectively. Hiring a skilled social media consultant is a great way to boost your website traffic and revenue, because they connect your target customer to your business’ brand. They can help you with a range of services, including developing a social media strategy, setting up Twitter, Facebook and other accounts, and managing the content, such as link posts, blog announcements and events and promotions.

It’s important to infuse your Web presence with a professional, overarching plan that will help solidify your branding efforts. There are many types of social media professionals eager to offer their services; however, be mindful of their focus when you reach out to hire, because their expertise and your specific needs may not be a match.

Experience

Social media consulting is a relatively new career area, and therefore the experience level is often measured by project quantity and scope rather than years. Ask to see the consultant’s portfolio of work and an explanation of the problem each campaign solved and resulting revenue returns. If your budget is limited and you need to work with someone with less experience, look for someone who has handled your trade or business category in the past with successful results. This will reduce the learning curve and time required to complete the work.

Demonstrated Professional Social Media Network

A person who describes him or herself as a social media professional must have a Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest account that demonstrates an ability to do the job. Connect with your candidates on LinkedIn and Facebook and view their profiles. Look for an active posting history with comments and lots of signs of engagement.

A Sound Strategy

Before you sign on the dotted line with a social media consultant, get an overview of the services being offered, along with a few specific tactics he or she plans on using with your particular business. Do not be shy about asking for the reasoning behind the information. If they balk at a logical request, working with them would likely be a one-sided and unsuccessful process.

Experience in Your Industry

There is a social media consultant with experience in your industry waiting to help you with specialized knowledge of your customer, product and service, but finding her may be a challenge. It may be useful to contact an industry association or network with competitors and colleagues to find an industry favorite. This expertise may demand a higher price point, but the project would be completed faster, which would reduce the expense. Asking for a price sheet with services will help you remain within your budget.

Guest post by Jay Himmelman

Jay works for a burgeoning social media startup, and he hopes to learn as much as he can by researching and writing about social media and tech trends.

Client social media formula

What is the client social media formula and how do I use it [NOW]?

Do you struggle with what to post or how to post? If yes this formula is for you.

Customer interest is what we seek. We seek to be effective and nurture customer interest.

The formula is easy for all social messages:

[Image] + [Engaging question] + [Call to action] + [Link]

 

It’s important to think of the post in terms of layers, like a delicious sandwich.

  • Images should preferably be square. Studies show square images are more effective.
  • Engaging questions should be under 100 characters. Short and sweet.
  • A call to action matters. Tell the reader what to do.
  • Your link should be relevant to the customer.

Next apply the formula to your engagement calendar. Most social networks allow scheduling – do it.

Why wouldn’t you write out your messaging in one sitting to save time? Plan messages for a few weeks, a month or even longer.

One week’s message planning should take 20 minutes to an hour.

I prefer to use Hootsuite a perfect tool to manage social media.

 

HootSuite Solution Partner social media

[TACTICAL TIP] Use a spreadsheet with formula capability to prepare the calendar. Include a formula to count characters. Keep track of message length so they remain short and within limits [140/100] Drag and drop your messages right into the social network post field.

  • Focus on popular days of the week depending on your brand. Develop a theme around days of the week.
  • Plan out holidays, trivia, key dates and sales using messages effectively.
  • Consider a content review process so an independent viewer can judge if the content is clear and not to salesy.

Do you need a photo for every post? No. You do need text on every one yes.

The text is what many customers say is the hardest, especially questions. Here are some examples for you:

{from a radio station twitter feed} What throwback song do you want @djawesome to play at noon? Tweet us your requests

{from a skin care company Facebook post} Would you rather have [a] a good hair day or [b] a good skin day and why?

{from Disneyland’s Facebook post} Mickey is awaiting your arrival. When will you be visiting him next?

{from Disney’s Facebook again} Today is national hot dog day. What is your choice at Disney Land resort hotdog or corn dog?

[TACTICAL TIP] Use spell check, read message out loud and read the message backwards to see spelling errors.

Messages must always be light [less than 100 characters], bright [provide a fun smile] and polite [media ready].

[TACTICAL TIP] Don’t count on privacy settings. Focusing on light, bright and polite will get you further ahead.

 

This post and some of the ideas came from a Hootsuite Partner seminar named 5 steps for safe & effective social media management presented by Josh Ochs founder of MediaLeaders.com

 

iPage website hosting is easy

Disclosure: This is a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We tested and reviewed the web hosting sites ranked here. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

iPage hosts my website and I’m a satisfied customer. iPage is not your average web host let me tell you why.

I’m couldn’t find the same hosting services locally [I really tried].

iPage gives you a website that works with live support 24 x 7 phone, chat and email. Host your website with iPage!

The best thing about iPage is that it’s simple. The interfaces, web mail, setup with a snap as promised are true. I’ve been with them since 2010 and you’ll be happy to know that  they’ve offered quality hosting since 1998. Along the way I’ve had to contact support and they’ve always resolved any questions and issues I’ve had. Support is open 24 hours a day via web chat, email or a US based phone call. It’s stress free to know I can call them anytime and speak with a native english speaker not outsourced to a foreign company.

In my business where I consult and interact online daily I need a web site host that is reliable. Thank you iPage.

 

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Yeah my site is fancy and managed with WordPress and Genesis with a premium theme but iPage is behind it all.

iPage is best for business

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I used iPage to register two domains, relied on the security suite, loved the advertising credits and hey who doesn’t love wind power!

How to Generate 1,000,000 More Clicks

The point of a compelling headline is to get the prospective reader engaged and ready to read your content. The impact of small headlines is enormous. It can be the difference between 100 people opening you article and 1,000,000. If your headline is subpar, your article (and your time) is a waste.

There are different philosophies to writing a headline that grabs the reader. But let’s take it from the socially conscious content provider, UpWorthy, who garners millions of viewers on single posts simply from their fantastic, often quirky, headlines. Context is king and the 25 rule headline works.

What’s the Deal With 25?

Editors at UpWorthy are required to put together 25 headlines for every article they publish. Get to the point in a way that speaks to the masses. But there are rules.

  • Don’t be too crafty: If you’re a marketer promoting, a copywriter writing or a business owner tweeting, “cleverness” can be confusing.
  • Don’t give it all away in the headline: What’s the point of the reader opening the article?
  • Allow readers to form their own opinions.
  • Avoid sadness: Feel free to touch readers’ emotions with excitement, anger, mystery and surprise, but nothing sad.
  • Shock and awe is overrated. Your mom is going to read this. Low controversy: “Baby Laughs at Self in Mirror” will generate far more social shares than something truly controversial.

It’s not an easy task to write headlines while keeping these mantras in mind. Sometimes companies will test the best headlines on Twitter to see which gets more clicks and shares. Hypothetically, if a company writes “Retweet for a chance to win 500 Overnight Prints business cards” at 9 a.m., they should do another tester phrase at 10 a.m. saying, “Check out our spine-tingling business cards, and you could win some for free!” Which version generates more business wins the headline to share on other social media platforms.

Twitter Headlines

With the 140 characters and text display Twitter offers, it’s time to ditch wordiness and get to the point. Use actionable words that follow the SHINE method. Twitter published data about what works:

  • Asking for a download: “Click here to download now,” can increase traffic by 13 percent.
  • Asking for a retweets: “Retweet this for 10 percent off our next purchase and a chance to win Giants tickets,” increases retweets by 311 percent.
  • The 20 most valuable words, according to social media scientist Dan Zarrella, include: “you,” “please,” “free,” “help,” “retreat,” “post,” “blog,” “10″ and “check out.”

SHINE Method

Kissmetrics’s SHINE formula, offers perspective on what options you have to draw in a reader.

S – Specificity helps readers form images in their minds, which arouses interest. Vagueness has no place online, especially in the headline of any piece. Avoid subjective claims like, “The Healthiest Green is Kale.” Yawn. We know it’s good for you. Figures, on the other hand draw interest from the readers you want. They offer legitimacy.

H – Helpfulness speaks the issue that the reader wants information on. Your headline must clearly show the reader how the article will help them.

I – Immediacy tells the reader it’s imperative they don’t save the tab for later, but the article must be read right now. It’s that important. Desires overpower need, so by creating emotional appeal, you are teasing the reader to open the article. The rest better be good.

N – Newsworthiness speaks volumes that haven’t been heard before, or so the reader thinks.

E – Entertainment value appeals to the information grazer. Don’t be a bore. It will get you absolutely nowhere.

 

Guest post by: Kyle Lexington

Kyle is a business consultant and freelance writer with three dogs and three kids. They all live in upstate New York.

 

13 terrific social media business tasks

Social media is here to stay.

And, while interactive marketing has taken the lead in harnessing its power business can no longer afford to ignore it.

Core business social media to-do list:

1) Schedule posts frequently at popular social media times to get noticed more often

One of every ten self promoting posts should be you directly selling your business. The other nine posts should be conversational, pull ideas from the list below.

2) Use emotional words instead of boring

Words such as fabulous, extraordinary, terrific, never, exceptional, unbelievable, rogue, blatant, intrigue, mastery, and unreal do not need to be explained. They trigger emotion where you can plant your seed idea to trigger a sale at some point in your conversation.

3) Attract customers

Make it obvious why they need you because no other business will suffice.

4) Tell truths

Lies do not sell long term. A basic fact you know already.

5) Give advice

Good advice is memorable.  Helpful advice solving customer problems is the best kind.

6) Promote customer accomplishments

Niceties matter, they’re often returned and often remembered.

7) Be professional

The impression you make is sticky.  Make your impression the best, as often as possible.

8) Build authority

Authority builds reputation.  Reputation changes over time. Reputation built on authority lasts longer, like cement.

9) Engage customers actively, not passively

Customer opinion and conversation drive business.  Opportunity to have conversations, discussions and debate is prevalent.  Dive in and acquire new prospects.

10) Ask questions

Questions trick a response by offering solutions with your reply.

11) Be responsive and convert to value

No one likes to be ignored, write your response to convert a valuable proposition and sale.

12) Accept criticism, repair with solutions

Accepting criticism brings insight to solutions. Some of the best lessons learned are those we fear.

13) Follow, friend and acknowledge competitors

Know when competitors have sales, run yours the week before, during and after. Business that sell more survive longer.

14) Over deliver

Over deliver on what you said you would do. When customers get more than they expect in terms of satisfaction, a return is likely.

Most items listed seem simple enough, right?

Why?

You focused on succeeding.

Success follows those with a passion, especially when backed by truth.

The best business competitor will fail if dedicated to squashing you.

Over time, your business social presence will improve.

When?

That’s up to you.

If I have inspired you, call me to share your success.  Afraid to call, subscribe to my monthly newsletter.

Businesses who neglect social media miss business opportunities.

I love feedback; please leave your comment below.