Posts Tagged ‘social networking’

SEO for small business: How hard is it?

Posted in Building customer loyalty, Marketing strategies, Search engine optimization, Social media Be the first to comment

We all want magic wands. To lose weight. Get strong. Become rich. Find the perfect mate. “Just do this or buy that and you dream will come true.”

As small business owners, we want magic wands, too.  “Just wave it and customers will find you and flock to your store, office, or Website and buy, buy, buy.”

Today’s marketing “magic wands” often involve social media and search engine optimization.  “Just put up a Facebook page. Just use certain keywords in your Website text. Or just buy “top-rated” links.” Or more likely, “Just pay us to do it, and you’ll have to beat the customers away.”

Uh, no.

Like most of our other instant-success fantasies, social media success involves many tasks. It takes lots of planning, time, and hard work.

SEO success is also complex and requires hard work on many fronts. Take a look at the chart above, created by Marketing Sherpa. It’s based on the experiences of more than 1,500 search marketers.

Remember this chart the next time someone promises you that their magic wand is all you need.

Social media for business

Posted in Building customer loyalty, Social media Be the first to comment

If you’ve determined that social media is a good fit for your business–e.g., your customers are using it, you’ve got helpful and relevant messages that your customers will appreciate, and you’ve got the time necessary to dedicate to social networking–here’s some very useful information.

The current American Express OPEN Forum newsletter has an article called “23 Free, Web-Based Tools SMBs are Asking for Now” by Jolie O’Dell. The article highlights lots of free online tools that can help small businesses.

Here are some that can greatly help with your social network marketing activities:

“There are three great tools we’d recommend for pushing out updates to a variety of sites at once. All three have free, web-based services, and they’re great for working with teams, too. Depending on your specific needs and tastes, you could try out Hootsuite, Seesmic and TweetDeck.

If you want to see what people are saying about your company, your product, your location or your vertical in real time, try searching for relevant terms on Collecta or SocialMention.

You also have options for network-specific monitoring tools. To see how your tweets are performing, try CrowdBooster. And remember, Twitter’s official analytics product is coming soon, too. For Facebook, use that social network’s Insights dashboard for your business’s Facebook Page.”

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Marketing strategies for 2011

Posted in Blogging, Building customer loyalty, Social media Be the first to comment

Social media strategiesKnow the marketing trends that are going to be hot, and you can better shape your own 2011 marketing strategies.

A new article by Susan Gunelius in Entrepreneur points out the directions in which marketing is likely to go, this year.

The bottom line: One strategy doesn’t do it! All of us need a diversified, targeted, and committed approach to reaching and engaging customers.

Here–referring to social networking–is one of the more compelling arguments that Gunelius makes:

“Increase in branded online experiences to meet diverse consumer needs. Simply having a Twitter account or Facebook page isn’t enough this year. Small businesses must surround consumers with branded online destinations such as a blog, LinkedIn profile, YouTube channel, Flickr profile and so on. Consumers can then pick and choose how they want to interact with your brand. Of course, quality trumps quantity, so extending a brand across the social Web must be done strategically to maximize opportunities without compromising content and communications.”

There’s plenty more good advice where that came from. To see it, click here.

Social media marketing for business

Posted in Blogging, Building customer loyalty, Print materials, Social media Be the first to comment

Good social media tools and advice make it easier for any business to launch and sustain a well-rounded marketing campaign.

In her June 3, 2009 blog post, Rachel Globus, Editor and Education Director of  Event Solutions, wrote about  three key social marketing tips. Her advice, summarized below, is just as valid today:

  1. Don’t sell yourself. Of course, we’re all selling ourselves when we enter social media space. But remember that social media, like networking events, are spaces for starting and nurturing relationships, not blatantly self-promoting. So whether you’re on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or a blog, be polite and to the point. Most important, be a good listener.
  2. Add something to the conversation. Social media is all about having real conversations with real people. Before you post anything, ask yourself: Is it new, or useful, or interesting? If  not, you won’t gain anything by adding it.
  3. Make social media one element of a diversified marketing mix. Should you throw away your beautiful brochures or your print ads and concentrate solely on your Facebook page and Twitter account? Absolutely not. Social media help you strengthen your message and build relationships with current and prospective clients. They shouldn’t be the only tools in your belt, but they should be part of your overall marketing mix.

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Social media: What tactics big companies are using

Posted in Blogging, Building customer loyalty, Social media Be the first to comment

It’s always fun to see what others are doing, and how successful they’ve been!

One of our favorite marketing sites, Marketing Sherpa, sent out a chart today showing the results of a social media survey it conducted at the end of 2009.

The interesting results show how social media time and money are being spent by more than 2,000 corporations.

Does that mean this is how  your resources should be spent? Not necessarily.

An article by Sarah E. Needleman, in the March 16, 2010 Wall St. Journal, reported that social media isn’t necessarily the road to profits, especially where small businesses are concerned:

“…a separate survey of 500 U.S. small-business owners… found that just 22% made a profit last year from promoting their firms on social media, while 53% said they broke even. What’s more, 19% said they actually lost money due to their social-media initiatives.”

In the same article, (which is no longer archived on the Wall Street Journal site, unfortunately),  Needleman wrote:  “Fifty percent of  respondents say it requires more effort than expected.

Our guess is that once companies start implementing social marketing plans, far more than 50% find that it’s lots more work than they had thought! We plan to cover small business and social media in greater depth, in the near future.

In the meantime, to see the Marketing Sherpa chart in a larger version that’s easier to read, click here: