Social Media for Small Business – How to Get Started

When it comes to owning a small business and having less than 20 employees, we often put marketing on the back burner. When it comes to Social Media Marketing we definitely do not have the time. But, should we make the time? Businesses have found (both small and large) that social media marketing is something that everyone should be paying attention to. This gives you a direct line to your clients and customers. More then 50% of the population will have a profile on a social network. More and more of our customers and clients are coming to us through digital means. Posting on a regular basis to social media sites and updating your blog holds great value to business and even greater value to small business. Informing clients and customers about sales, specials, and other promotions helps to promote customer loyalty. It also gives a cool new way for the best marketing tool there is to bolster your business (Word of Mouth Marketing). Customers can easily share your information with friends and followers giving you a direct line to new prospects.

So, how much time is enough? Well that really depends on you. Many experts say that you should devote five to ten hours a week to social media marketing. I say, if you need to, start off slow. Devote at least two hours a week to posting on social media sites and/or updating your blog. You can post information that you have found on other websites that you think will be helpful to your customers on Facebook or Twitter even if you don’t have an article or something else to post yourself. Once you start, you will get the hang of it. You do not have to have complete articles for each post. You can even post a favorite quote or an answer to a question that you recently received from a customer. This creates a dialogue between you and your customers. This also shows how involved you are with your customers and that you are dedicated to making sure that they receive the level of service they deserve.

Social media will not be immediately beneficial for everyone. It takes time and dedication to see a result from using social media as a marketing tool for most. It really depends on the services or products that your company offers. Do not use social media to Sell Sell Sell! It should be used to inform and keep in contact with your customers and prospects. You will find that an open dialogue will go a long way with future sales and customer loyalty.

What You Need To Know For Successful Internet Marketing

If you are in the dark about successful internet marketing, you are not alone. Many great ideas have fallen by the way side because the owner of the business did not have the information they needed to be successful. Don’t let that happen to you. Start using these practical tips today

Try to do things that focus on bringing a new customer base to your company. If you do not expand the amount of clients that you have, business will not grow and potential profits may be lost. This is the best way to maximize your potential and reach your ceiling as a company.

If you have an internet marketing site, you will want your website to be seen. The best way to accomplish this is to get listed with Google, as it has the most traffic of all the search engines out there. Once you are indexed there, your site traffic will increase and your business will, as well.

Make sure that the colors you use on your site do not make it hard for users to find navigation links. If your site is in black but your navigation links are in royal blue users may not see them and that would mean less time they will spend on your site.

We have been taught from a young age to respect authority, so use this training to your advantage in your promotional materials. Sign off on materials using your company title. If you are just starting out, if you’re leading the way, you can still be the president or CEO. Remember to take credit for material you produce, too.

Streamline your website so it loads quickly and viewers can jump right to the section they want, through links or buttons. Make the links and buttons obvious, so no one has to waste time searching for them and keep the same general layout and style from page to page. Set up the site for easy navigation between pages, so viewers do not get frustrated and wander off to another site.

To promote your business with internet marketing send out a press release. This may sound like an old fashioned approach, but press releases are still effective online. You can set up a mailing list for your website to ensure that those interested will get relevant notifications. Search for bloggers with similar interests who will be interested to know about your business and might help spread Internet word of mouth.

Be basic and specific. Remember your visitor base includes a wide array of people, with different amounts of knowledge of your products. Use laymen’s terms to describe things, but also include the individual specifications for those more advanced. Catering to all of your readers will likely increase sales from all sides of the spectrum.

Closed captions are one of the best tools that you can use on your website. This will allow your company to appeal to all potential customers who have hearing problems and will show that you are a universal brand. Take this into consideration if you want to expand your customer base.

Know what tools are best for you and your business. There are several tools out there to help with internet marketing, but that doesn’t mean they are all going to work for you or your business. You want to make sure that you are only using those that are going to generate real results so you aren’t wasting your time in fruitless ventures.

An easy-to-use, efficient ordering system can attract and retain more customers. Your marketing should highlight how quick and intuitive your checkout feature is; it should also include specific directions to guide the user through the ordering process, regardless of whether your product is purchased online or must be picked up in-store.

You should always hire other people to do all of the small work for you so that you have time to focus on the larger things. Reading and responding to emails, fielding questions, and requesting proposals are all things that you can get someone else to do instead of trying to do them yourself.

Take a critical look at your website and if you can’t hire someone else to review it for you. We all think our creations are beautiful, but sometimes we can’t see what everyone else sees. Do not consider your site a stagnant thing, it should always be changing and improving.

one of the best internet marketing ideas is to start a ‘buy the most wins’ contest. You can make this a weekly, monthly, or yearly contest and it is a great way to motivate customers to not only buy your products, but to keep buying them time and time again.

A great internet marketing tip is to turn some of your advertising banners into questions that your customers would be interested in answering. Pose a trivia question or something and tell your visitors they might win a prize if they answer the questions correctly. This provides extra incentive to click on your ads.

To attract a wider customer base, give your customers a choice of paying either the retail or a wholesale price that you figure out in advance. For the wholesale price, you can charge a monthly or yearly fee in addition to the wholesale cost of the products, so that you don’t lose a ton of money.

Make sure that you participate on other online forums and message boards. You can provide answers to people’s questions, ask your own questions, and post your own accurate information. Also include your site link in your signature if it’s allowed in that community. This will attract more traffic to your site and most likely more sales for you.

Now that you are no longer in the dark about internet marketing, it is time to start applying the useful information from the article above. If you believe that your idea is a great one, don’t let it fail because you ignored the practical tips that could make all the difference

Is Using Social Media Really That Important?

For years running a business was relatively simple – you had a store or office, went to work each day, kept everything running, printed flyers or brochures to promote your business and used your profits to pay your employees and expenses.

“To do business in the 90’s you needed a Fax machine and a newspaper ad, to do business in the 2000’s you needed a website and a mobile phone. To do business in this decade you need a Blog and Social Media.” Matt Adams, Social Media Expert.

With the advent of computers and the internet things have changed dramatically and if you want to build a presence online then social media really is that important.

Today’s Businesses
These days it’s very easy to start a business. In some cases (depending on the type of business it is), you can be up and running on the net in a couple of hours and many of today’s businesses are run solely online. For many small business owners, an online business is a fantastic way to build their business, while keeping overheads low. E-stores for example, allow people to store all their stock at home and employ maybe one or two people to arrange packaging and postage – far cheaper than renting a warehouse and an office for admin staff.

In today’s tech-savvy world it pays to use as many outlets as you can to build an online presence. Whether you want to believe it or not, the majority of your customers, clients and competitors are online and unless you’re there too, you’re losing money.

Why You Need Social Media
Social media networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube give you the opportunity to reach a greater audience and to connect with your customers and clients in ways that simply weren’t possible ten years ago.

We all know that creating and maintain relationships with customers is the key to a successful business but prior to now we had only distant tools to maintain and build these relationships. In the past we’ve had the phone, recently email and text messaging but these are one-to-one communication mediums. With Social Media we can still have this one-to-one conversations but now we INVOLVE others in the same conversation. This is very powerful from a marketing perspective.

We know that we are more likely to purchase something if it’s recommended by a friend rather than if we simply saw an ad on TV or in the newspaper. Now, you have recommendations in so many different ways.
By combining your website with a Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube Channel, Blog and information-rich articles, you can not only increase the number of people who know about your business but provide them with information, discounts and promotions that you can’t do with print media. And with Social Media the cost is simply your time, unless you’d like to run Pay Per Click marketing campaigns (which you should).

You can connect with customers and clients all over the world from promoting your business and selling products to finding new clients, new media can put the world in your hands with the click of a button. And sites such as Facebook allow your customers and clients an opportunity to communicate with you, no matter where you are.

The Time Is Now
If you’ve been putting off using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or a Blog, you are reducing the opportunities you have to reach your customers and clients. There are still many businesses without websites, which not only makes it difficult for people to find them but drives people to their competitors. By creating an online presence you will increase your availability to your customers and be a greater competitor to your competition.

Don’t let your competition take away your business. Use social media to its fullest to create an impact online and increase your presence to customers old and new. If you want your business to survive in today’s technological world you need to be where your customers are – online and on social media networking sites. Increase your presence and your business, and start your social media marketing campaign today.

Five Tips to Improve Your Facebook Fan Page Exposure

In the past creating a website provided you with an online presence. While it’s still an important part of promoting and marketing your business, it’s no longer enough. When social media came into play it became one of the most effective ways to reach your clientele and was quickly included in many organizations’ marketing plans.

Thinking it would be a passing fad, many hesitated getting involved with social media, but once they realized the potential increased exposure, ability to establish your brand and connect to your clients directly, it soon became one of the best options for businesses of all sizes and shapes.

I consider the top four social media platforms to be Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and an active blog.

Originally established as a way to connect on a personal level only, Facebook is considered a leader in social media. As it has continued to grow and seen the benefits for marketing a business, the Facebook Fan Page provided a way for businesses to promote, market and brand themselves.

This allowed Facebook a great way to allow you to maintain a personal connection with family and friends, while allowing businesses to keep a more professional and controlled image of their products and services, making the Facebook Fan Page an excellent choice for business.

Business Facebook Fan Pages have many of the same features as personal pages. You can still share articles, photos, videos, and applications, but all of the content is related to your business.

Here are my five tips to improve your Fan Page exposure:

Be a resource

Consider the information your customers need to make an informed decision. Posting articles and links to useful information on your wall helps showcase you as an expert and allows you to introduce new products, special promotions and other business details that will entice sales and get your clients to return again and again.

Connections

Facebook’s tools allow you to interact with customers. Be sure to respond promptly to comments, discuss product benefits and link new customers to your website for more information. Increase client loyalty by targeting your offers without being spammy.

Give it a Human Touch

To increase the level of connection with your clients, as long as you keep it professional, pictures and personal information put a face on you and your company. This is a great way to get followers.

Make Frequent and Timely Updates

Keep your profile, articles, photos and video content up-to-date and current. It’s not enough to throw up a page and ignore it. Make sure to respond to customers who become fans. Create a group for your business and encourage participation. You should also be involved, answer questions and share expertise related to your business, in groups that connect you with your target marked.

Be An Innovator

Facebook moves fast. Don’t be afraid to try the latest thing. Explore webinars, and other interactive media as options to improve business relationships.

Creating a Facebook Fan Page is great way to integrate social media into your business marketing plan. Don’t forget to provide links from your website and/or blog to your Fan Page. Connect through other social media and continue to grow your network. In no time your Fan Page will be an integral part of your successful online marketing campaign.

Is Your Business Online? Learn The Tips To Successful Internet Marketing!

Make sure people understand what your website is about right away. Certain companies have managed to attract a lot of visitors by creating a mysterious website and promising people to tell them more if they come back later. This might be a good strategy to launch a new product, but you should work on building a solid visitor base first.

If you are going to use classified ads, make sure you use a title that will stand out. You can use capital letters and bold characters. Do not go over the top as most people know not to trust ads that try too hard and that might turn out to be scams.

Unless you are a huge, well-known website, you can not expect new customers to do all of their business online. Many customers are leery of putting their credit care number online, especially if it is a company they have never heard of. Take time to chat with your customers if they call or email to make them feel better about buying from you.

Do not be upset if your website is small when you are just starting out, just be sure you are doing all you can to promote positive internet marketing. Internal links should be done correctly and all of your content should work at all times. Do not overload your small website with internal links, as relevant placement does more than bombarding your customers does.

It may be wise to hire domain professional when starting your internet marketing business. These professionals will be more apt to find you a better deal than you would be able to find on your own. They can also offer you professional advice that you have not have known otherwise.

Do your research online about existing scams, and make sure your business does not look like any of them. In the worst case scenario, a scam could even use your company’s name and reputation to disguise a scam. Make sure you use techniques that inspire confidence and adopt an honest and open attitude towards your products.

One tip that some people swear by as a means to raise the level of internet marketing is to broadcast telemarketing ads as a means of promotion. Some insist that this is a captivating promotional idea. Use this strategy to help boost your ad ratio while using product reviews.

Although it may seem complicated now, you can tell from the tips you read above that implementing the right tactics is not going to be a difficult thing. Everything seems complicated until you learn about it, then suddenly that fog lifts and it all makes sense. Study these tips until everything makes sense to you and get started with your marketing efforts.

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Learn Effective Internet Marketing With These Simple Tips

Offer a special deal to your customers who refer people to your site. This could include a rebate, a free product or a discount off their next purchase. Not only will you attract new customers, but you are more likely to see your previous customers return to buy more from you.

Provide your customers with the opportunity to sell your products through an affiliate program. Offering this has the potential to turn one sale into many sales. Even if you just get a few customers to sign up, the revenue that you make from their work will help with your advertising and other costs.

Make your customers feel valued by offering them a free membership to your online club. You can use this club to email your customers about new products and offers, or ask your club members to join your page on social networking website. This means the friends of the club members will be more likely to find you on social networks.

Consider channels such as e-mail when developing your Internet marketing strategy. Many businesses put all of their marketing efforts into online advertisements or site changes while ignoring the benefits of e-mail. Often, if a customer registers to receive e-mail communications, they want more information. Leverage your e-mail address book to increase the exposure of your business.

If you’re a restaurant making yourself a website, the best thing you can do is to have a copy of your menu available on your website. This is going to be one of the most common reasons people will visit your site. You should also mention any specials or deals you have going on.

Learn and utilize successful strategies to engage consumers outside of your target audience. Sure, a great deal of your attention should be towards your target audience, but the real challenge is getting those prospects that aren’t in your target group. If you learn and use effective strategies in capturing these consumers, you could really reach great heights.

One good way to draw traffic on the web and produce advertising revenue is to market your videos on the internet. There is a wealth of resources available to you that show you how to market your videos properly and drive traffic to them. Take advantage of these resources and find how video marketing can really drive home money.

A successful internet campaign can be yours if you have a competitive nature. Standing out is essential if you want to be at the top of the search engine results, and drive more traffic to your business site. In this article, we have provided you with some valuable tips that can help you to quickly climb to the top. Your business is sure to see an increased level of success if you follow them.

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Social Media Marketing Tips That Will Brand You As A Leader

Everyone seems to want to know about social media marketing tips. Social media marketing can prove to be very lucrative and beneficial to your website or business. Media sites are not just for teenagers anymore but have allowed businesses to reach out on a more personal level with their customers.

Social networking can help to improve brand loyalty, boosts sales, and even help with lead generation. There are many different ways to get started in social media marketing. Having a company blog is one of the easiest ways to let people know all about what it is that you have to bring to the table. When you start blogging you should do your very best to create the most incredible content known to man.

Generating good content is not enough. When creating content keep it fresh and up to date. These tips will help you generate traffic by keeping folks coming back for more time and time again. Other social media marketing tips on blogging include adding Tweet This and Like This buttons at the bottom of your articles or entries. This can easily be done with Word Press. You should also be sure to include links in your blogs. Spread the love around people.

Another marketing tip is to make it very simple for interested parties to subscribe to your blog via email. Also, be sure to comment on other people’s blogs that are in your niche. By commenting on other blogs, you are sure to get noticed. Other social media marketing tips include posting your blogs on Face Book as soon as you possibly can. If someone leaves a comment on your Face Book page, respond.

Let people know that you are a company that cares.

One of the most important things that you can do with l media sites is to engage in as much activity as you possibly have time for. Devote yourself as much as you can to each activity or project that you begin. The most important part of getting marketing tips to work is to use them to your advantage as best as you can.

When you are trying to get followers on networking sites remember that sometimes quantity is more important than quality. When using Twitter to market your goods or services, be sure to Tweet as often as you can with updates. Submit videos to You Tube that are chocked full of information as well as entertainment.

These few social marketing tips can be just the thing that you need to get your business or website where you want them to be. Using social media marketing is like playing a giant game of “telephone” all across the globe. You promote your product to as many as possible. They love your product so much that they go out and tell a friend. This is the business premise of Face Book and other social media networking sites. Putting these social media marketing tips to good use could prove to be the best decision for your business.

How to Embed YouTube Videos on Your Wall on Facebook

One of the most popular items you’ll see posted onto a Facebook wall are videos. Videos have a profound appeal because they entertain us, they inform us, and they are easy to digest – much like Facebook. In a fast-paced world where we want our information quick, informative and adaptable, videos are often the answer. This is just as true for social media platforms as it is anywhere else.

So let’s say you’ve discovered a great YouTube video that you want to share. Perhaps it’s not already going viral (spreading wildly), or maybe you’ve created the video yourself. YouTube makes sharing the video easy and quick if you follow these steps.

1. Open YouTube in your web browser, and locate the video that you want to share.

2. Click on the image or title link for that video, and when it starts to play, pause the video.

3. Under the pause button you’ll see a horizontal row of buttons – “Like,” “Dislike,” “Add to,” and “Share.”

4. Click the “Share” button. When you do, a drop-down box will open.

5. You’ll see a hyperlink that allows you to “Link to this Video” and you’ll see a Facebook icon. (You’ll also see Twitter, Google+, and a “More” option if you want to share the video on other sites, too.)

6. The easiest option is to select the Facebook icon, click on it, and when you do, a window will open on your monitor with a preview of the video, and a box for you to say something about the video before you post it. If you have linked your YouTube account to your Facebook account, you will be all set to post to your own wall without ever leaving the YouTube site. All you have to do is decide what you want to say before you post it, and click “Share Link.”

Note: If you’re not logged in already, you may be asked to log in to Facebook on that window, but the log in is secure and easy. Once you’ve logged in, you’re ready to share.

7. You can also copy the hyperlink and manually go to your Facebook wall. Once there, select “Update Status,” and paste the link into your Status feed, then “Post.” However, this will only paste the link onto your wall, and not the video image preview. Most people prefer to see the image, so they know what they’re getting into before they click on your link, so this is a “2nd choice” option.

While this sounds more detailed than you might think, it’s actually very simple to do and a whole new world can open up to you with your new social media sharing skills!

How to Use Facebook for Business: Five Top Tips

There are a number of ways you can begin learning how to use Facebook for business. Facebook offers a variety of methods, free and paid, that help you gain more exposure for your company. This is especially helpful if you have a brand new website that you need to promote, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money in doing so.

Here are some ways you can start promoting your company using Facebook. Remember, you can start small. You don’t have to use the paid options if you don’t want to.

1. Make a basic Facebook fan page: Just clicking the “Create a page” button on Facebook will launch you on a three-step process that’s very quick and simple to complete. All you have to do is input the name of the website or company (which cannot be changed, by the way, so make it right the first time!), upload a photo or company logo, and add a company bio or description. Voila! Your page is now up and running.

2. Network with your friends: If you don’t want to learn how to use Facebook for business by paying other people to promote your page, than promote it yourself. Ask your Facebook friends to “like” your page, and offer to like one of theirs in return if they have one.

3. Pay for others to get likes for you: Many start-up web developers and freelance consultants offer services on the side that involve collecting Facebook likes on your behalf. Some offer as many as 500 likes, depending upon how much money you pay them and how much time you give them to go out and get those likes. This is generally a fairly inexpensive endeavor. For instance, some people charge just a few dollars to collect 25 to 50 likes.

4. Pay for ads: Advertise your Facebook page by paying Facebook to post your ad alongside others’ profiles. Select an eye-catching photo that will grab their attention, and write a few words of copy. You might even offer a special deal to those who like your page within a certain time frame. Everyone loves getting a deal, and the more deals you offer in return for likes, the more likes and fans you’ll receive.

5. Trade promotions with a similar business: Instead of making your competition your enemy, make them your friend. Offer to promote their page in a status if they’ll do the same for you. Your page will be promoted amongst their followers, and their page will get exposure amongst your followers. You can even “like” each others pages. These likes will show up on the left side of your fan page, so that when fans visit the page, they’ll see that a company has liked yours and may be inclined to like it as well.

These ideas should help you get started in learning how to use Facebook for business. Remember to start off with the free ideas, then move to the paid ones as you see fit.

Twitter Marketing – The Use Of Direct Messages In Your Marketing Strategy

Twitter. One of the largest social media sites on the web today and a place where individuals and businesses that wish to open an account can post their 140 character updates as and when they like, this is referred to as micro blogging. As a marketer it is essential that you leverage the power of Twitter as part of your marketing strategy but in this article we will be talking about the use of direct messages as an effective way of getting your followers to see what your trying to say and getting them to click through to where you want them to.

One thing I must highlight is how to first get an audience of responsive followers before you jump in with some techniques that are likely to give you little or no results. As a marketer, you can’t just open an account and follow a few hundred people and expect them all to want to follow you back and interact with you. You need to Tweet something interesting every so often and become someone on Twitter.

You also want to make sure you have a good number of followers before you start with using direct messages. Otherwise you will find that there is a very small number of people clicking your links, which will be frustrating and possibly even make you think that there is no point in doing it. When really there is massive power from using Twitter and sending direct messages to your followers. It is also seen as a more personal touch to the receiver.

There are many ways to build a large list of followers however that Is for another article. What you want to do to is to Direct message you followers to the newest of your followers which when I’ve tested it in the past gets the best response and click-throughs. As they have just connected with you they will be more likely to see what your like and click a link in a direct message.

Direct messages as I said before are more personal and are more likely to be seen than Tweeting something that is likely to be lost in your followers news feeds. I would recommend that you have a file saved with your direct message in so that when you log into Twitter to check you new followers you can simply copy and paste the message over and send it out.