Tag: Business

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BLOG POST CHECKLIST

So you’ve finished an awesome blog post and you can’t wait to share it with your readers, well your job isn’t quite finished. Now you have to make sure that your blog post can get the best reach possible. How do you do this? simple, make sure to cover everything you see on the blog post checklist below:

 

blog post checklist

Do you have more questions about earning money from your online business? Contact info@hypeboxmedia.com for a free 15 minute phone consultation or book a one-on-one coaching session.




 

Photo credit onlineentrpenista.com

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Is your LinkedIn account mostly sitting idle? You can do so much more with it than simply look up contacts: find gigs, sell products, expand your networks, grow your business and gain free publicity. Here are 33 ways to use LinkedIn more effectively.

Is your LinkedIn account mostly sitting idle? You can do so much more with it than simply look up contacts: find gigs, sell products, expand your networks, grow your business and gain free publicity.

Here are 33 ways to use LinkedIn more effectively.

  1. Fill out your profile completely to earn trust.
  2. Use widgets to integrate other tools, such as importing your blog entries or Twitter stream into your profile.
  3. Do market research and gain knowledge with Polls.
  4. Share survey and poll results with your contacts.
  5. Answer questions in Questions and Answers: show expertise without a hint of self-promotion.
  6. Ask questions in Questions and Answers to get a feel for what customers and prospects want or think.
  7. Publish your LinkedIn URL on all your marketing collateral, including business cards, email signature, email newsletters, web sites and brochures, so prospects learn more about you.
  8. Grow your network by joining industry and alumni groups related to your business.
  9. Update your status examples of recent work.
  10. Link your status updates with your other social media accounts.
  11. Combine your social media approach: when someone asks a question in Twitter, respond in detail on LinkedIn and link to it from Twitter.
  12. Use the search feature to find people by company, industry and city.
  13. Start and manage a group or fan page for your product, brand or business.
  14. Research your prospects before meeting or contacting them.
  15. Share useful articles and resources that will be of interest to customers and prospects.
  16. Don’t turn off your contacts: avoid hard-sell tactics.
  17. Write honest and valuable recommendations for your contacts.
  18. Request LinkedIn recommendation from happy customers willing to provide testimonials.
  19. Post your presentations on your profile using a presentation application.
  20. Check connections’ locations before traveling so you can meet with those in the city where you’re heading.
  21. Ask your first-level contacts for introductions to their first-level contacts.
  22. Interact with LinkedIn on a regular basis to reach those who may not see you on other social media sites.
  23. Set up to receive LinkedIn messages in your inbox so you can respond right away.
  24. Link to articles and content posted elsewhere, with a summary of why it’s valuable to add to your credibility.
  25. List your newsletter subscription information and archives.
  26. Find experts in your field and invite them as a guest blogger on your blog or speaker at your event.
  27. Post discounts and package deals.
  28. Import vCards and contacts from other applications to find more connections.
  29. Export your contacts into other applications.
  30. Buy a LinkedIn direct ad that only your target market will see.
  31. Post job listings to find qualified talent.
  32. Look for connections related to a job you want.
  33. Find vendors and contractors through connections.

by meryl k evans at http://gigaom.com

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Google+ for business has continued to be a growth market for businesses and for search engine optimization.

Google+ has definitely succeeded where their previous attempts at harnessing social media have failed. Remember Google Buzz or Google Wave?

Google Plus reached 100 million users faster than Facebook (which took what, four years?) and Twitter it took even longer to eclipse 100 million. Google may have finally created the social network they were hoping for.

Why Should My Business Be on Google Plus?

Great question! Why should you create a Google+ business profile? Well, it is owned and operated by Google of course. And as a generalization, like YouTube and Google Places for Business, Google+ profiles do have some perks in getting ranked/indexed by Google. You increase the odds of getting highly targeted visitors from Google’s organic search results if you have a Google Plus account.

Similar to Facebook’s “like”, Google has “+1” votes. The more +1’s your pages and posts the better. Those social signal votes, let Google know that what you’re sharing is being read and shared. Google+ profiles and pages can have a significant impact on search rankings.

I’ve got a couple of tips that will show you some ways you can use Google plus for business. The added benefits of increasing the authority and influence of your company, your brand and boost your search rankings.

Your Google Plus Profile

The About section of your Google+ profile gives you a great opportunity to write about your business. You can write what your business is about, the kinds of products and services you offer.  This introduction content will also end up being used by Google as your page’s meta description when it shows up in the search results.

*Pro tip – You can create links within that introduction content that links back to different pages of your site. A couple of smartly used anchor text keywords would be nice, but definitely no keyword stuffing.

Link, link, LINK!

If you have any other social media profiles, from Facebook, to Instagram and Pinterest, you MUST add them to the links section of your Google+ profile as well. What better way to get a little more link juice and authority from Google than to have your social profiles included on their page for your business?

You can check out my Google+ profile to see an example.

Circle Google+ People!

You can find people to add to your circles pretty easily based on your interest with Google’s search feature. Like Twitter, the odds are in your favor that if you add them to your Google+ circle, they will follow your account back. Doing so can increase your odds of exposure when you start sharing your content with the world!

Share Content!

Your content and others’ content that you find of value. Every article that you share, creates a link back to your site. And with it being Google, you sharing on their social network gets your content indexed almost immediately. Share information, whether it’s an infographic, video, or even something funny, sharing is caring for your Google+ network.

Engage!

You’re sharing content your own content, re-sharing quality content to your community and that’s great. Take it to the next level, by commenting on what other people are sharing. +1 their content, leave a quality comment. Be involved. That added exposure will naturally draw people to add you to their circles and increase the chances of your content being shared with their circle of influence.

Google Plus Business Secret

Encourage your employees or coworkers create their own Google+ profiles if they don’t already have a profile. They can help you in just a couple minutes a day, post links to your websites on their Google+ profiles, they can share the posts from your page and even +1 posts. It’s an easy, yet powerful way to quickly and legitimately gain social signals for a new page.

Final Google+ Thought…

Google+ isn’t going anywhere. I have a feeling its influence will continue to grow in the social media marketing arena over the next couple of years. From the community itself, to the ability to write keyword rich content that links back to your sites, there are definitely some search and social advantages to being active on Google+ for your business.

post via  at http://www.timothy-carter.com

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Here’s a look at 4 simple ways you can use Pinterest to make connections and provide value.

#1: Tell Your Company’s Story

Every company has a personality and a story to tell. When you reveal your unique story, you help establish credibility and foster a personal connection with your Pinterest followers. A good place to start is to look into your company’s history. General Electric has done a great job of this on its “The Archives” Pinterest board. Here, GE pins images of past ad campaigns and products. If you share your company’s story with your audience, you:

While most businesses don’t have the long history that GE does, there are other things that can be pinned from the past:

However, the story doesn’t have to be limited to the past. Taco Bell Careers pins current images of employees working in the corporate offices and in stores on their Pinterest “The Taco Bell Community” board. Doing this will give a behind-the-scenes look and help to portray the company as fun and friendly.

cs-taco-bell-careers-on-pinterest

Featured on this board are images of a jalapeno-eating contest, company award ceremonies and other fun events. Even if your business isn’t as large as Taco Bell, you can pin images of:

  • Office parties
  • Staff meetings
  • Candid behind-the-scenes photos
  • Photos of pets (even the White House has done this on their Pinterest boards)

Another way to tell your story is to share the causes that matter to you. Many people appreciate doing business with and can relate to a company that gives back to the community. Mr. Rooter has a Pinterest board to showcase the non-profit foundations they partner with and support. They also highlight what their franchisees are doing on a local level to show that the giving goes beyond the corporate office.   These pins display the many ways Mr. Rooter gives back to the community. While sharing your story, it’s important to remember that your company is more than just a logo. Many businesses on Pinterest use recognizable logos for their profile images, but to build a personal connection, pin a photo or video of yourself. For example, Bed Bath & Beyond created a board dedicated to their social media community managers. The only pin on this board is a video of the community managers introducing themselves and explaining what followers can expect to find on the Bed Bath & Beyond Pinterest account. Followers now have a sense of who the people are behind the Pinterest account. Instead of users leaving comments for a large company, they can now communicate with the actual people who represent the company. This simple video makes a large company feel very approachable.

#2: Recognize Loyal Customers

Long ago, before video game consoles became as common as toasters, kids would have to venture out to arcades to play video games. One thing all of the gaming machines had in common was a screen that would show the initials of the top-ranking players. Having your initials listed as a top-ranking player meant that you were pretty darn cool. It took time, skill and money to achieve that status and the initials were the video game makers’ way of rewarding you. As a marketer, you can now use Pinterest to recognize and honor your clients or customers. For example, UGallery is an online art gallery that features upcoming artists. Each Monday, it features a guest pinner to pin to the UGALLERY: Be Art Guest board.   UGallery includes the weekly guest pinner’s name and website URL in the description of the board. The guest pinner is featured on the UGallery blog and on the Pinterest board along with their pins. The guest pinners bestowed with this honor are likely to become loyal customers of UGallery and share the good news with their friends.

#3: Make Your Boards a Resource

Lowe’s, an international home improvement retailer, is a good example of a company that uses its Pinterest account to provide value. Lowe’s Pinterest account provides value to followers beyond links to products. The boards Lowe’s has created not only feature products and projects from their website, they also have many pins that link to other websites and blogs for inspiration and instruction. When Lowe’s customers are looking for help with their next project, they can visit the Pinterest account to seek guidance.

#4: Verify Pins Before You Share Them

Repinning is encouraged on Pinterest. When repinning something that you think would provide value to your Pinterest followers, click on the pin to verify that it leads back to the original source. Remember, the links attached to pins can be changed or broken. Before repinning to your account, verify the origin of the pin by clicking on it and only repin if it goes to the original source of the image. Pinning images with bad or broken links provides little to no value. Pinterest is a great social media platform to help build connections, trust and loyalty in a very visual way. Use these tips to leverage this social media platform to build the trust and loyalty of your audience. What do you think? How will you use Pinterest to build a connection with your clients or customers? It would be great to hear your ideas. Go ahead and share them in the comments below!

 

post via, Cynthia Sanchez at http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com

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Hundreds of millions of active Instagram users every month are posting forty million photos a day on Instagram. Think about those numbers for a few minutes. Now that they’ve sunk in I think we can agree that learning how to use Instagram to best promote your business, product or service is a very, very wise move indeed. The potential it offers is really “mind blowing”, for lack of a better description.

Even more good news is that there is solid techniques and methods that can help you make the most of Instagram that are both easy to implement and execute.

Why Instagram Is Good For Your Business

1. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

No it’s not a cliché at all. Do you have a product that you can display in a really visual dynamic way? Or a service that some great photos can highlight in an emotionally charged, dramatic manner? If you can translate the passion of what you offer or do into a visual image this opens a fantastic door of opportunity. Most people like to look at interesting images and if you can “draw” them in with a photo that is an “ad” but isn’t, it could end up worth as much as some of the best advertising campaigns out there. Be creative!

2. Instagram Can Offer A Behind the Scenes Look

When you share some photos that offer a behind the scenes look at your business, it can go a long way towards building a sense of rapport and familiarity between your work and those you are offering it to. This is one of the most powerful ways social media can help you change the game. A photo of your product being made or the service you offer being performed from the perspective of an “insider” can really intrigue and fascinate potential customers and clients. This is one of the reasons why television is packed with shows of people working at interesting jobs. It’s human nature to be curious about what’s going on “behind the curtain”.

3. It Encourages Customer Participation

Once you have built a reasonable amount of followers the door is wide open to encourage customers to exchange and participate in exchanges involving your business, through the use of things like hash tags. Why not encourage them to share photos of themselves using your product or service, if appropriate? Social media is social after all. This is why people love it so much and the more fun exchanges they have with your business in social media the greater chance they will end up spending money with you and encouraging their whole social circle to as well!

4. Instagram Allows You To Build a Personality for Your Business

Instagram should be an intricate part of building a distinct and winning personality for your business. Combined with other forms of social media, your website and your advertising, you are given a great opportunity for moulding how your business is perceived by your customers and potential leads. Are you trying to convey lightheartedness, seriousness, or some other “feel”?

The right photos shared on Instagram can go a long way in building a personality and “aura” for your brand. Don’t underestimate the potential value of this universally…… especially in niche markets where personality is even more important.

5. Trust Building

The online experience can take a human face away from our business interactions. This is a bad thing if you are looking to build trust in what you offer. Instagram lets you put a face, literally, on your efforts and in ways that can be targeted to help build confidence in you. This is a very good thing.

If you learn how to use Instagram to help build or reinforce trust in your efforts this will quickly equal more sales and more happy customers. Don’t neglect the occasional happy go lucky photos which can go a long way in this direction.

6. Instagram Keeps Your Name In Conversation

Learn how to use Instagram to keep people talking about your business. An idea that’s been proven to work again and again? Holding Instagram contests.

Instagram is the ideal platform to hold contests to promote your business. The options are only limited by your imagination. “The best photo shared featuring what you offer receives a free product” is a popular formula that works again and again.

Contests are a great way to get Instagram users and other lovers of social media talking about you and what you do!

7. Instagram Helps Promote Special Events

Are you planning on going to a trade show or something similar? Promote the fact you are going, on Instagram, to draw support and interest in your attending. During and afterward, document your trip with cool and fun Instagram photo shares. Focus on some containing yourself and customers or other business associates. Nearly everyone loves this type of fun attention. People also don’t like to feel like they are missing out on something so they may be interested to rock up at your next show to experience the adventure in person.

8. The Chance To Go Viral

Think company mascots, pets, adorable babies or animals doing funny things around your logo. It only takes one home run to change the public profile of your business forever so don’t laugh this off. It’s also a nice thing to encourage employees or friends and family to participate in sharing the word about your business. Yes, one cute kitten photo shared for free can equal tens of thousands of dollars of advertising. Welcome to the age of social media. Learn how to use Instagram along with the other more obvious platforms and become a social marketing guru of the digital age!

You can see with a nice dose of creativity, some thought, a plan and the right spirit can go a long way towards Instagram becoming a real asset in helping your business. Jump right in and don’t be shy. Getting your feet wet in Instagram is something you can do right away, and the more you use it the more comfortable you will become in the Instagram arena.

I hope our 8 Tips are helpful in your learning of how to use Instagram and achieving continued success for your business!

POST VIA JOEL

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If you don’t know, companies have already started using twitter as it is the new way to promote, connect and brand a company. In my last post I mentioned if your company is not using twitter then your company is going to miss out be crushed.

So why bother using twitter for your business? Even twitter themselves know about the power of using twitter for business that they’ve set up a special twitter 101. Here is what twitter says

Here are reasons that I’ve came up.

1. Connecting with customers

This is the  main reason why you should use twitter for your business. You will be able to connect with your customers because they themselves are using twitter. Twitter has become a daily routine where people log onto it every single day, some log onto twitter the first thing they wake up even before brushing their teeth. If you have an unsatisfied customer you will hear them on twitter. This will help your company to help them. On the coming days I’ll be going deeper about how you can “spy” on tweets using free tools like twitter search.

2. Branding

You don’t have to be a big brand like Dell, Nike, Starbucks to brand yourself on twitter. You can be an average joe and brand yourself on twitter. For me if your company is not recognize then you need to get a PERSONAL account. Why? Firstly nobody want to talk to a LOGO unless its a famous brand. Everyone wants to connect with a person and not a bot.

3. Customers feedback

Once you have connected with your customers you will for sure be getting feedback on how you can improve your product, your services and maybe even improve your customers service. Listening to them will help you in the future.

4. Marketing

One of the reasons to use twitter is you get to market your product or services to more people and the best part about that is its FREE. You don’t have to pay (Unless if you plan to hire someone to run your twitter account).

5. News

You can also give latest updates on twitter about your company by tweeting. Here is one done by JetBlue Airways on their twitter account @jetblue

6. Give away coupon codes and promotions

You can also tweet about new deals and coupons codes to help give your company the extra boost. What everyone love include me is getting a good deal. Weather its a promotional lunch set, if its cheap. I want it. Here is  a tweet on Dell is doing it.

For me you don’t have to be like dell in order to do this. You can have a normal business as well. If you have a restaurant and you have build loyal or new followers in your place you can send out tweet like “Having a special set lunch this weekend.” or something like that. They can tweet you for more information regarding that. I am going to teach you how you can get local twitterers.

7. Twitter is Viral

If you’ve have succeeded gaining some popularity with your twitter account you will know how viral twitter can be. This will be part of your marketing strategies that you can use in the future. Dell have succeeded in making their tweets viral with their promotion tweets.

8. Spying on competition

Did you know you can spy on competitiPostson too? Best part about this and spying on customers is that its FREE using twitter search. You can not only read what customers are talking about you but you can also read what customers are talking about your competition. If your competition is not doing anything with their customers complaints. Then what happens if you (the savior) suddenly tweet them “hey I heard you have a problem with…..” Just an example.

9. Increase Sales

Twitter can help you increase sales and make PROFIT. Dell is one of the company that have increase their sales on twitter. How much sales? Imagine $6.5 million in sales as reported at mashable

10. Brand loyalty

At the end of the day, once you have engaged, helped your customers (your followers) on twitter. They will be loyal to your brand for a long time. This will be talked more in the future post.

Via Aaron at www.askaaronlee.com

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As of January 2013 Facebook had over 1 billion monthly active users and 618 million daily users. With such a huge potential audience at your finger tips, simply signing your business up for Facebook page and waving your digital flat there may seem like enough.

But how do you use Facebook as a tool to truly grow your business in a tangible way? The trick is to make sure that the time you spend there directly ties into one of the following four strategic business activities.

1. Increase Leads and Sales

Increasing leads and sales is the top reason businesses join Facebook. If used strategically, Facebook can be an excellent promotional vehicle your business. You can post a link to your whitepaper, introduce a new product or promote an upcoming sale.

Of course, you’ll want to make sure you put out a good mix of promotional and social content. As a general rule, no more than one out of every five posts at most should be about your products or services. There’s no faster way to lose Facebook Likes than to post a non-stop stream of promotional material. Remember the majority of your posts should simply provide interesting content that engages your followers.

2. Provide Customer Service

More and more, consumers turn to social media for customer service inquiries, and Facebook can be an excellent place to facilitate these interactions. Of course, providing customer service in front a live audience can have its perils if not handled appropriately, but engaging and answering your customers’ questions in a public space can also pay off as you demonstrate how engaged your business is, and that you care about their concerns.

  • Here are a few guidelines to follow when providing customer service support on Facebook:
  • Use a consistent voice when answering customer questions (avoid Facebook multi-personality disorders!)
  • Answer customer questions in a timely manner (ideally with 24 hours). Answering a customer’s questions three weeks after it was asked it is a fast way to lose credibility.
  • Be honest and genuine when dealing with customer complaint. Admit if you’ve made a mistake and you’ll look more human for it.
  • Don’t delete a negative post! Address these posts directly and tactfully, and do whatever is reasonably possible help resolve your customer’s issues.

3. Build Brand Loyalty

Repeat customers and word-of-mouth advertising are some of the most cost-effective ways to grow your business, but you have to earn them. If used correctly Facebook can help you bolster brand loyalty within your target market. One of the best ways to do this is by recognizing and rewarding loyal customers, and there are easy ways to do this on your Facebook page:

  • Recognize your most loyal customers. A public “thank you” can go a long way for a loyal customer.
  • Highlight a post or picture from one of your fans on a weekly basis. This is a great way to reward customers that are engaging with your Facebook page.
  • Provide exclusive discounts to people who Like your page, and to your loyal followers.

4. Conduct Marketing Research

Your Facebook page is like a highly qualified and engaged focus group. It’s made up of customers who like your brand, are interested in your products and may even be willing to help you out for free. When you’re considering development of a new product or launching a marketing campaign, you can easily reach out to your followers for insights.

For example, before sinking a boatload of resources into developing a new product or service make sure you ask your Facebook fans their opinions.  For example if you are considering a new dish at your restaurant ask your customers what they think first to help predict its potential success.

Facebook can also be used for advertising research. If you plan to launch a new marketing campaign, you can use Facebook as an initial testing ground. Well-intentioned marketing messages can sometimes be misinterpreted by a broader audience, so use Facebook to test the waters.

via Nick Johansson via www.smallbusinessbc.ca

STATISTICS

  1. Consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals.(HubSpot)
  2. 49% of consumers use Facebook to search for restaurants. (Mashable)
  3. 58% of Facebook users expect offers, events or promotions when they become a fan.(HubSpot)
  4. 81% . survey respondents say friends’ social media posts have directly influenced a purchase decision. (Forbes)
  5. 15.1 million consumers go to social media channels before making a purchase decision.(Knowledge Networks)