Tag: Social media

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Six months after being acquired by Twitter, Vine is now the number one most downloaded free app on the Apple Store. A pretty impressive feat for an app which is not a game.

So what is Vine? Why is it so popular? Why should businesses use Vine to promote their brand, products or services?

We take a look into the newest social craze and why businesses should consider incorporating Vine videos into their marketing efforts.

What is Vine?

Vine is a free video app available for iPhone or iPad which allows you to capture up to 6 seconds of video. When watched, Vine videos loop continuously to give the effect of a never ending video.

How to use Vine?

Using Vine is simple. Once you have created your account, press the green camera button on the top of the screen.

  • Hold your finger down on the screen to record. The green bar at the top of the screen will show you how long you have left. You have up to 6 seconds of recording available and you can stop and start as many times as you like to create different scenes.
  • Once you have finished recording hit the green ‘tick’ button and you will be shown your video.
  • If you’re happy with your video hit ‘done’.
  • You can then add a comment, hashtags, the location using Foursquare and share your video via Vine, Twitter or Facebook. Hit ‘done’ and you will be shown your Vine on your profile page.

Why use Vine for your business?

A report by Adobe found that there has been a 50% growth in video streams since quarter 1 of 2011. With video not only becoming more widely available but watched, now is the time for brands to weave video content into their marketing channels.

One easy way to do this is with Vine videos.

Here’s some ideas on how to tell the story of your brand in six seconds.

  • Take Vines at company meetings, company outings or just of everyday happenings in the office to humanize your brand and showcase the personalities behind the company.
  • Use Vine to create a portfolio of your work for potential clients.
  • Take Vines of new products or services to create buzz.

Vine is a great opportunity for your brand to get creative – remember a lot can be said in 6 seconds.

How does the Aequilibrium team use Vine?

We have been using Vine to showcase the creative minds behind AEQ. Yesterday afternoon we took a Vine of our designer Jason creating wireframes for a client.

Important things we have learnt about using Vine

  • Vine records sound. So we recommend either being quiet when Vines are being created or being conscience of the sounds going on.
  • Being video content watch for uploading your Vines when not on WiFi.
  • You must share your Vine either on Vine or Twitter or Facebook for it to be saved. We have had a few instances where we have lost Vines due to not saving them.
  • Watch for your battery life when capturing multiple scenes with Vine.
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At Sendible, we have recently added YouTube integration to augment the ever-growing list of channels already supported by our social media management tool. To celebrate our launch, here are 8 tips to help you make the most of YouTube for  marketing your business.

Video can be a very powerful tool for businesses of any size, but YouTube‘s free-to-use model, ease of use and mass market audience means it’s a great channel for small businesses. However, like any tool, in order to get the most of it, it needs to be used well.

1. Create a Branded YouTube Channel

This step is often overlooked by small businesses. Your YouTube channel is basically your house for the videos you create and upload, the videos you have selected as favorites, and those that you have organized into a playlist.

A customized channel gives you the opportunity to add and showcase your company’s branding with specific colors, information and links to your website and/or relevant social media pages. A channel also gives viewers an option to subscribe to your content with the click of a button.

2. Make Sure Your Content Fills a Relevant Need

At Sendible we aim to provide videos to helppeople effectively manage their Social Media activity. We post recordings of our join webinars with industry experts and screencasted how-to tutorials on using Sendible on a wide variety of topics such as; How to manage clientsautomatically replying to people on Twitter and many more. By doing this you create valuable information and interest in you and your company thus generating loyalty and trust.

3. Develop Videos that are Quick, Simple, Engaging, and Professional

Decent video cameras are no longer expensive, so you can make a professional video without breaking the bank. Pay attention to lighting the area, sound quality and shakiness of the camera. Your best bet is to use a tripod. It is important to plan an outline and a script prior to making your video. Much like writing a story, you will want to include a beginning, middle and end. Make sure your video has a purpose. Keep it simple and short. It’s recommend 2-4 minutes for a video.

4. Optimize Your Video

According to Wikipedia, “In April 2011, James Zern, a YouTube software engineer, revealed that 30 percent of videos accounted for 99 percent of views on the site.” YouTube claims that more than 24 hours of video are uploaded every minute, so the number of specific videos on the site is constantly changing. It is important you do everything you can to make your video easily found.

Your videos should be findable both within and outside of YouTube. Videos often appear on the first page of search engines, and are a proven method of leap-frogging your competition to the top of the search results page. The fact that Google owns YouTube can’t be overlooked.

To make your video more findable, you’ll want to focus on three key areas (TDT):

-Title: Make sure your targeted keywords are in the first few words of your title. Another trick is to add a colon after your initial keywords and rephrase your title for maximum effect. For example, your video on saving money for college might be called “College Savings Plans: The 529 Plan and Your Child.”

-Description: Two things to keep in mind here: 1) start your description with a full URL, and 2) don’t be stingy with your description—more is… well, more. Be as descriptive and keyword-rich as possible. This will help you get found more easily by people searching YouTube for your type of content. You can also include more URLs throughout your content.

-Tags: Be sure to include any and all related keywords in the tags field.

These aren’t the only variables in getting found, but they’re the easiest to manage and control. Page views, subscribers, comments and likes can all affect your video’s visibility.

5. Participate With Others on YouTube

Spend time looking around on YouTube and make “friends.” Visit the competition and see what they are doing well and not doing so well. Engage with others on YouTube and they will in turn engage with you and your brand, which helps spread your information.

6. Share Your Videos in Other Places

Sendible can help you share your videos on your blog, tweets and Facebook page and many others. This is once again where your thumbnail, tags, title and keywords are important to further encourage interaction with your video and your brand. Videos are effective on Facebook landing pages welcoming people to your brand. Tweet the link of your newest video to your Twitter audience. Video blogs are becoming more and more popular.

7. Call to Action

Always include your company’s website address in the video as you want to give the viewers additional reasons to engage with your brand. Other ideas for calls to action might include: offering a contest, discount coupons, or instructional guides.

8. Measure

Sendible provides you with reporting and analytics tools, providing you with a quick snapshot look at the results of your video. The information is available within the My Reports section of your dashboard. You can track the number of views, the demographics of the viewers, and also how people found your video. Alongside all of your other social media analytics allowing you to make informed marketing decisions and measure the success of your Social Media Strategy.

Post via Vishal Pindoriya at http://socialmediatoday.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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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)