Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’


5 Social Media Marketing Tools For Smart Business

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

social media marketing tools

Social media can be a minefield for businesses. An endless array of networks, interactions, posts and so on. Switching between tabs on the internet for your various profiles and replying from each individually can be tiring and time consuming. Fortunately, there are some excellent social media marketing tools out there that allow businesses to pool all of their social media and features into one place to ensure your social marketing is efficient and easy.

 

1 – HootSuite

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HootSuite is undoubtedly the leading social media platform, with over 9 million users. A popular and intuitive platform, this allows you to combine networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Instagram in one place. It offers various price plans and feature options, raging from free to “Pro” for £7.19 a month or their top range offer, “Enterprise” for elite business and corporate use. It allows you to not only post from each of your networks, but also to establish feeds for your @mentions, private messages, comments, and so on. An Ambassador of the classic, “column” interface, you can easily set up and organise your dashboard to please you.

Key Features:

  • Send updates to all connect networks simultaneously
  • Schedule updates
  • Keyword searches
  • Analytics
  • Team Members

You can read our “Smart Guide To HootSuite” here.

 

2 – TweetDeck

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TweetDeck, as the name may suggest, is a free and exclusively Twitter focused tool which allows you to streamline your Twitter use. You can have your timeline, notifications, Direct Messages and trends and activity all in one place, lined up next to each other so you save time having to navigate like you would on the website.

Key Features:

  • Scheduling Twitter updates
  • Custom Timelines

 

3 – Buffer

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An excellent tool for ensuring your links and updates are always published at opportune moments, Buffer allows you to schedule posts to times which suit your businesses needs. Posting to networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus, this simple but brilliant tool means you can get quality content and information to your audience even when you’re away from your desk. Price plans range from free to the “Awesome Plan” for $10 a month.

Key Features:

  • Scheduling posts across networks
  • Analytics
  • Team Members

 

4 – Zapp! Media Group

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Zapp! allows you to ad networks such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, email and many more and promote your business in a hard and fast manner. Set up similar to an email inbox, it has all your feeds and interactions in one stream, making sure you never miss a beat when it comes to your social media. Prices range from the “Basic Plan” of $39.95 per month to the “Pro” at $99.95 per month.

Key Features:

  • Scheduling
  • Analytics
  • Brand searches – highlights who is talking about your brand online
  • RSS Feeds

 

5 – SproutSocial

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SproutSocial is set up much like an Inbox you would find for email interfaces. Pooling all your feeds across the various networks into one place, you can establish “Smart Inboxes” to cherry pick the data that is relevant to your social marketing needs. There are three options for price plans, ranging from Deluxe at $59 per user a month, Premium at $99 per user a month and Enterprise at $1,500 per month.

Key Features:

  • All-in-one Inbox
  • Multiple profiles
  • Analytics
  • Mobile App

 

Key Focus

Finding the right social media marketing tools for your business really can shave time off your day as well as up the ante in marketing prowess. It may be that you are happy using one tool for your social use, or find that mixing and matching different tools means you get the best features from each. Finding what works for you is the key to successful social marketing, but one thing is for sure, these tools really are great help for those serious about social networking.

Photo credit: Mykl Roventine via photopin cc

How To Get Started On Instagram for a Local Business

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

how to get started with Instagram

Instagram is one of the largest social networks in use and is certainly the worlds leading photo platform. A primarily mobile based app, it allows users to take, upload and digitally filter and enhance photos before sharing them publicly, both online in its own forum and also via other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. It is renowned for its retro feel and look, inspired by the days of polaroid photos giving your photos a classic cool touch.

 

Getting Started

It really is simple, just go to your app store on your phone and search for Instagram and download. Here’s the app on iTunes and GooglePlay. Be sure to use your brand name when registering your handle, keeping it the same as your Facebook and Twitter profiles if possible to give you consistency and make you easy to locate. The same goes for your profile photo, if you have a brand logo, make sure you use that. Link out to your website in the bio section to ensure increased traffic to your own site.

  • Once you have it installed, open the app and start uploading by clicking on the blue camera icon in the bottom centre of the screen.

Take a photo with Instagram

  • From there you can either take a photo in real time or scroll through your gallery to find one.
  • Resize it using the touch screen square option, click the arrow icon top right corner to move on.
  • Select the filters from the row across the bottom of the screen until you find one you like.

Instagram filter options

  • You can also test other options such as blurred edges and frames from the top of the page. Once you’re happy, click the arrow again to select the final control page:

Post a photo on Instagram

  • Select to send it to other profiles such as Facebook and Twitter for maximise publicity. You also have the option to tag other Instagram users if its relevant to do so, it’s a good way of reaching out. If you like, you can even add a location to the photo so people know where to find you. After you have done that, all that is left is to post it by again clicking the arrow. It’s really that easy!

 

How To Use It For Business

It’s a common misperception that photo apps such as Instagram are aimed solely at young people for personal use, and although this is one core marketing group, it’s also a fantastic way to plug your business if you know how to embrace it correctly. The key is to balance the content of your photos from personal and fun, so your audience can see that you’re human and approachable, but also maintain a level of business and work ethics.

  • Posting photos of your team having coffee and laughing during work meetings is a perfect Instagram photo opportunity to help break the fourth wall between you and your consumer base. Whilst these laid back personal touches are welcome and should be embraced, be sure to ensure they retain a level of respectability.
  • Be clever with it as a marketing tool. Have a sale on? Upload an Instagram of a “Sale!” image so your customers know that they can get money off and be more likely to engage.
  • Be sure to use hashtags when you publish. Key ideas would be your brand name, the word sale, the items you sell and are showing in the photo, length of sale, colour of item. These keyword hashtags will help lead customers to you (especially if you also post out to Facebook and Twitter when you publish).

 

Conclusion

Instagram is a great visual marketing tool. Not only can you market items or products, you can show the public that you’re just like them, normal people, having fun and doing a great job. By walking a line of personal touches and business posts, you will have an Instagram profile people will love and connect with. And if people are connecting, they’re appreciating your brand.

25 Smart Ways to Promote Your Local Blog

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Is your local blog working for you? Without getting a decent amount of traffic, it’s not doing you much good. Writing posts regularly is just a part of the equation. Promoting your blog is crucial too. Luckily, there are plenty of effective ways to do so. We’ve hand-picked 25 great examples to get you started.

  1. Facebook logoFacebook – If you’re not already sharing your blog posts on Facebook, it’s time you started. There are even ways to automatically share new posts as they go live. By including some thought-provoking comments in your posts, you can attract even more attention.
  2. Twitter logoTwitter – You never know who’s on Twitter looking for information that you provide. Sharing links to new blogs on Twitter is simple, and it’s a highly effective way to cast a wider net. You can also actively search for users who are talking about topics that relate to your blog and promote it to them as well.
  3. Pinterest logoPinterest – Sure, Pinterest is a highly visual social media site. That doesn’t mean it can’t be used to promote a blog. Simply share photos that relate to your blog and embed links so that users can find it.
  4. Instagram logoInstagramInstagram is similar to Pinterest in that it’s primarily visual. Like Pinterest, you can use the service to share photos and links with your followers. Links on Instagram aren’t clickable but if you then share to Twitter or Tumblr then they become so.  The popularity of this service is growing by leaps and bounds, so it’s well worth it to get on board as soon as possible.
  5. LinkedIn logoLinkedIn – Although LinkedIn is mostly about maintaining and developing professional connections, it can also be used to share new blogs with followers. You just have to include a link while sharing an update. Be sure to add a link to your blog to your LinkedIn profile as well.
  6. Google Plus logoGoogle+ – What better way to get love from Google than by sharing and promoting your blog on Google+? As a local business owner, you should already have a Google+ page for your company. Whenever a new blog post is made, be sure to share it with your Google+ followers.
  7. Social Media Sharing Buttons – It only takes a few seconds to add buttons for sites like Facebook and Twitter to your blog. This provides visitors with a quick and easy way to share what they’ve read with their social networks, which can enhance your blog’s visibility in a major way.
  8. Google Authorship – You know how some Google search results include the author’s photo? This makes a listing more visible, right? You can accomplish this by adding Google authorship tags to your posts. Detailed instructions are readily available online.
  9. Email Newsletters – Most active Internet users check their email at least a few times per day, so it’s well worth it to send email newsletters from time to time. When you do, you can highlight a few of your most recent blog posts to ensure that everyone is aware of your blog’s existence.
  10. Signatures – Like many people, you may use a signature file for emails and forum posts. Adding a link to your blog to your signature is a fantastic way to quickly and easily spread the word. Every time you respond on a forum or to an email, the recipient will receive a link to your blog. If you use Gmail then an app like Wisestamp makes the process pretty simple.
  11. StumbleUpon logoBookmarking Sites – Set up profiles on popular bookmarking sites like Stumbleupon, Reddit and Digg and make a point of getting actively involved in relevant threads. When it makes sense to do so, post links to your blog.
  12. Scoop.itCuration Sites – Curating content from around the Internet and putting your own spin on it is an excellent way to draw traffic to your blog. Curation sites like Scoop.It make it easy to do. With a click or two of the mouse button, you can create posts highlighting content from elsewhere online, which can draw in traffic from many different areas.
  13. Forums – Online forums continue to be very popular. No matter what kind of business you own, there are sure to be at least a few forums that relate to it. Get to know them and post on them regularly with links to your blog. You could also check business networking forums and local business or Chamber of Commerce forums as well.
  14. Quora logoQuestion and Answer Sites – As a business owner, you’re an expert in your industry. Share your knowledge with people who are looking for help on question and answer sites like Quora or Yahoo Answers. While you’re at it, link back to relevant blog posts so people can learn more.
  15. YouTube logoYouTube – Take a few of your most popular blog posts and create videos based on them. Post the videos to YouTube and write detailed, keyword-rich descriptions. Some people simply prefer to watch videos, and this is a great way to attract them to your blog too. YouTube is owned by Google so you can probably guess the benefits!
  16. Slideshare logoSlideshows – You can also take popular blog posts and create relevant slideshows. Share them on a site like Slideshare and include highly detailed descriptions. You can also link back to your blog so people can get more information. Slideshare is owned by LinkedIn and so it’s a great way to link your presentations together.
  17. IFTTT logoSyndication – With the click of a button, you can instantly share your latest blog through syndication. Sites like IFTTT.com and NetworkedBlogs.com are incredibly useful for this kind of thing.
  18. Guest Posts – Find blogs that relate to yours in some way. Read them for a while to get to know them, and then (politely & professionally) approach the owners with offers to write guest posts. Your guest posts can include brief biographical information, and most of the time it’s perfectly fine to include a link back to your own blog.
  19. Press Releases – When you have news to share with the world, a well-written press release should do the trick. In addition to being packed with information, your press release can and should include links to your website and blog. In fact, you can issue a press release for the sole purpose of promoting your blog. Just make sure there’s something newsworthy to share.
  20. Flyers – Printed materials still have a place in promoting a business. Why not print up some flyers with information about your blog? You can then pass them out to customers. It may also help to promote your blog on company letterheads, business cards and other printed materials.
  21. Comment on Other Blogs – There are sure to be blogs out there that relate to your business. Seek them out and visit them often. When it makes sense, post related comments to engage in the conversation. Include links back to your own blog. You’ll be amazed at how much traffic you can generate by doing this.
  22. Identify Influential Bloggers – Perhaps there are dozens – or even hundreds – of blogs that relate to yours. In that case, zero in on the most influential ones and focus your efforts there. From posting comments to writing guest blogs, there are all kinds of ways to make effective use of popular blogs in your industry.
  23. Tell People – During the course of a normal business day, you may interact with many customers directly. Try to mention your blog whenever you do. Encourage your employees to do likewise. If you’ve written a post specifically to answer a client’s question then make you let them know!
  24. Interact on Your Blog – By fostering a sense of community on your blog, you’re more likely to attract return visitors. This is also a great way to generate buzz and to increase the odds of people sharing your blog with others. Make a point of chiming in on the comments section from time to time to show people you’re paying attention.
  25. Have a Contest – Create a contest that requires people to visit your blog in order to participate. Even those who wouldn’t regularly consider visiting your blog will be encouraged to do so for the chance to win something.

By trying as many of these techniques as possible, you’ll have a much easier time promoting your local blog. Before too long, it should be receiving plenty of attention!

5 Reasons Why You Need a Blog For Your Business

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Creating a website and expecting it to be automatically found by your target audience without doing any additional work isn’t realistic. Think about it: These days, nearly all businesses have websites. Many of them also have blogs. If you haven’t started a blog for your business, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to increase your online visibility and to enjoy many other advantages. For small investments of time and effort, you can enjoy some truly incredible returns. Five reasons to start a blog for your business include:

 Blog for your business

1. Give Your Business a Personality – The last thing you want is for your business to be another nameless, faceless presence on the Internet. There are already plenty of those, and they tend to be ignored by just about everyone. With a blog, you can cultivate a unique voice for your business and give visitors an idea about what they can expect when dealing with your company. A well-written, informative, interesting blog can also make your business more approachable.

 

2. Build Trust – You can’t expect the people who stumble upon your website to instantly feel comfortable with buying things from your company. They have all kinds of options, and they’re going to choose businesses that have proven themselves to be authorities in their industries. Through your blog, you can demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to the world at large. It’s the perfect way to express your opinion and to gain credibility in the eyes of your target audience. By establishing trust, you dramatically increase the odds that visitors will ultimately become customers.

 

3. Improve Your Ranking with the Search Engines – By now, you’ve probably read a lot about how to boost your site’s ranking with the major search engines. All search engines put a top priority on fresh, unique content. If anything, well-written content is more important than ever. What better way to share it than with a blog? By creating an editorial calendar and regularly posting new blogs, you can quickly and easily increase your website’s visibility on the major search engines and attract more visitors.

 

4. Have Fresh Content to Share on Social Media – There’s nothing wrong with sharing relevant content from around the Internet on your company’s social media profiles. However, you should make a point of mixing in some of your own content too. When you have a blog, that’s easy to do. There are tools you can use to instantly share new blog posts on all of the most popular social media sites. Your followers will be alerted whenever you post a new blog, and you can even use your social media posts to generate buzz and start conversations.

 

5. Increase Traffic to Your Website – At the end of the day, you can’t hope to make more sales through your website without drawing in more traffic. There are many ways to increase traffic, of course, but a well-written, engaging, informative blog is among the best options. It’s worth it to pour a lot of time and effort into your blog posts to ensure that people actually want to read them. Over time, your blog will develop something of a following, and the amount of traffic that flows to your site will steadily increase. This will eventually lead to increased conversions, sales and success!

 

The idea of a blog may leave you cold, but the truth is that it can work wonders for the online fortunes of your business. Once you get into the habit, it will be like second nature. As soon as you start realising some of the best benefits of this strategy, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.

Photo credit: A Guy Taking Pictures via photopincc