While face-to-face networking is still the best way to build relationships, social media has made it possible for even the worst recluse to be social. Even if you can’t get to any networking events at all, you can make use of different social networking sites to build lasting relationships.
Here are five of the top social networking sites and some tips for using them to build your business relationships:
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is still the largest network for professionals, which makes it easier to be a bit more obvious about your networking goals.
- Join relevant LinkedIn Groups. Look both for Groups that have colleagues to network with, and for Groups that contain your target customers.
- Share helpful tips and news with that Group that are relevant to the Group’s theme.
- Comment on other people’s posts in the Group. Even just a “like” will make you visible to that person.
- Add media to your profile to increase your visibility (video, slides, etc.)
Twitter – With its constant stream of news, it can be difficult to be visible on Twitter. Here are a few tips for being seen in 140 characters or less:
- Share breaking news about your industry,
- Tweet news about your products and other helpful tips
- Share other people’s news and tweets, and remember to put their Twitter profile name in your tweet so they’ll see it (@username)
YouTube – A picture says a thousand words, but a video tells the whole story. Use YouTube to increase your own visibility in a variety of ways:
- Tell your business story face-to-face, with slides, or even with whiteboard animation.
- Walk through a demonstration of how to use your products.
- Show your back-office and interview some of your employees on camera.
- Share customer success stories from the customer’s mouth
Google+ – Google+ grows more and more each day, with a larger and larger element of business participation. Don’t leave it out of your networking plans.
- Join relevant communities and participate
- Start your own networking community and invite your contacts
- Run regular Hangouts with industry experts
- Hold Hangouts for Q&As with customers
Facebook – Facebook may be mainly for “social” networking, but you can build some powerful business relationships there, especially in their Groups.
- Join relevant Groups and comment daily
- Form your own Group and start a daily topic for conversation
- Give away free reports and tools to your Group members
Other social media sites to check out for networking include Pinterest (especially if you have a business that’s very visual), Tagged and Meetme (which are more social-oriented). With any site, keep your networking goals in mind and make sure you participate on a daily basis to increase your visibility.
To your success,
There are many factors that make blogs much better than normal WebPages including the speed at which blogs are indexed, ability to submit to blog directories & normal directories, pings and track backs. All these little things can help drive more traffic to blogs. Here are 15 popular techniques you can use:
1.) Create at least four keyword posts per day. Most of the top blogs such as Boing Boing, Daily Kos, and Instapundit (with literally tens of thousands of visitors per day) publish an average of 30 small 100-150 word posts per day according to “Secrets of the A-list Bloggers: Lots of Short Posts” by http://TNL.net
2.) Submit to My Yahoo! When you submit your own RSS to My Yahoo it is indexed by Yahoo.
3.) Submit to Google’s Reader. When you submit your own blog RSS to Google’s Reader the Google Blog Search will index your site.
4.) Add a relevant link directory to your blog and trade links like a demon possessed! Although it may take more time than simply submitting to a search engine one time, this method is perhaps the best way to drive traffic to your site. Use software such as Zeus to speed up the link trading process.
5.) Use ping sites like ping-o-matic.com – Ping your site every time you add a new post.
6.) Submit your blog to traditional search engines.
7.) Submit your blog to traditional directories such as DMOZ. Directories (particularly DMOZ) increase relevance with Google. DMOZ is very picky, but what do you have to lose by trying?
8.) Submit to as many RSS Directories and Search Engines as possible. This is a simple but repetitive process that can be done with software such as RSS SUBMIT.
9.) Comment on other blogs. Do not just leave short, lazy comments like “I agree.” Leave well thought out replies that will force readers to wonder “who wrote this?”
10.) Use track backs. If there is a blog that you refer to or quote and it is highly relevant to your subject, leave a track back. It increases your link popularity and may even score a few interested readers from the linked site.
11.) Go offline. Use newspaper ads, public bulletin boards, business cards, even stickers to let as many people as possible know your blog exists.
12.) Ad a link to your blog in your e-mail signature block.
13.) Use Groups (Usenet). Find a relevant group on Google groups, Yahoo groups, MSN groups, Facebook Groups or any of the thousands of other FREE group services and find like minded people and talk with them. Make sure your use your blog URL like it is your name.
14.) Use Forums. Forums are one of the best places to go for advice. Go to forums and find problems to solve. Make sure you leave your blog name, but be tactful about it; some forums get annoyed with those who selfishly drop a few links to their own site and leave.
15.) Tag your website. Tagging is an idea that has erupted across the web. Sites like http://Del.icio.us, Technorati and many others have a social feature that allows you to place your article under keywords or “tags” that everyone interested in that tag can see.
+1) Do not forget Twitter. I recognized, if you are starting to twitt about your blog, it gets more easily indexed in the search engines,
Although these are some of the most popular ways to drive traffic to your blog, do not limit your self to tips and lists. Use your imagination and you will come up with thousands of ways to drive traffic to your blog!
To your online success,
Like many other people on the internet, you left all the access details to your web site with your web developer. Find out why this is a dangerous strategy.
What happens when you order a domain name, secure a great value web hosting account to showcase your products and ask your web designer to set up your web site? Do you know how to manage your web hosting account and your email set up? Do you have access to edit your own web site or shopping cart? You don’t?! – Really?? – You can not be serious.
Like many other people on the internet, you left all the details to your web site with your web developer. You’ve paid your dues, though – the invoice came through promptly and you paid it bang on the nail! It’s about time you looked at this another way!
When you buy a retail shop or rent commercial space for your bricks and mortar store, you always make sure you have the keys, know how to operate the burglar alarm, understand how to get your post delivered to the premises and install all the necessary phone lines, telephones and faxes and pcs to be able to communicate effectively with your customers. Your insurance company would throw a fit if they you asked them to insure a premises where you didn’t have control of the security and access. Even if you only visit once or twice a year, leaving the property in the hands of your staff for most of the year, the buck stops with you.
So, it’s really strange that you should be happy to leave control of your web business in the hands of a virtual stranger.
Although you may find it takes a bit of time to learn your way around your hosting control panel or the control panel for your domain name registration, you are risking your whole online business by not persevering and becoming familiar with the basics of managing your web site.
I wrote you this out of own experience. I do trust it helps you to avoid a big mistake.
To your success online,
You may have heard something about ‘branding’ in regards to marketing, but perhaps you’ve wondered what that means exactly.
Sometimes it is better to explain something in relation to something else. That’s what I am going to do – so first I will start with ‘positioning’. You also may have heard that term, but also did not really know what it meant. ‘Positioning’ is a marketing term that means to take a product or service and “position” it in the mind of your prospects/clients…
You may have heard something about ‘branding’ in regards to marketing, but perhaps you’ve wondered what that means exactly.
Sometimes it is better to explain something in relation to something else. That’s what I am going to do – so first I will start with ‘positioning’. You also may have heard that term, but also did not really know what it meant. ‘Positioning’ is a marketing term that means to take a product or service and “position” it in the mind of your prospects/clients by comparing it with or against something already familiar in their minds. Al Reis and Howard Geltzer first published a book about it in the 1970’s.
To give you an idea of positioning, take Avis. Hertz car rental already had first place in the market. By being first place, they preempted that position. Everyone knew that they were #1. So, Avis, to get any recognition at all, had to position themselves with Hertz, but actually couldn’t take their spot. Do you recall what they did? You got it – “Avis. We try harder.” By positioning themselves as the best second runner up, they were able to capitalize on a larger portion of that market.
Some people think branding is like positioning, but it is different. The main difference is that positioning is a fluid concept. In other words, you can position yourself at different times in different markets as different things. Branding is more set in stone- it’s a hard-core recognition factor.
To give you a better idea, the other day one of my subordinates saw a cup of mine with red circles on it. He said it looked like a ‘Target’ cup. That is branding. That red target logo is branded in that person’s mind. He saw it and immediately thought of the chain store.
However, Target is positioned differently – it’s discount chain with good style. Some people even refer to it as ‘Targé’ – that is positioning. It positions the store with some hoity-toity posh boutique but everyone knows it’s right there with Walmart price wise. Good position.
Branding is more about the following of rules because if you don’t follow those rules, things don’t look the same and people won’t remember you. What if you changed your body periodically – I mean really changed your body. “Oh, today, I think I’ll be Asian – straight black hair, slanted eyes” – but yesterday you were Caucasian; how do you expect anyone to remember who you are when they see you on the street? It is kind of the same. When you put out your marketing pieces, you want to create a similar look and feel so that people remember you. And you want that similar look and feel on every thing you put out.
The good thing is that you get to make the rules…colors the same, style of lettering the same, logo etc. And there is some flexibility as long as you follow the rules. You can’t go too far out of bounds, but you can change some things within the frame of what others can still recognize.
There was an actual study done by GE (General Electric). They found out that it only takes 22% of their logo for people to recognize. Only 20% of their logo needs to be seen before people recognize it.
So, it sort of is like the Western concept of branding your cattle – making sure people recognize what is yours.
Remember I said ‘the same look and feel’? Well, the other side of branding is what it makes you feel about it. Chevrolet used to say it was America’s vehicle – baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. Now it is “like a rock”. That makes you feel a certain way about it. It still is in line with the old idea about Chevrolet. Americanism = loyalty = dependable = Chevrolet. That song that comes on is their brand. Being America’s vehicle is their position. Both give you a certain feel.
Branding in your marketing has to make you feel something. A technology company can’t have an old style font – you might not think they were very far advanced.
Take PostcardMania. Their colors, bold style font and humorous quips give you the feeling that they are happy and lively. They make sure that their prospects and customers get that same feeling every time they see their mail, emails, packages, logo, etc.. Therefore it is important to look the same every time.
Take a dry cleaner for example. His postcards, packaging, hangers, etc. need to have his logo, colors and font all the time all the same – on everything. That way when people receive his postcards in the mail, they look for what specials that he has because they already like him and have him identified in their mind as something they are familiar with. If he is constantly changing what he looks like, when they get his postcard they don’t know whether they are looking at his specials or what some dry cleaner in general is offering. If they are already familiar with him, they are most likely going to pause and look at what he has to say.
Branding is just like the old coat of arms that families used to have connected with their name. It would instill respect, fear, and wealth – whatever. Likewise, a country’s flag gets people to feel a certain way about their country. Heck, Stalin even used branding! He used the same picture to portray who he was to his people – I am this, I am this, I am this – he wanted them to think a certain thing. It’s really not a new idea – I’m trying to get you to see it has been around for quite some time.
At PostcardMania, they want people to recognize that they know how to get their attention – bright colors, loud type – shows that they know what we’re talking about in terms of marketing. But ‘Postcard Marketing Experts’ is our positioning. Does that make sense? You can see how the two tie in together. One is our position and one is our brand. We’re hoping to create a feeling of being expert, the best in the business, etc., but also friendly and easy to confront.
Think about what message you want to portray. What do you want recipients of your promotion to think about you? What image of your company do you want to put out there? That is your brand. When people see you continually as one thing, they begin to expect the same from you and they get used to you.
Remember when Pepsi came out with clear Pepsi? People freaked out. They didn’t want to drink it. It was a flop. It wasn’t what they were used to – so it didn’t even taste the same to them.
Branding in marketing is recognition – color, font and logo – keep it the same.
If you can get them to remember what it is you are selling, the more likely they will come in and get it…if not, you are depending on drive by traffic and are wasting your money in marketing. And don’t forget this very important marketing truth – if you’re only planning to promote merely one time then branding is not going to help you. Branding is only for marketers that already understand the concept of repetition.
(For more information on repetition and how this works in marketing, read “What the Heck is a Campaign and Why do I Need One” by Joy Gendusa at www.postcardmania.com.)
It’s difficult to reach your business goals if you don’t have the right materials and/or the information to help your buisness reach the success it’s capable of. These 3 insights will help you generate the business you’ve always dreamed of.
1. Team Up
No one knows your market like you! What are the main characteristics of your target audience? Find someone else out there who isn’t a competitor, but who reaches the same class of customers that you do. Team up with them to do joint promotions!
We all know that two is better than one. The dramatic end results will be an effective and cost-cutting advertising venture the nets both of you a nice profit.
I once dealt with a veterinarian who promoted a local dog groomer… who in turn promoted the local veterinarian. Yeah, it’s kind of a “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” set up, but hey it works for both parties. Think about it… customers are going to feel that the dog groomer is in the know about who the best vet in town is, as well as trust the vet to know who is the best dog groomer in the area. Sure, it’s a win, win situation for both the groomer and the vet.
2. Dig Out New Niche Markets
Niche markets are everywhere, right under your nose! Within the customer audience that you serve right now are groups of people who share common traits. Think about it… maybe you have a goup who speaks Spanish, a group of teens, and a group of middle class family men and women.
Evaluate these classes of people, and discover the unique needs and desires they share. That will set you up to customize your advertising campaign directly to them. It’s not hard to take your current ads, and make a few changes to adjust to the niches. They’ll be impressed that you understand THEM, and the increase in your profits will be the best thanks you can get.
3. Hop On The Latest Trends
Get in on the first floor of the latest trend… before your competition becomes aware of it. Be a leader in the industry! Hey, for example internet marketing is still profitable all around, but businesses who jumped on the band wagon early in the game got the best proceeds for their insight.
We’re not talking about dropping everything and making a mad dash! Wise marketers add to their already profitable businesses when they see the “new and coming” techniques. Keep the customers you already have on board, and add to your existing products and services and add to your channels of communication.
You can quickly and easily strengthen you business and push out the competition by adding new layers to your existing business, teaming up for joint promotions, and discovering new markets to reach.
Writing a blog can be as easy as baking cookies to one person, but much more difficult to the next. Professional writers will tell you that they find blog writing enjoyable. Those who are not great writers may be intimidated by the task however and may never want to learn how to write a blog entry. Writing a blog entry does not have to be painful however. It can be a lot of fun! If you are interested in blogging, but are unsure how to begin, use these six easy steps to writing a blog entry to get started …
The most difficult part about writing anything is deciding what you want to write about. Blogs are interesting because you can use them in several ways. You can use them as a personal online journal of sorts if you wish. You can also use them as a place to post your opinions and views. Lastly, you can use them as a place to put short articles of interest for others to read.
If you are choosing to use your blog as a journal, you might not need much planning. You will probably simply want to begin writing and see where it takes you. If you want to use the blog for your opinions or for articles however, you will need to gather ideas. Create a list of topic ideas that interest you. Use them to determine what your topic will be. After choosing a topic, make a quick outline of main points you want to include. This step may seem tedious, but it will make the other steps go much more quickly, so be sure not to skip it.
Choose a Tone
After you have chosen your topic and created your short outline, you will need to choose your tone. The most successful blogs are written in a casual tone, which is a welcoming idea to most non-professional writers. Don’t worry about grammatical rules. Simply choose a tone that is like the one you would use when speaking with your spouse or a great friend. The tone should be friendly and stress-free.
Write Your Post
When you sit down to write your post, remember the tone you chose for your piece. Keeping the tone in mind put your topic idea and outline in front of you and begin writing. You should keep your blogs posts pretty short. They should contain your main point within the first sentence or two. Don’t ramble on and on or you will risk losing your reader somewhere in the middle. You can strive to keep your posts between 300 and 700 words altogether. This may sound like a lot, but once you start writing, you will see that it will not take a lot of time to get to this point. Don’t forget to write in a casual tone. Write exactly like you would speak. Avoid large words that some people may stumble over. Create interesting, yet simple posts for everyone to enjoy.
Use a Signature Ending
A signature ending is important for any blogger. You can choose to end each post with a specific quote or phrase. You can add your name to the bottom with a special symbol nearby. It really does not matter how you choose to end your post. Be sure to choose a signature ending however. A signature ending is a great way for regular readers to see that your post is ending. It can be a comforting sight for many readers as well and make your blog seem more personal.
Edit Your Work
After all of the writing is said and done, you should always edit your work. Editing is not always a fun thing to do, but if you want your blog to be taken seriously, you should go back over your work. Look for misspelled words and other common mistakes. Although you are not worrying about grammar, you should not misspell words. When you are certain your text is mistake-free, you can move on to the last step.
Submit Your Update
The final step to creating a blog post is to submit it to your blog. This is typically done via the blogging software. There is a spot where you can paste your text and click on the “submit” button. The software should do the rest. After submitting, visit your blog as a reader and check out your new update.
Helping You To Crack The Code,
The fact that Facebook is so focused on their community makes it a very powerful marketing tool, if you use the site correctly. The idea is that you want to help encourage people to recommend your profile, product, service, application, and content to others.
In order to achieve success on Facebook, this viral nature needs to exist. And, it will naturally if you create things that others find interesting, helpful, or just plain neat.
Are you unsure of how to take advantage of the viral nature of the site? Your number one goal is to make sure that all of your content somehow relates to the product or service you’re trying to promote on the site. Here are some tips.
” Videos and Photos
Take advantage of the fact that Facebook allows you to upload photos and videos. Make sure that they are interesting and have value to the users. However, don’t just upload it. Encourage people to rate them and pass them along to their friends.
This is a powerful tool for Facebook. It is worth the effort to put together an application that is fun and also relevant to what you’re trying to accomplish. Applications are one of the most viral aspects to the site. Once someone adds an application, they are automatically encouraged to invite their friends to also participate in it.
” Start a group
If your group is interesting enough, people will invite their friends to join. Start a group that is helpful and informative, or just plain fun. If you do that, it will be even more appealing to others.
No matter what you do on the site, it is helpful to put yourself in the place of the members of your community. What kinds of things would encourage you to participate and eventually buy your product? Why would you recommend something to your friends? Carefully think about your answers and then apply them to your Facebook business.
YOU NEED TO PARTICIPATE
When it comes to social networking, you pretty much get out of it what you put in. We’ve talked extensively about the idea of building a community. But, it’s important to realize that you can’t expect your community to run on autopilot. You need to be involved with it on a constant basis, or hire someone to be involved with it.
If you don’t participate, this will not attract other people to you. People will quickly get bored with the community you’re trying to build and eventually find other things to do on the site. This will result in lost sales.
Log in often. Answer messages and emails. Put new content on your profile. Post to the group and encourage participation and discussions. All of these things are especially important in the beginning. However, you always need to be involved to make it a success.
HOW TO MEASURE SUCCESS
When it comes to Facebook, it is very easy to measure success. Everything that you do on Facebook to build your business relate to building and engaging a community. If you go through all that work to find people to be part of your profile, and to get them to participate, this is not a good thing. T
But how do you know if there is something wrong with your approach or if it will just take a while to really get the community going? It’s a little difficult to measure because it all depends on how much time you’re spending on it. If you spend an hour a week, then you’re success may not be as immediate.
If you’re spending a lot of time, however, the fix isn’t necessarily to spend more. You also need to evaluate if the activities you’re choosing are right for your overall goals. If you change your tactic slightly, your results may change.
So, your measure of success can be gauged by the level of participation in your community. Once people start participating, the sales will follow. If the participation is not where you want it to be, you’ll need to evaluate why this is the case.
To your success on FB,
First, what kind of tools can you use to do social networking on Facebook?
The short answer is, anything goes. Since there are so many things you can do with the site, you’d do best to consider it a blank slate.
Since you define your experience on the site and set your own goals, you basically want to choose the activities, applications, groups, and networks that will help enhance this experience.
Here are some ideas for using the site for social networking:
You can send messages to other users and accept messages from your friends. The expression is now a werb: to inbox. It says: “Inbox me”. You know, like it happened to Google. “google it”
Joining and participating in groups is a great way to meet people.
Once you find someone you have something in common with, you can add them as a friend. Once they accept, you can do things like sharing photos, inviting them to participate in groups, and encouraging them to add certain applications.
There are a lot of different applications on the site. Each of them helps the user engage in social networking. You can play games, send the applications to each other, take quizzes, etc.
The ultimate way to enjoy the site and use it for social networking is to share things with each other. This goes for applications, videos, and photos. You can also invite them to join groups, and use the site to take a look at the groups your friends are interested in.
” News Feeds
This is another important social element of the site. It is through the feeds where you can see what your friends are up to. For example, if a friend added a certain application, you have the ability to check out what they added and decide if adding it is a good thing for you to do.
A lot of people get in trouble for not using Facebook as ethically as they could. In fact, people who are part of social networking sites throughout the world continually abuse the privilege of being part of the site and end up using tactics that are less than ethical.
These are called black hat tactics, and they could result in your profile being banned. For lasting results, don’t use black hat techniques or anything related to misdirection. Instead of black hat tactics build trust and long term followers and friends, later even clients or customers.
On the internet, some people will use dubious tactics such as optimizing a site for a keyword that is really popular, but doesn’t even relate to the niche. Facebook has its own version of that.
Bring value to the community.
To your online success,