Archive for Social Media

Using Social Media to Get to Know Your Customers and Prospects

Find Your Prospects Where They Are

Your customers are already where you can find them. Online studies show that customers spend more time on social media websites than they do on their own email sites. The increase in availability of potential customers has grown exponentially over the past three to four years. With the popularity of professional or work-related websites, there are more opportunities than ever to connect with new clients on a daily basis.

You can strengthen your relationships with your customers as well as develop new ones with new customers and prospects by using specialized discussion groups in social media. For example, if you want to invite customers who are interested in your products to become involved, find a topic that is of concern to your target audience. Set up a discussion group in a social media platform like Linked-In and ask a question you want people to contribute answers and ideas to.

Listen to Your Target Audience

This format includes interested readers, it isn’t just your own writers contributing to the informative process. If you structure your topics thoughtfully, you can have your contributors giving valuable insight to new readers which starts a vital communication group.

These groups have a tendency to grow in membership very quickly. People enjoy sharing information, and if this information is related to your product line, it is an easy next step to begin offering access to your website through personalized emails.

Offer a Fun Game

Another very popular approach to getting information from potentially interested customers, is to offer a fun and informative quiz. People hate to take up time with surveys, but if you can gather the same information through a fun game in the form of a quiz, people not only enjoy taking them and finding out where they rate, but they pass the quiz on to their friends and families as well.

Some popular quizzes used recently on social media sites like Facebook are, “What Kind of Animal Would You Be?”, “What Flower Are You?”, “What Personality Type is Your Best Match?” Making your own quiz means you can ask the questions you want answers to, but always offer an answer for them on how the quiz takers rated, – Your Profile is a Tiger, or Your top rated match is Type II Personality.

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Are Your Social Pages Doing Well? The Importance of Goals and Indicators

Social Media has reshaped marketing, and the rules of social media are constantly changing. Business should be prepared to track the health of their social media investments, and must constantly evaluate and reevaluate the right indicators to measure.

Complexity

Social media goal setting may not initially seem as complex as other areas of business, but there is often less clear guidance and direction, paired with constant change. Harvard Business School is currently studying “deep indicators” of business model success, since indicators aren’t always obvious, easy to identify, or easy to track. This is one aspect of social media complexity as well, with constant change as an added complexity.

Meaningful Goal-Specific Indicators

You can easily misjudge social media site health if your goals are unclear. A simplified breakdown of common goal categories are those associated with:

  1. Increasing web traffic or increasing sales, and
  2. Brand awareness and expanding online presence.

Not all data are meaningful indicators. Likes, followers, and views may indicate success toward #1, but although they may be a component of a more complex set of indicators for #2, they are less likely to be independently meaningful. The second group represents an increasingly important but more complicated realm, possibly requiring ‘deeper’ indicators. These include indices of user interactions and engagement, using data pertaining to re-posts or re-tweets.

Using your properly identified goals and indicators, and awareness of change, ensure that you are using the right tools to meet your goals. Your assessment is most useful if you are applying your strategy in the right setting. Considerations should include:

  • Best venue or platform for your goals
  • Familiarity with site-specific analysis tools
  • Current KPI trends and interpretation

 

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Maximize Your Company’s LinkedIn Profile To Create A Stronger Business Presence

LinkedIn can be a gateway for a company to brand their products and services, connect with like-minded professionals, and share information to reach new clients. By maximizing your company’s LinkedIn profile, you will be on the right step to increasing your company’s exposure.

Complete Your Profile

An incomplete profile with missing sections decreases the chances of people finding you in targeted search results. Try to fill out every section that you can with relevant and enticing information about your company while avoiding the fluff that doesn’t add value to your brand, according to Kansas City Business Journal. Beef up your strong points and expand on your About Section by making the words address business professionals. Don’t just copy and paste the information from your website.

Update Your Cover Image

Cover images allow people to place a face with the company they want to know better. Make the photo visually engaging whether it is a headshot or a logo of your company. It should look completely professional.

Increase Accessibility

LinkedIn has provided the tools for you to make it easier for business professionals to follow your brand, receive company updates, and share links of your profile page. Provide these buttons and tools on your blog, main website and microsites to increase your brand exposure. You can also place menu features on your LinkedIn page to make it easier for visitors to go to your website and product pages.

Obtain Recommendations

Recommendations from reputable business professionals can have an impact on the popularity of your LinkedIn page. Get solid recommendations from professionals and clients that have actually interacted with your company. Ask them to leave comments that further enhances your brand.

Post Relevant Content

LinkedIn allows you to post short comments, URLs and other relevant information to people who are in your network. Make your posts compelling and relevant to encourage click-throughs. Also, post periodically without spamming your feed with too much information. Spamming tactics will only discourage people from reading your updates.

 

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Optimizing Your Print and Digital Communications

In the modern marketing world, companies are looking to effectively leverage both digital and print forms of advertising and optimize them to adequately reach new customers and help the business grow. To accomplish these goals, optimizing the communications can go a long way to improving ROI and making sure that each marketing campaign accomplishes what it set out to do. Here are three things that all companies should keep in mind when they set out to optimize their campaigns.

The audience

The campaign will only be as effective as the people it is able to reach. It is important to know who the ideal customer is and where they can be found. New movers, for example, will probably be best found through direct mail. On the other hand, customers who are planning a wedding might best be found online. Conduct surveys and do research to make sure that there is little mystery about who the customers are and how they can be reached.

Do not neglect the data

Data is critical when running a successful campaign. It is important to monitor each step of the campaign and know exactly how effective it is. If those newspaper advertisements did not bring in any new customers, for example, it would be a waste of resources to run the same campaign. If the direct mail, on the other hand, was enormously successful, then it should be expanded next time around.

Integrate mobile devices

Mobile is critical no matter what type of campaign is being run. Make it easy for customers to find the site and make a purchase by using personalized URLs, QR codes, hashtags, and direct links. The harder it is for customers to find the site, the more likely they will be to abandon the entire endeavor.

Optimizing print and digital communications can help to improve ROI and generate more leads per dollar than before. Keep these three tips in mind and get started planning a marketing campaign for success.

 

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Online and Offline Presence-Building for a Business

It’s a buzzword phrase business folks hear all the time these days – “you need to expand your presence!” Unfortunately, while this action seems to be an agreed upon need in the digital world, not as many people full understand what it means.

In reality, expanding a business presence online or off is about developing and building brand awareness and reputation. It’s about developing a name, service delivery, and recognition that is synonymous in consumers’ minds with a particular product, need or service. So every time people think about a particular tool, the company’s name comes up immediately instead of just a generic tool.

While the online side of things involves websites and social media presence, businesses shouldn’t forget about the realtime, real world side of things. Local and regional presence has been developed for decades with the use of fliers, advertisement, mailers, newsletters and multiple other print options. No surprise, business sales and revenue still comes from people remembering about a coupon, an address on a pen or notepad, or seeing an add on a billboard on the side of the highway or commute road.

Another aspect about expanding presence is that, unlike the digital world, an offline presence can remain a bit more static. Time moves slower for printed material, so there’s not as much need to keep updating information to stay on a particular search engine. The biggest search engine in the print world is the local yellow pages phone book, and that only gets updated once a year.

So if your business is looking to boost its name, the digital world is a fine place to do so, but don’t forget printed hardcopy marketing tools as well. Sometimes the old tried and true is still a better path to take, especially when building local name recognition.

 

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Measuring The Real Results of Social Media

If you are like many business people, you may wonder how much time and money you should invest in social media on large networking websites like Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. You might havealready invested in these platforms, but you are not sure that you can measure any tangible results. While it’s nice to see a growing number of fans and followers on your business pages, it would be even nicer to correlate that with an increased number of leads and sales.

Measuring Social Marketing Performance

One of the most difficult things about assessing the benefits of social media efforts is that some important benefits are intangible. For example, brand awareness might be one of the main goals of your campaign, but it can be hard to measure the way that increased awareness has impacted your sales unless you do absolutely nothing else to generate sales and leads.

Information Today is a website mostly aimed at librarians and information gatherers, and they have published some topical insights for business people who need a way to quantify the results of their efforts. They suggest these simple tactics to measure the effectiveness of your campaign:

  • Analytics: If your goal is to increase the number of visitors to your website, you should have tracking in place on your site to see where visits originate. If your goal is to get the phone to ring, you can either dedicate a phone number to your efforts or simply train your representatives to ask where the call came from.
  • Search results: Spend the time to measure your ranking in popular search engines, and you should do this both before and after a search media campaign.
  • Internet mentions: Google Alerts is a great tool to alert you to mentions of your business website or social media page on other Internet properties.

 

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Quick and Easy Tips to Improve SEO

These days, if you want your website to stand out in the search engine results, you need to implement effective search engine optimization strategies. This includes not only strategic keyword placement and back links, but other proven methods as well. Read on to learn a few quick yet effective tips for boosting your site’s SEO.

Use Title and Meta Tags

If you’re not using title and meta tags in your HTML already, you could be missing out on a lot of search engine exposure. Title or h1 tags should always be keyword-focused, so be sure to brainstorm a list of keywords that your prospective customers or clients would likely be searching for. When writing meta tags, aim for action words and keywords while keeping the message succinct and to the point for the best results.

Blog and Update Regularly

In order to have a fighting chance in the content world these days, you’ll need to have a relevant blog that links back to your site and that provides relevant content. Furthermore, you’ll need to update this content regularly; otherwise, the search engines won’t consider the site to be relevant. If writing isn’t your thing, consider hiring a freelance content writer to crank out some quality content for you.

Take Advantage of Social Media

Signing up as a business on a social media site is free, so why not use your social media page as a way to boost SEO? Make sure to fill out your business profile as extensively as possible and post regularly, encouraging people to leave reviews and testimonials.

Maximizing SEO for your website does take a bit of effort, but it’ll be more than worth it in the end when your website is more easily visible and begins seeing more hits.

 

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Best Types of Posts for Businesses to Share on Social Media

This is business marketing, not personal chat. That is what you don’t post for marketing and promotion. The function of social media for business purposes lies in nurturing the ability to enter into new relationships relevant to your business. The objective is not specifically to directly push a product or service. It is to expand reach.

As in all relationships that you want to nurture, you provide what they want. Promotion of your brand with social media is about providing content that has value to your audience. They will make the connection and your brand will be enhanced without any direct sales attempt on your part.

But while you do not want to support personal chat, you do want to be social, in as much as you contribute to relevant conversations. The most important factor in the success of this marketing strategy will be in how frequently you interact and post content.

Post benefit-based information that draws the reader to your business website. Information about new features or changes to your product/service is excellent. So are pricing discounts and special offers with promotional codes to be entered on your site.

Provide informative content or link to external content to offer needed information in your industry. That may seem to be a monumental task, but finding such information is no longer all that difficult. As they say, there’s an app for that.

Look to any of the following for help in finding relevant content on the Web. SproutSocial.com, Mention App, and Feedly.com all locate content for specifically targeted subject areas. You can also contract with content professionals to provide content that you specify. Whatever you post, know that the important part of this process is in the establishment of trust and ongoing relationship with your clients. The conversation is of paramount importance, not individual sales. Those sales will follow. You need to focus on developing a community.

 

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How to Increase Customer Engagement Online

These days, running a successful business online is all about setting yourself apart from the competition by engaging your customer base. However, if all you’re doing to reach out to your customers is maintaining a website, you might not be doing enough. Here are some simple yet effective tips for increasing customer engagement online.

Set Up Social Media Pages

According to Convince & Convert, 58% of Americans these days report that they have at least one online profile with a social media website. Therefore, if you don’t have a business page set up for your company on a social media site like Facebook or Twitter, you could be missing out. By setting up a page and updating it regularly with photos, polls, and contests, you’ll better engage your customers and prospective customers while spreading the word about your business in the process.

Offer Special and Exclusive Content

Today’s consumers love receiving special recognition, so if you’re not already offering exclusive content to your customers, you might want to start. For example, consider sending out a special promotional code to customers who have purchased from you in the past few months. Doing so encourages loyalty to your company while rewarding your customers in the process.

Encourage Feedback and Participation

Believe it or not, your customers want to feel like they have a say in your company’s decisions. Therefore, you should start including them in some of the choices you make. For example, if you’re a candle company thinking about offering a new scent, why not ask for your customer’s suggestions or hold a contest where the winner gets to pick the new scent name?

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to better engage your customers online. Be sure to give some or all of these a try; you just might be surprised by the results.

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Which Social Media Networks Should You Be Focused On?

While Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn seems the surefire way to social media networking success, which one REALLY gives your company the highest success rate for your company’s needs?

The print and mailing industry effectively attracts new customers with social media marketing, a strategy that works hand in hand with printed marketing materials.

Companies are not finding that one method is better than the other in fact, according to a study conducted by Pitney Bowes 76% of small businesses reported “both mediums work effectively together enhancing marketing capabilities and social media presence”.

Benefits of Social Media Networking

Using social media marketing allows a company to connect directly, to the target audience, giving an inside advantage to see who is buying and more importantly how to best reach them.

Another benefit is finding out what customers think of your competitors, who consumers prefer and who they do not. Companies learn a lot from this strategy for example:

  • What consumers are buying and who they are buying from
  • How consumers value your products, along with competitors
  • Value and interest in other products-what makes them different, more appealing
  • Allows companies to plan more effective business strategies

Working Together To Achieve Success

Once a company has this knowledge, using it to effectively attract a target consumer audience becomes easy to reach. By creating a marketing plan tailored to the needs of valued customers, while attracting newbie’s!

While Facebook and Twitter remain the most popular and useful for media marketing, combing the efforts of both social media and print material has proven successful.

If you’re social media site focuses on; a target audience, brand identity and generates calls to action with consumer response, then that is the site to focus on!

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