Are you Frustrated with Your Social Media Marketing?

 

Frustrated with Social Media“Frustration” – a word frequently used to describe companies new to social media and those who have been involved in social media but have yet to enjoy a return.

The problem is two-fold. First, establishing a social media presence takes time and continued effort. You have to be consistent in your involvement with the social media medium and remember that returns will not be overnight. Second, you have to make sure that you are using social media in a way that makes sense for your business.

If you are not sure, ask yourself these simple questions:

Are you using the right platform?

First, remember that there are a variety of social media platforms for you to consider – most notably Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Further, within these platforms, there exist variations on the theme. For example, in Facebook, you can have a “Page,” a “Group,” or a “Community.” Each variation has its own set of tools, purposes, and capabilities. In addition, you may decide to participate in several social media platforms at the same time.

For example, if you have a fitness center or weight loss product , you may want to use your YouTube channel to publish videos on how to perform certain exercises or tapings of classes you offer there while using Facebook to build a sense of community through candid photos, listings of hours, available classes, and upcoming events.

Have you scrapped past attempts?

However, you also need to remember that whatever you take on has to be maintained and updated regularly. This can take up valuable time and people resources. While it can certainly be worth it in the long run, remember that consistency is key. If you do not think you will be able to maintain various platforms (or you have already started and stopped using a platform) be sure to erase or delete those accounts. Otherwise, you stand the risk of eroding your brand value when a customer (current or potential) stumbles across your forgotten Bebo account. Instead, make sure that what you have is the best it can be and do away with anything that you are not actively using.

Are you providing the type of information and interaction that your audience wants?

Ask yourself what it is that your audience would want to read, not what you want to tell them. Providing discounts or having giveaways can be useful, but you have to have more substance than that. Consider posting facts about your company, the brand, or its products. Think of the tidbits of information you encounter everyday that make you stop and say, “Really?” Examples include fun facts about how long you have been in business, what happens “behind the scenes”, why your business operates as it does (e.g. why Yoga class was cancelled on Tuesdays, why you do not serve poppyseed bagels, why you buy local, why legal documents are presented in blue card stock), etc.

Are you listening to your audience?

Likewise, are you listening to your audience? When they make a post, do you respond? Do you stay on top of when your company is mentioned on other sites, blogs, social media, etc., and make relevant comments to that affect (on that site and yours)? Remember that social media has developed because of the continued interaction it affords. Its purpose is not to simply broadcast, but rather give people a voice in things they would otherwise not be privy to.

Do you allow them a voice?

Similarly, make sure that you give your audience a voice. Ask open-ended questions, run surveys and polls, include them in new product decisions, etc. – the more things like this you do, the more valued your audience will feel. Remember that interaction is a large part of a successful social media campaign. If miss out on this, you may already be out of the game.

Social Media can be a key part of growing your business and brand to attract local consumers.

Local Internet Marketing isn’t just about having a website, it includes being findable in multiple places when local consumers are looking for your product or service.   A Local Internet Marketing Consultant can help you determine the best route for your online marketing plan.

Ethics and Building Your Online Business

In Seth Godin’s post today he touched on ethics in our increasingly transparent world. I’ve had issues for years with people who believe that “business is Business” and that they can be unethical in their business dealings and still be ethical.

One of my favorite books on this issue was “There’s no Such Thing as Business Ethics” by John C. Maxwell. Several people commented when they saw the title because many people believe that you can live your life in two parts. Then I had to explain to them that the point of the books was that there are only ethics, period. There aren’t personal ethics and business ethics.

Now with the increasing transparency of the internet it is becoming harder for people to hide:

“The Net enlarges the public sphere and shrinks the private one. And black hats require the private sphere to exist and thrive. More light = more success for the ethical players.”

The news is filled with stories of businesses who have tried to manipulate online social and video networks and have received far more backlash from their efforts than they ever could have received from the initial efforts.

I believe that in today’s increasingly transparent business climate those that provide real honest value will win in the long run. What are your thoughts?

Recession proof your business with teleseminars

Recession proof your business with teleseminars
Long Distance Telephone Exchange in LondonBy Kathleen Gage

Why is it that some people are thriving during these uncertain economic times, while others are struggling? Chances are those that are doing well have diversified their revenue streams; especially on the Internet.

It’s amazing how many ways there are to legitimately make money on the Internet. You can sell eBooks, eReports, coaching service, teleseminars and more.

One of my favorite (and most profitable) are teleseminars.  Teleseminars are basically training sessions that are delivered over the telephone or through a webcast. As technology has improved, teleseminars have become one of the most preferred ways to conduct business training or promoting products and services.

There are many benefits of teleseminars but the most important one is that participants do not have to commute. You can host or take part in teleseminars from virtually anywhere — home, office or even halfway across the world. And you can generate great revenues.

Benefits of Teleseminars:

  • You do not have to leave your office to join a training program. Unlike traditional training courses where you had to consider travel time in the mix, you hardly have any disruption of your day. All you need to do is be right in front of your telephone or computer with fast and reliable Internet connection (with Skype or VOiP) at the scheduled time.
  • As mentioned earlier, you do not need to travel. Therefore, you have a lot of time at hand to complete other tasks or prepare for the teleseminar. The stress involved with traveling and reaching the venue on time is taken away.
  • The cost of hosting or participating in a teleseminar is extremely cost efficient compared to other methods of training or promoting a business.
  • Most teleseminars range from 30 – 90 minutes. This means that they are extremely focused and you can get a lot of relevant information that you can immediately put into practice.
  • Most teleseminars have a Q and A session. Participants can get instant solutions to certain issues that occur in a business scenario. Based on other people’s experiences, you learn which pitfalls should be avoided.

One of the major drawbacks of teleseminars is being a participant on one where the featured speaker is not engaging and uses jargon throughout the call. However, by being aware of the need to communicate in a way listeners can easily digest the information, you would be wise to add teleseminars to your marketing mix.

Access the FREE report, The Truth About Making Money with Teleseminars here

Search Marketing is scarier than taxes

Income Taxes

For many of the small business owners that I meet doing anything online much less building a search marketing campaign is scary, but scarier than doing your own taxes? In a recent study commissioned by Microsoft Adcenter  73 percent for small business owners would rather do their taxes than build a search marketing campaign.

“The study revealed that 59 percent of small businesses with Web sites don’t currently use paid search marketing, and of those, 90 percent have never even attempted it.”
As an aside this study was an online survey so the results are probably sceued in favor of online activities and the results from a phone survey probably would have been even more dramatic. Just ask 10 small business owners that you know if they have websites. I doubt that you will find 6 out of 10 already have websites.

Why are small business owners afraid of online marketing? In many cases it’s a matter of age. The majority of small business owners are over 40 with many of them being over 50. They don’t go to the web to find out information so they assume that their client base doesn’t either. Sometimes they are right, but in most industries they are wrong.

Most small business owners are also working long hours already working in their companies instead of working on their companies. They are so busy working that they don’t have time to think about learning something new, much less actually take the time to learn something new. They also don;t have time to spend online, so they assume that their customers don’t search either.

They have been seduced by the brand advertising that they see on TV and feel that they need to advertise their business the same way that the national brands advertise. There are stories about advertising agencies that knew that they needed to polish the egos of the executives in their client companies by producing beautiful ego gratifying ads without worrying about actually selling anything.

Small business owners need to be educated that search marketing is the best tracking method for many businesses. Does that mean I feel that it will work great for every business, no I don’t. But with the tools and tracking that is available they will at least know whether or not it is working.

If you would like to read more about the study you can access it here

Microsoft adCenter Study Reveals Small Businesses Build Online Presence, but Fail to Invest in Search Marketing: A surprising 73 percent surveyed would rather do their taxes than start a search marketing plan.

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Small Business Marketing Conference

They just had a great small business marketing conference down in Houston. The focus was on online marketing and it looks like they covered a lot of good information. Here’s the link to the site: Small Business Marketing Unleashed

This further confirms my thoughts that small businesses are just beginning to wake up to the fact that marketing has changed and the old ways just don’t work as well anymore. Businesses that understand how web marketing fits into their marketing mix will dominate their markets for years before their competition realizes what is happening.

We will see more and more conferences like this and the local marketing companies will learn that if they don’t understand how to provide a multichannel solution for their clients that they will lose them.

The days of wasting money on branding style ads for local businesses are over. Advertising costs too much and it doesn’t work as well as it once did. Less and less time is spent reading the paper, watching local TV or using the phonebook. In today’s market you have to be there when your client is looking for you and more and more they are looking online.