10 SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TIPS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS

As business owners venture in to the scary world of managing their own Social Media campaigns, many are driving blind. A little bit of education goes a long way and we suggest following these 10 Social Media Marketing Tips for Business Owners to get started. There are endless ways to drive traffic to a website, increase brand awareness around the web, and engage with potential clients through Social Media Marketing. The ability to reach people in real time and target a relevant audience has never been easier.

social-media_0

 

10. Serve the community

Don’t always be looking to serve yourself and your business, provide your following with something that helps them that may not necessarily help you. Becoming a resource is the greatest step you can take to becoming trusted within your community. Spend time researching the other areas that your target market are interested in and provide helpful links and information.

9. Pass traffic to your website

From everywhere possible! Your main social Media Marketing goal should be passing traffic to your website. Remember that your own website is still your greatest sales tool. It has all your information and has the ability to keep people interested. Link from all YouTube videos, Flickr photos, business profiles, and anywhere else you can possibly imagine.

8. Use tools

There are a ton of third party tools for Social Networking websites, use them. They will help you stay organized and save time. Some of my favorites are:

  • ReFollow for Twitter
  • Flickr Uploadr
  • StumbleUpon Toolbar

7. Find niche networks within your industry

There are Social Networks popping up everywhere. Many are specifically targeted to a particular niche. Find Social Networks within your niche and use them. The traffic may not be as high as Facebook and Twitter, but you can easily become a leader within smaller Networks.

6. Write, write, write

Set up a blog. Write until you can’t write anymore. Hire a writer. Do something, anything to keep your content fresh and your readers interested. Don’t just write for your blog, submit articles to sites like Squidoo, Associated Content, InfoBarrel, and HubPages.

5. Promote everywhere

Once you have finished writing, promote it everywhere. Pass traffic through all of your Social Networking accounts, submit your articles to Digg, Reddit, Mixx, etc. Promote everything you do on every single avenue possible. You never know which site could make your article a hit. Whether you get a ton of Retweets, hit the front page of Digg, or get lot’s of Stumbles… if you’re writing something of value, it will catch on somewhere.

4. Learn from your community

Use the people in your community as you wish them to use you. Learn from them. Whether you’re at the top end of your community or just started your business you can learn something from anyone. Research like minded people and businesses to always stay on top of your game.

3. Provide something of value

What do you offer that other don’t? If you don’t know the answer to that question you better find something fast. You can provide Twitter only specials, discounts to Facebook Fans, the next xx people to retweet get something free.

2. Interact with your audience

Spend time talking to people in your community. Reply to Tweets, comment on Facebook posts, engage your audience from your own posts. Host polls, reply to the comments on your blog. If you disagree, be polite. Do not come off as arrogant or as a know-it-all. Be respectful and always answer in a timely fashion when contacted. Word of mouth is still a great way to drum up business, being prompt and a resource can get your respect and respect gets you referrals.

1. Be everywhere

I recently heard someone say “Oh no, I don’t have Facebook, I just used LinkedIn”. While LinkedIn appears to working very well for this person, why cut yourself off from any potential source of clientele? Find and use every single option available, some work better than others within certain industries, but all can provide the option to interact with potential customers and give the option to refer people to your website.

Taken from: http://www.stikkymedia.com/blog/10-social-media-marketing-tips-business-owners

Advertisements

5 ways that social media can be used for marketing a retail business

Social media is becoming an increasingly important element of many firms’ marketing efforts but independent retailers are slower to pick up the trend. However social media can benefit all types of business, including high street shops, restaurants and pubs.

Recent research has underlined the fact that many consumers now use the internet generally, and social media specifically, as their first port of call when looking for products or services. It is also the case that as many as 70 per cent of consumers now use social media to air their grievances about firms with which they have had a bad experience.

As a retail business owner you must ensure that you are properly harnessing the power of social media if you are to benefit and control the way your business is perceived online.
All too often when social media is used, business owners think it is enough to simply sign up to a few social networks and then forget about them. This is not an effective strategy. In reality, you will only get the most out of social media if you make a proper time investment.

So how can you best use social media as a marketing tool for your retail business? We have compiled a list of examples showing how other retailers have used social media marketing (often shortened to SMM) to great effect.

Micro-blogging

Twitter and other microblogging platforms provide an incredible, free marketing opportunity for independent retailers. The benefits are two-fold.

Firstly, they provide you with an opportunity to monitor what customers are saying about your firm in real-time, while allowing you to respond instantly. Secondly, they allow you to engage instantly with your customers about promotions, new products and other related news.

Zappos, the American footwear retailer, set the benchmark for Twitter engagement. It was an early adopter of the technology, using it for customer service and to promote offers, and has since set up an aggregation page that displays every mention of its brand – again, in real time. This helps to present Zappos as a reputable brand, and an active part of the social media community.

Facebook applications

Facebook is by far the most popular social network, and marketers have long been considering ways to make it work for them. It may not be an effective marketing tool for every retailer, but it is worth spending a bit of time trialling it to see whether it is right for your business.

IKEA have been responsible for some of the most innovative uses of Facebook. Late last year they ran a campaign in which photographs of IKEA storerooms were posted on the network, and Facebook users were told that whoever ‘tagged’ themselves on an item first would win it. This clever combination of interactivity and competition helped to create significant exposure for the retailer across Facebook – and, of course, got people talking offline as well.

Employee engagement

SMM tends to fail when it is obviously dictated from the top down. Instead, you should think about ways that you can encourage your employees to participate in your social networks and their own on behalf of your business. Enlisting their help will also cut down on the time you spend managing your social networks, which can end up being quite a lot!

Sainsbury’s has become increasingly proficient at this in recent months, developing a ‘cookalong’ scheme whereby employees cook a meal (with Sainsbury’s ingredients, of course) once a week and tweet the recipe as they cook.

The importance of listening

Remember that your SMM efforts will only succeed if you are prepared to listen to your customers, rather than talk at them. Unlike most other forms of marketing, social media facilitates conversation, rather than a one-way flow of information. BT understands this well; they monitor many social networks for mentions of their brand name, and respond to users where appropriate.

Bear in mind, though, that users will be instantly turned off by anything resembling spam. So avoid mass following on Twitter, or going on ‘friending’ sprees on Facebook. Instead, think about ways that you can encourage users to come to you.

The power of video

Many businesses underestimate the power of video content but for many people, video is a far more engaging medium than text or still image. Comparatively few marketers bother experimenting with it, however, as it is difficult to get right and the videos can be expensive to create.

A ‘viral’ video is often seen as the holy grail of SMM, and content of this type has driven massive sales for some canny retailers and brands. IKEA has been particularly successful in this area, developing a series of somewhat risqué adverts, and then posting them to Youtube described as ‘banned’ commercials.

As a retail business owner you obviously need to stick to a careful budget, and some of the ideas and examples provided here may therefore be beyond your abilities. But they should help to underline the basic concepts of social media marketing. If you are prepared to listen to your customers, and you understand that the social media sphere does not work like any other marketing medium, you are on the right track.

Finally, it is important to remember that SMM is unlikely to be a panacea for your business. Do not throw all of your eggs in one basket by neglecting other marketing activities. Instead, think about ways that you can leverage a mix of media and marketing techniques to help get your message across.

Taken from: http://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2010/04/2010-04-06-how-retailers-can-use-social-media-for-marketing/

10 Social Media Marketing Tips for Business Owners

As business owners venture in to the scary world of managing their own Social Media campaigns, many are driving blind. A little bit of education goes a long way and we suggest following these 10 Social Media Marketing Tips for Business Owners to get started. There are endless ways to drive traffic to a website, increase brand awareness around the web, and engage with potential clients through Social Media Marketing. The ability to reach people in real time and target a relevant audience has never been easier.

 

10. Serve the community

Don’t always be looking to serve yourself and your business, provide your following with something that helps them that may not necessarily help you. Becoming a resource is the greatest step you can take to becoming trusted within your community. Spend time researching the other areas that your target market are interested in and provide helpful links and information.

9. Pass traffic to your website

From everywhere possible! Your main social Media Marketing goal should be passing traffic to your website. Remember that your own website is still your greatest sales tool. It has all your information and has the ability to keep people interested. Link from all YouTube videos, Flickr photos, business profiles, and anywhere else you can possibly imagine.

8. Use tools

There are a ton of third party tools for Social Networking websites, use them. They will help you stay organized and save time. Some of my favorites are:

  • ReFollow for Twitter
  • Flickr Uploadr
  • StumbleUpon Toolbar

7. Find niche networks within your industry

There are Social Networks popping up everywhere. Many are specifically targeted to a particular niche. Find Social Networks within your niche and use them. The traffic may not be as high as Facebook and Twitter, but you can easily become a leader within smaller Networks.

6. Write, write, write

Set up a blog. Write until you can’t write anymore. Hire a writer. Do something, anything to keep your content fresh and your readers interested. Don’t just write for your blog, submit articles to sites like Squidoo, Associated Content, InfoBarrel, and HubPages.

5. Promote everywhere

Once you have finished writing, promote it everywhere. Pass traffic through all of your Social Networking accounts, submit your articles to Digg, Reddit, Mixx, etc. Promote everything you do on every single avenue possible. You never know which site could make your article a hit. Whether you get a ton of Retweets, hit the front page of Digg, or get lot’s of Stumbles… if you’re writing something of value, it will catch on somewhere.

4. Learn from your community

Use the people in your community as you wish them to use you. Learn from them. Whether you’re at the top end of your community or just started your business you can learn something from anyone. Research like minded people and businesses to always stay on top of your game.

3. Provide something of value

What do you offer that other don’t? If you don’t know the answer to that question you better find something fast. You can provide Twitter only specials, discounts to Facebook Fans, the next xx people to retweet get something free.

2. Interact with your audience

Spend time talking to people in your community. Reply to Tweets, comment on Facebook posts, engage your audience from your own posts. Host polls, reply to the comments on your blog. If you disagree, be polite. Do not come off as arrogant or as a know-it-all. Be respectful and always answer in a timely fashion when contacted. Word of mouth is still a great way to drum up business, being prompt and a resource can get your respect and respect gets you referrals.

1. Be everywhere

I recently heard someone say “Oh no, I don’t have Facebook, I just used LinkedIn”. While LinkedIn appears to working very well for this person, why cut yourself off from any potential source of clientele? Find and use every single option available, some work better than others within certain industries, but all can provide the option to interact with potential customers and give the option to refer people to your website.

Taken from: http://www.stikkymedia.com/articles/10-social-media-marketing-tips-for-business-owners

London 2012 Olympics journey planner: Tfl unveils its social media strategy

Transport for London will operate a range of new social media platforms to assist and inform commuters before and during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

With approximately one million more people than usual expected to be in the capital during the forthcoming Olympic GamesLondon commuters and incoming visitors are being warned that the city’s transport network will be under unprecedented strain. Today TfL has announced the full list of social media platforms and planning tools it is making available to those who will be travelling through the city during Games time.

In addition to TfL’s permanent Twitter account (@TfLOfficial) a number of Transport for London Twitter accounts will be providing additional advice on how services and roads are operating during the Games period. They are @TfLTrafficNews, @TfLTraveAlerts and @GAOTG. Individual Twitter accounts also exist for each of London Underground’s Tube lines, the DLR, London Overground and the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme. You can find a complete list of TfL’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts here.

Transport for London is warning commuters that each day of the Games will be different, with certain stations and interchanges set to be exceptionally busy when important events are held nearby. The websitewww.getaheadofthegames.com has been set up to give commuters notice of how busy their journeys are likely to be and is recommended reading for travellers looking to plan their journeys through London in advance of their arrival. Already the service has been used by 1.5 million people. Londoners will also be able to sign up for email alerts to help them plan their commute during the Games atwww.tfl.gov.uk/gamesemails while ticket holders are advised to use theSpectator Journey Planner to plan their journey to Olympics venues. Wi-Fi is now available in a number of London Tube stations and will be complimentary during the Games period so commuters will be able to access updates on the move.

The social media accounts and travel mailing lists introduced by TfL are supplemented by a number of other online travel platforms. This week Concentra launched an interactive graphic detailing which Tube stations are likely to face the most severe disruptions on any given day of the Olympics; Google maps, meanwhile, is now offering cycling directionswhich should be of use to Londoners who are planning on cycling to work during the Games. Twitter users can follow The Telegraph’s Olympic coverage on @Telegraph2012 and will find details on culture, lifestyle and travel in London via @TelegraphLondon.

Taken from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/uk/london/9397507/London-2012-Olympics-journey-planner-Tfl-unveils-its-social-media-strategy.html

Twitter users frantic as site crashes for hours

Twitter was down for several hours last night after a bug took the social network offline.

The company blamed a “cascading bug” for the outage which drove frustrated users to other social media sites to complain.

On Facebook, a member wrote: “Be honest. Did you spend most of Twitter being down desperately trying to tweet about Twitter being down?”

A Tumblr user added: “Twitters broke, my life has no meaning anymore.”

Shortly after the site returned, one user tweeted: “OMG..twitter was down….closest thing to living without oxygen for most of us….”

Mazen Rawashdeh, Twitter’s vice president of engineering, said: “It’s imperative that we remain available around the world, and today we stumbled. For that we offer our most sincere apologies and hope you’ll be able to breathe easier now.”

He said that engineers found a “cascading bug with one of our infrastructure components”. Mr Rawashdeh added: “A ‘cascading bug’ is a bug with an effect that isn’t confined to a particular software element, but rather its effect ‘cascades’ into other elements as well.

“One of the characteristics of such a bug is that it can have a significant impact on all users, worldwide, which was the case today. As soon as we discovered it, we took corrective actions, which included rolling back to a previous stable version of Twitter.”

Shortly after Twitter first went down a hacker claimed responsibility for taking the site down. ‘Cosmo The God’ said: “We just took down twitter.com with a DDoS Flood, its been down for 30minutes now.”

Cosmo is linked to the hacking group UG Nazi, which has previously claimed attacks on a number of websites including CIA.com, CloudFlare and BP.com.

Twitter denied that the outage was related to activity by hackers.

Twitter, founded in 2006, was plagued in its early years by frequent outages as its servers struggled to handle the ever-rising volume of tweets generated by users worldwide.

The company, which has been under pressure to demonstrate a viable business model, has also made an emphasis on improving its site reliability in recent years.

But the service, which hosts 400 million tweets daily, still experiences periodic disruptions.

Taken from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/9348619/Twitter-users-frantic-as-site-crashes-for-hours.html

Facebook to encourage organ donation

Facebook has launched a new feature to encourage users to sign up to donate their organs via the social network.

In a partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant, a ‘Health and Wellbeing’ button will allow users to publicise that they have registered as an organ donor, or to sign up to become one.

The move to boost Britain’s Organ Donor Register is timed to coincide with a similar initiative in America. Three Britons die every day while waiting for an organ transplant. Facebook hopes its 30million UK users will be encouraged to sign up to the Register if they see that some of their friends have already done so. Each individual organ donor can help up to nine other people.

Although the move means that more young people could sign up to the Register, it also raises the prospect of more volunteering without informing their parents. Facebook said that evidence indicates only half of those who wish to donate organs after death currently let their families know, even though relatives are much more likely to consent to donation if they knew about the donor’s intention.

The new ‘Health and Wellbeing’ button is to be added to all Facebook users’ timelines, the history of their lives online. It will allow people to add a ‘Life Event’ stating that they are an organ donor or intend to become one, and link through to NHS Blood and Transplant’s page where they can complete the sign-up process for the Register if they are not already on it.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg reportedly hatched the plan after conversations over the dinner table with Priscilla Chan, his girlfriend, who is also a medical student. He has also said that Steve Jobs, the Apple founder who received a liver transplant, was an inspiration for the tool that he hoped would be able to help people in a similar situation.

Mr Zuckerberg said “Medical experts believe that broader awareness about organ donation could go a long way toward solving this crisis. And we believe that by simply telling people that you’re an organ donor, the power of sharing and connection can play an important role.”

Users will be able to share their status with all their friends, families or a customised selection, as is the case with all Facebook statuses.

Users can already sign up to become donors through NHSBT’s page, but the hope is that the new sharing of a status will encourage more people to also sign up. Adding the intention to become a donor on a user’s timeline will not, however, automatically add users to the register.

NHSBT’s Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation, Sally Johnson, said “We need more people to sign up to the register and share their wishes with their friends and family, our job is to make that as quick and easy as possible. This is an exciting new way to use the power of social media to reach a huge audience and encourage people to think about it, act, and share that information.”

The initiative is first being introduced in America and Britain, but Mr Zuckerberg said “millions around the world” needed organ transplants, and the concept is likely to be extended if it is successful.

Taken from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/9238544/Facebook-to-encourage-organ-donation.html

Linkedin goes personal with launch of iPad app

The professional social network Linkedin has released an iPad app in an effort to encourage more users to engage with the service.

Writing on the Linkedin blog, Manish Sharma, Linkedin’s product manager, said the app aims “to provide the most engaging experience for iPad users.”

The app is designed to be a personal assistant, with features such as calendar integration and a focus on Linkedin’s personalised news feed, which shows what news articles are popular among friends.

“Our mobile platform is the fastest growing consumer service on Linkedin. We aspire to be the place where every professional comes throughout the day,” Sharma wrote, suggesting an drive to encourage people to use the service more often.

Although Linkedin’s 150 million members make it one of the world’s most popular social networks, only a third of users check the website every day. In comparison, more than half of Facebook members use the site daily.

A straw poll on Twitter revealed that many Linkedin members rarely engage with the service. One user said: “All I do on it is accept link requests, besides that nothing!” A student said “Lecturers recommended we set one up” but added “I’ve only added friends to my Linkedin.”

Ian Fogg, an analyst at Screen Digest, says the launch of the iPad app is an attempt to change this by increasing engagement.

“The biggest strategy is about making Linkedin more personal. The iPad is a very personal product which is very important to a social network like Linkedin,” he said.

“There is a bunch of things that Linkedin is doing to drive usage and adoption,” Fogg said, citing last year’s addition of the social news reader and Twitter integration on the website.

Although it more than doubled its revenue last year, Linkedin’s profits fell year-on-year, and its advertising income rose slower than from other sources. It now makes half of its money through selling its services to recruitment companies, who can post job listings and search for talent.

Linkedin introduced advertising on its mobile apps earlier this year. Encouraging greater use of the service, including via the iPad app, suggests an attempt to diversify its income by increasing advertising revenue.

Taken from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/social-media/9232023/Linkedin-goes-personal-with-launch-of-iPad-app.html