Initial Steps to Effective Social Media Marketing

Social Media platforms are all over the headlines these past weeks and not in good ways. However, social media can be very effective in getting your message to your clients. (Your'e reading this - right?!) Here are some steps to consider if you're going to add social media platforms to your marketing mix.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more — social media can be pretty overwhelming at times. But hold on!

Success in social media may not be nearly as complicated as you think. In fact, here’s a simple formula any small business owner or entrepreneur can follow to become a social media superstar. These  steps will get you started: 

Define your marketing goals

Start with a plan. Define a small set of marketing goals. (But not too many!) For example, perhaps you want to:

  • Develop better brand loyalty in customers who already like your products or services
  • Create a mailing list to allow you share new products or other news
  • Drive traffic to your website to share more information about your brand or generate more sales
  • Establish thought leadership to distinguish your brand in your industry or market
  • Expand brand recognition in general


Business Scams on Social Media

The old adage: "If it sounds too good to be true it isn't!" goes for social media too!  Scammers are using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites to dupe the unsuspecting.

Scammers try to contact people in many ways. They call, email, put ads online, send messages on social media and more. If you own a small business, they’re trying to contact you, too. 

Lately we’ve been hearing about scammers who reach out to small businesses through Facebook messages. People have reported receiving messages on Facebook telling them that they’re eligible for – or that they’ve won – a business grant. If you get a message like this through your personal Facebook account or on your company’s page, don’t respond. It’s a scam. The government won’t contact you on social media to offer you money.


What your business can learn from Selfies

Editor's Note:  OK, I'll admit it.  I've always thought selfies were a slightly annoying vain personal expression. Now we learn it can be important for our business or organization and it's a "big deal"!

Selfies have become a dominant force worldwide. The word was named the Word of the Year 2013 by Oxford Dictionaries after there was a 17,000% increase in the use of "selfie" over the course of the year. In August “selfie” was accepted into the ultimate word bible: the Scrabble dictionary. On Twitter, #selfie yields thousands of results each hour. And whether or not your business has any reason to post a selfie or use the hashtag, selfies prove the power in following trending topics and finding opportunities to enter popular conversations.

But whether or not it's a fleeting trend or here to stay, the selfie is much more than a vain expression of ourselves. Its virility, its ability to engage wide audiences, and the way it humanizes even the most polished personas offer three lessons for your business.


Using Forums to Drive More Web Traffic

Editor's Note:  Anyone who uses their website to promote their business or organization can use more traffic.  We found this article that talks about using forums for improved networking thereby gaining more traffic to your websites. 

One thing that can help you drive more traffic to your web sites and blogs is by making use of all the forums online. It doesn't matter what niche your site is in because there will usually be at least one pertinent forum you can use. Because the popular forums have thousands of members they can likely provide your web site with more traffic as can using several forums at once. Finding the most effective means of driving more traffic to your web site using forums is the topic of this article.

An important point to mention when promoting on forums is that your likely traffic will be coming from more than one source. Firstly, you will hopefully get site visitors direct from the Internet forum itself. Online forum users might be interested by the link to your web site when they see it and go and check it out. This is a traffic source that will be interested in what you are marketing as they belong to a forum that focuses on your niche area. The next way to build more traffic is that every time you make a comment on a forum or ask a question, you will be building links to your site which will help you get higher search engine rankings.


Getting customer emails

Do you run an onlne business?  Do you have customers that you'd like to regularly email?  Read on!

"Putting a sign-up box on your home page should be the first thing on anybody's mind when they start an online business."

— Louis Jay, President, Health4her

If you're like most small-business owners, you need a generous supply of potential customer names and email addresses to effectively market your offerings online.

The good news is you don't have to deceive or spam people to get them. The bad news is that too many others have already taken that route, giving online marketing a shady reputation.

Unlike the offline world, where consumers get junk mail daily and simply toss it into the recycling bin, unwanted email messages offend people and trigger nasty replies. People are more protective than ever of their email addresses.

"Spammers have made it bad for the rest of us," says Derek Scruggs, an expert on permission-based email marketing. So you shouldn't be one yourself; there are enough already out there.


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