bookkeeping-business

 

Sourcing new clients for your bookkeeping business can be tough, especially if you are new in this field. You don’t have a big enough entity to employ a marketing team, and you certainly can’t afford to pay a consultant.

 

But at the same time, you don’t have the skills or the time to do it yourself. In fact, promoting your services is perhaps the last thing on your to-do list as you tackle the checklist of revenue-generating tasks. 

 

Well the good news is that marketing your bookkeeping services doesn’t have to involve an exaggerated and expensive campaign. By following an effective marketing plan, you can easily focus on the activities along with your busy schedule. 

 

In this guide, let’s explore some quick and productive ways to earn more clients for your bookkeeping business. 

Identify Your Target Market


If you are starting a new bookkeeping business, you will initially have to understand what your ideal clients look like before you begin chasing them. While you can open your doors to anyone and everyone interested in your service, having a specialized niche will give you more visibility. It will also enable you to focus your marketing activities according to the specific audience. 

 

Once you have a specific niche set, you will become the go-to expert for clients associated with it. And in the long run, this can make a significant difference in your revenue and credibility.

 

Begin by considering the areas of your interest. What do you enjoy the most? Is it sports, eCommerce, agriculture, non-profit, or construction? Or perhaps you want to keep your offerings to a particular group of people, such as wealthy property investors, entrepreneurs, or female business owners.

 

You can also look around in your neighborhood and determine if there is a concentration of a certain business in your local area. If you are able to single them out, you can easily find a niche that will help serve your community. 

Create A Business Website


A website serves two basic purposes:

 

  1. It shows that you are a real business and gives you online visibility.
  2. It serves as a medium to attract potential clients and encourages them to convert. 

 

Creating a website for your bookkeeping business is a straightforward task that you can accomplish with the help of online tutorials. However, if you are hesitant about your technical skills, web developers can be hired at a very nominal price.

 

For the content, make sure it clearly describes your services. Add detailed information about your goals, pricing, previous experience, and benefits you can offer. 

 

Make an additional page set up for your blog content. Chances are, your prospective clients are a novice in the field and may need help setting up the financial side of their business. 

 

Use this opportunity to share bookkeeping tips and other informational content for the assistance of your readers. They will appreciate this gesture and keep you in their minds when it’s time to outsource their accounts. 

 

Make search engine optimization (SEO) a priority when curating content for your blog and website pages. Include keywords relevant to your business in each of your posts. This will allow your website to rank higher in search engines when potential clients look-up for services similar to yours using the same terms. 

Leverage Online Business Listings and Reviews


Online business directories are powerful tools to connect with customers. They are also one of the first few places the prospect checks out when searching for a local company. In fact, 86% of the people rely on the internet to find a local business. 

 

Begin by creating a profile on pages like Google My Business and Yelp. Here, you can explain your services, share contact information, and show off great customer reviews. You can also use Google My Business to chat directly with potential clients. 

 

Make sure to include accurate and relevant data only. If anything changes, promptly update on the listing to avoid confusion for the visitors. 

 

Since listings with photos are considered more credible, be sure to include images of you, the firm, and a glimpse of your interaction with the clients. 

Ask For Referrals


Testimonials are another way to build trust with prospective clients and get them to convert. After all, they trust you with their money matters and will want to ensure your credibility before investing. 

 

64% of marketers also agree that word of mouth referrals are one of the most successful forms of marketing. According to Semrush, they are more effective than paid ads and garner five times more sales. 

 

To gain referrals, include ‘asking for testimonials’ in your sales strategy. The best time to ask your best clients is right after you complete their desired service. 

 

In most cases, the customer is hesitant or even lazy to write up a referral. However, don’t leave it dormant. Instead, be persistent with your clients and ask them to come with names that can benefit from their service. While they may be tentative at first, I have seen most clients come back with a name or two once requested. 

 

To make things easier for them, create a referral template that they can simply copy-paste and send to their acquaintances. Offering small incentives like discounts in the next consultation or vouchers for free lunch will also motivate them to leave a good word of your service. 

Network With The Right People


Networking with like-minded people gives you an opportunity to meet new prospects. It will also allow you to meet other business owners that can be a source of referrals for your bookkeeping firm. 

 

Try joining local networking groups that meet up occasionally at certain times. However, ensure that the attendees of these events align with your target audience before utilizing your time and resources.

 

Online communities and forums are other platforms that you can use to onboard new customers. They give great opportunities to interact, build relationships, and gain referrals. 

 

The best place to start is Linkedin. Create an updated profile on the networking site and connect with other users who share the same interest as yours. Share content that is engaging and informative. Join groups, participate in discussions, ask questions, and seek support from others working in a similar capacity.

Search Job Portals


Thanks to advanced technology, the marketplace is constantly expanding globally. This means that you don’t necessarily have to be in the same geographical location as your clients to serve them with your offerings. You can do the same for anyone using remote and cloud accounting systems. 

 

In fact, 94% of accountants have integrated cloud accounting solutions citing that it helps them gain five times more customers – compared to businesses that don’t have cloud technology in place.

 

To find clients from other parts of the world, create an account on job boards such as Upwork, Flexjobs, and Freelancer.com. These sites will often have postings for freelance, part-time, and full-time bookkeepers. Apply to the jobs that meet your criteria. 

 

You can also set the service rates according to your expertise and niche. 

Be A Guest Speaker


If public speaking is your forte, try presenting your skills and experience at conferences and programs. Initially, volunteer at small events to build up your confidence. With time, the industry will seek you as an established source and provide you with opportunities to speak at large public gatherings. 

 

Another way to share your expertise is through a webinar or podcast. Look for hosts that are related to your target audience and volunteer for an interview session. You can also host your own webinar and share valuable information with both – current and future clients. 

 

To record a video, make sure you prepare thoroughly. Study the topics you wish to include and create a detailed plan that includes images, videos, and graphics to keep your viewers engaged. Once done, the webinar can be shared on your website, social media account, or even ranked on your official YouTube channel

Do Good For People


Yes, I know you are in the business of earning more money. But sometimes, giving your services for free can help you build your network and gain visibility. And while it may seem counter-productive, you never know who your business gets in front of. 

 

Look out for influencers who can use your help. In return, ask them to promote your bookkeeping services on their channels and with friends and families. 

 

Make a request to the editors of your community newsletters to include your advertisement in the pages. In return, offer them your valuable advice and accounting services.

 

Make a commitment of around 6 months for your ‘pro-Bono’ work. Re-evaluate after the decided timeline to see if your business is gaining any momentum with this partnership. Although you will find yourself adding more experience, confidence, and connections to your resume by simply giving back. 

Don’t Hesitate To Follow Up


Ask any service provider, and they will sheepishly admit that they have a rather long list of people who promised to call you back – but never did. If this is the case with you, too, then perhaps you should overcome the fear and start following up with your leads. 

 

While it may seem like ‘bugging’ people, remember that the sixth call attempt reached 95% of all converted clients

 

When following up with your prospective clients, make sure you are:

 

  • Friendly and polite
  • Concise and to-the-point
  • Providing value in the information your convey

 

There are many different contact formats you can use to follow up with potential partners. However, emails that are friendly, short, and do not induce guilt are the best way to target your audience. 

 

It is also a good idea to time your follow-up according to the current world scenario. For example, you can follow up with clients who have not yet filed their returns if it is the tax season. Your follow-up contact can serve as a reminder and encourage them to have you onboard for their tax fulfillments. 

 

Another way is to keep tabs on your list of leads. Suppose a firm has just hired a group of new employees. You can reach out to the company and offer to help with their new payroll requirements. 

Final Words


Accountants and bookkeepers are excellent at getting their jobs done. But, they are not natural salespeople and usually find it challenging to market their services. 

 

However, promoting your skills doesn’t have to be a tough job. Just follow the above tips to find new clients that add value to your business. With consistent efforts, you will surely find life at your firm more rewarding!

 

business-run-smoothly

 

A business requires commitment and effort because after starting one, you need to make sure that it continues to operate for years. Achieving this goal will usually require you to look for reliable suppliers, hire the best talents for the right positions, and foster a positive company culture. The list goes on and neglecting any of these can adversely affect the longevity of your business. 

 

Running a business smoothly is a great challenge, but if you want to get returns from your investments, it’s vital that you take on this responsibility. You won’t be able to experience the perks of being an entrepreneur if you don’t exert effort to run your business smoothly.  

 

If you’re clueless on how to run your business smoothly, these tips can be of great help:

 

 

Invest In Your Employees 


 

Your employees are key to the success of your business. Creating the most innovative product or service will be useless if your employees don’t have the skill to sell and engage with customers.  

 

employees

 

One of the easiest ways to help your business run smoothly is to invest in your employees. Making your employees feel valued and appreciated will boost their morale, resulting in increased productivity levels and loyalty to your company.  

 

You can invest in your employees through many different ways, namely: 

 

  • Introduce tools to make their jobs easier: If you don’t want your most loyal employees to experience burnout, introduce tools or apps that can make their jobs easier. You can use FAQ tools to reduce the workload of your customer service representatives or invest in accounting software for your finance team.  
  • Prioritize work-life balance: Your employees are human beings, not machines. Requiring too much from your employees will eventually become the reason why they’ll perform poorly. You can invest in your employees by prioritizing their work-life balance. Give them tasks during their working schedule, but when they’re not at the office, allow them to enjoy their breaks. 
  • Offer perks and benefits: Aside from providing a competitive monthly salary, it’s also important to offer perks and benefits to your employees. This will keep your employees happy and motivated to remain productive at work.  Some of the most common perks and benefits you can give to your employees are free food during specific days of the week and childcare services for parents. 

 

 

Manage Your Finances 


 

Money is an important resource for businesses because it supports global expansion and helps the business survive when the economy isn’t doing well. Having sufficient financial resources will also enable you to afford technologies that can improve the operations of your business.

 

It’ll be challenging for your business to run smoothly or even operate at all without finances, so make sure that you prioritize managing this resource. If you don’t have any experience with cash flow management and other accounting processes, opt to outsource accountants. Paying for their service is a great investment because they can update all of your books and take care of other accounting-related tasks on your behalf.  

 

finances

 

Aside from hiring professionals, make sure that you regularly check your business’s financial health before making important business decisions. Your decision to hire more employees, reach a new target audience, or fund research for product development should depend on the availability of your financial resources.  

 

Automate Your Processes


Time is a valuable resource, and in business, time lost is money lost. With all of the tasks that need to be done daily, it’s common for businesses to experience bottlenecks or delays. These are usually caused by manual processes that can easily be improved through automation.

Automation refers to using technology to perform repetitive tasks without human intervention. By automating tasks such as data entry, invoicing, and inventory management, you can save time, reduce errors, and free up your employees to focus on more important tasks. This will also improve the overall efficiency of your business operations.

If you are running a print shop, for instance, you can automate your processes by using web-to-print software, which allows customers to design and order print products online. It will simplify production management and reduce the chances of errors in order processing. The same goes for any industry where automation can be implemented to streamline operations and improve productivity.

 

Learn When To Delegate 


 

Starting a business requires time, money, and a lot of effort, which is why most entrepreneurs would treat this endeavor as if it’s their own child. It’s common for entrepreneurs to choose to do everything on their own to ensure that everything is ‘done right’ in their businesses. 

 

To ensure that your business runs smoothly long-term, stop micromanaging. Attempting to wear different hats at the same time will only lead to burnout, preventing you from properly managing and scaling up your business. Moreover, micromanagement also annoys employees, damages employee trust, and increases employee turnover rate. 

 

Instead of micromanaging, learn when to delegate tasks to other employees. Although challenging at first, entrepreneurs should delegate tasks as this frees up their time and encourages professional growth among employees. Delegation will also strengthen your workforce and create a positive company culture. 

 

Ideally, entrepreneurs should delegate tasks on writing and scheduling social media, creating graphics, day-to-day client management, and data entry. Common administrative tasks, such as returning calls and scheduling appointments, should be delegated within the team as well.  

Promote A Culture Of Open Communication 


 

Hiring the best talents for your business will eventually become useless if the team lacks communication. How can your employees work together if they don’t know how to express themselves?  Do you think your employees can reach goals if this is the case? 

 

Your business will run smoothly if it has a culture of open communication. Communication is vital in every aspect of the business because it encourages everyone to share information and increases employee productivity. The more open your employees are to each other, the easier it’ll be for them to work together.  

 

There are many ways for you to promote open communication in your business, namely asking your employees for their input and acknowledging that their views, regardless if these are positive or negative, are important. Encouraging employees to use communication channels online and offline, and holding one-on-one weekly meetings can also help.  

 

Don’t Forget To Audit 


Making sure that your business runs smoothly isn’t a walk in the park, but it’s very doable. Along with the tips presented in this article, don’t forget to audit your efforts to see which works and doesn’t. Regular auditing will help you streamline your process and avoid wasting resources. 

 

 

 

 

Small Business PPC

Image Source: Flickr/Gerald Rich

Pay Per Click advertising is an extremely powerful and highly effective marketing tool. Whereas billboards, television adverts, newspaper and magazine pieces and of course radio exposure are all great tools they do take time and significant effort to transform into a solid sale or lead. A PPC agency will help businesses to stand out from the crowd in a place where instant ordering and contacting people is not only possible but even probable, and that place is the internet.

The top 5 reasons that PPC is so right for your small business is:

Your Budget

When you start out in any type of business it is essential that you make sure that people know who you are, where you are and what you offer. It is also important that you don’t overstretch your advertising budget as start-up and smaller businesses rarely have huge amounts of cash to use for this therefore there needs to be a budget in place that yourselves and the PPC agency agree on in order to set realistic goals with the aim of getting you what you want and need. Unlike some advertising forms PPC advertising is still an effective marketing tool regardless of the fact that it doesn’t require a large amount of funding.

PPC and Geography

Having local support for your business is important for anyone however for bricks and mortar businesses located in a town for example, local support is vital for the success of the business. Fortunately your PPC agency is able to combine PPC with geo-targeting which increases local community visibility.

PPC is Quick

A quick fix isn’t always best in business however when it comes to small business start-ups PPC campaigns are fantastic at giving your business a quick boost and building immediate levels of traffic which in turn starts to bring profit in quicker. Over time your other slower to build yet very effective marketing strategies will start to show results however in the meantime you will have already started to build visibility.

PPC is Specific

As a small business you need to stand out above the bigger names and brands in order to get noticed. If you have a very defined niche then PPC agencies will be able to use this to further increase the success of your campaign as specific search terms, which also tend to cost less per click, are going to find you more targeted traffic which is most like to turn into a solid lead or sale.

PPC is Convenient

The beauty of having a Pay Per Click agency working on your behalf is that the advertising campaign will literally run itself in a sense, not requiring you to do anything to maintain it. Small business owners rarely have extra hours in the day so this cost and time effective method of targeted advertising is ideal.

Attribute to: Jag Ture

Jag has been writing for over 5 years. Her sales and marketing background at PPC agency, Cayenne Red has helped her write informative articles in areas including digital marketing; specifically, PPC, SEO, Affiliate Marketing and Social Media Marketing.

Yelp Reviews

Image Source: YouTube/Yelp

Often times review sites play a major role in the make or break of a local business. If you have positive reviews people are going to want to conduct business with you more frequently. If you have negative reviews you might find yourself trying to convince new clients and customers that you are worthy of their business (can you say counterproductive?).

We know what we have to do when we receive a negative review but have you ever stopped to wonder what needs to be done when you generate a positive review? Do you say thank you? Do you leave it alone? What do you do?

Yelp will tell you.

Yelp Video

social media communication

 

Have you ever wondered how social media has transformed the way businesses communicate with their customers?

 

In this article, we’ll explore how social media has changed marketing communication forever. From the rise of influencer marketing to the power of user-generated content, you’ll discover the new strategies and challenges that come with navigating the ever-evolving world of social media marketing.

 

So, fasten your seatbelt and get ready for a journey into the digital age of advertising.

 

The Evolution of Marketing Communication in the Social Media Era


You should explore how marketing communication has evolved in the social media era.

 

Social media has revolutionized the way businesses communicate with their target audience. Gone are the days when traditional advertising channels like print, radio, and television were the only options available. Now, with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, companies have direct access to millions of potential customers.

 

Social media allows for real-time interactions, instant feedback, and personalized messaging, making it a powerful tool for marketers. Additionally, social media has also given rise to influencer marketing, where individuals with large online followings promote products and services. This type of marketing has proven to be highly effective in reaching and engaging with specific target markets.

 

Overall, exploring the evolution of marketing communication in the social media era is essential for businesses to stay relevant and succeed in today’s digital world.

 

Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Brand Engagement


Social media platforms offer numerous opportunities for businesses to engage with their target audience and build brand loyalty. By utilizing these platforms effectively, you can create a strong connection with your customers and establish a loyal following for your brand.

 

One of the key benefits of social media is the ability to directly interact with your audience in real-time. Through comments, messages, and live chats, you can address their concerns, answer their questions, and provide them with valuable information.

 

Additionally, social media allows you to showcase your brand’s personality and values through creative and engaging content. By consistently posting relevant and interesting content, you can keep your audience entertained and informed, further strengthening their loyalty to your brand.

 

Influencer Marketing: The New Face of Advertising


An influencer marketing campaign can be a game-changer for your brand. It allows you to leverage the credibility and reach of popular social media personalities. By partnering with influencers who have a strong following and align with your brand values, you can effectively reach and engage your target audience.

 

These influencers have built a loyal community of followers who trust their opinions and recommendations. When they promote your brand or product, their followers are more likely to take notice and consider trying it themselves.

 

Influencer marketing also provides a more authentic and relatable way to connect with consumers. Influencers often share personal experiences and stories, creating a sense of trust and authenticity. This can greatly impact consumer decision-making.

 

User-Generated Content: Building Trust and Authenticity


By actively encouraging your customers to create and share content about your brand, you can build trust and authenticity in your marketing efforts. User-generated content has become a powerful tool for businesses to connect with their audience and establish a genuine relationship.

 

When customers share their experiences, opinions, and recommendations, it adds credibility to your brand. People trust the opinions of their peers more than traditional advertising. User-generated content also provides social proof, showing potential customers that others have had positive experiences with your brand.

 

Additionally, it allows you to showcase a diverse range of perspectives and voices, making your marketing efforts more relatable and inclusive. By embracing user-generated content, you can tap into the power of authenticity and build a loyal community of brand advocates.

 

Navigating the Challenges of Social Media Marketing Communication


When it comes to navigating the challenges of social media marketing communication, you need to be aware of the potential pitfalls and find strategies to overcome them.

 

Social media has revolutionized the way businesses connect with their audience, but it also presents unique challenges that can hinder your marketing efforts. One of the biggest pitfalls is the risk of negative feedback or criticism going viral, potentially damaging your brand reputation. To overcome this, it’s important to monitor your social media channels closely and respond promptly and professionally to any issues that arise.

 

Another challenge is the overwhelming amount of content competing for attention on social media platforms. To stand out, you need to create compelling and engaging content that resonates with your target audience.

 

Additionally, the constantly evolving algorithms of social media platforms make it difficult to reach your audience organically. To overcome this, you may need to invest in paid advertising or strategic partnerships to boost your reach.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What Are the Main Challenges Faced by Businesses When It Comes to Social Media Marketing Communication?

 

When it comes to social media marketing communication, businesses face several challenges. These include:

 

  • Maintaining a consistent brand image.
  • Engaging with a diverse audience.
  • Dealing with negative feedback in a timely and effective manner.

How Can User-Generated Content Help in Building Trust and Authenticity for a Brand?

 

User-generated content can help build trust and authenticity for your brand.

 

What Are the Key Strategies for Effectively Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Brand Engagement?

 

To effectively harness the power of social media for brand engagement, there are a few key strategies to keep in mind. First and foremost, it’s important to focus on creating compelling content that resonates with your audience. This means understanding their needs, interests, and preferences, and tailoring your content to meet those expectations. Whether it’s a funny meme, an informative infographic, or a heartfelt story, make sure that your content adds value and sparks interest.

 

In addition to creating great content, it’s also crucial to actively engage with your followers. This means responding to comments, messages, and mentions in a timely and personalized manner. Show your audience that you care about their thoughts and opinions, and make them feel seen and heard. This not only builds trust and loyalty but also encourages more engagement and interaction with your brand.

 

Lastly, consider leveraging influencers to amplify your message. Influencers have established credibility and a loyal following, making them powerful advocates for your brand. Collaborate with influencers who align with your brand values and target audience, and let them help spread the word about your products or services. Their endorsement and recommendation can significantly increase your brand visibility and reach.

 

How Has Influencer Marketing Reshaped the Advertising Industry in the Social Media Era?

 

Influencer marketing has reshaped the advertising industry in the social media era by leveraging the power of popular individuals to promote products.

 

It has revolutionized brand engagement and allowed for more authentic connections with consumers.

 

What Are Some Examples of Successful Marketing Communication Campaigns That Utilized Social Media Platforms?

 

Some examples of successful marketing campaigns that used social media include the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the Old Spice ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ campaign.

 

These campaigns went viral, reaching a wide audience and generating buzz.

 

Conclusion


In conclusion, social media has revolutionized marketing communication, forever changing the way brands engage with their audience. By harnessing the power of social media, businesses have been able to build stronger brand engagement, reach a wider audience, and tap into the potential of influencer marketing.

 

Additionally, user-generated content has allowed brands to establish trust and authenticity with their customers. However, navigating the challenges of social media marketing communication remains crucial for success in this ever-evolving landscape.

 

If you are someone that moves around the internet even just a little bit you have probably bumped into something called an infographic. An infographic is basically a creative piece depicting some sort of useful data. Infographics have become very popular over the last few years mostly because they are fun to read and they share very well (you remember how important sharing is right?).

Below is an infographic designed by Customer Magnetism which goes into detail what an infographic really is.

What is an Infographic?

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Video Marketing Tips

Image Source: Flickr

Video marketing is on rise in the current scenario. Experts believe that it gives a business much more boost than one can expect from a traditional advertising media.  Bonuses on this are the online global buyers who can take a look at the products and services offered by a particular business entity, and a couple of them can even turn out to be really potential ones too. Hence, this is the simplest way to go global. But this is equally true that if you have opted for video marketing  then you need to find out whether you are getting the benefit from the deal or not. So, let’s find out what are the primary advantages that you might not be enjoying at all!

Boost in search engine ranking

Video marketing works as magic wand in boosting ranks in popular search engines like Yahoo, Google, Bing, etc.  Marketing experts as well as a few businesses, who have already implemented video marketing for salability of their products and services, comment that while SEO enriched contents might take several weeks to get to the top lists of the search engines, video marketing does the same within hours of being created and published.

Reduction in bounce back rate

While a carefully created profile page may fail to hold back traffic, video marketing can keep them glued to the same.  The reason is perhaps needless to explain – 2-dimensional exhibition of a particular product, its method of use and other related things will always have less impact in comparison to a 3-dimensional, highly responsive system.  The interactive footages in video marketing make much better representations of the products in comparison to plain texts and images. Thus, it is inevitable that the online traffic will have better understanding of the products. This reduces bounce back rate, engages visiting traffic and generates more clients.

Social Networking sites help the business further

No video marketing is successful without its active connection with social networks. Marketers can never think of an advertisement in such a stream which cannot be shared and liked in Facebook or tweeted and re-tweeted in Twitter.  Basically, the tie-up of video marketing profiles with that of the popular social networks helps them to go viral and expand their markets much conveniently. If you have never tried it out till date then you have definitely missed your opportunity to expand your target market and increase your chances of earning more profit!

Economic deal

Have you spent loads of money so far in order to showcase your products to a profitable result through video marketing? You might have hires technical persons for the purpose too.  But the practical story is that you have made a fool of yourself.  This happens to be one of the cheapest form of online marketing that can be managed successfully even by a novice business owner who does not have extensive technical knowledge.

Author Bio

I am Francis Boyle, a research analyst at a video production firm in London. As a part of my job, I often have to do a lot of research about various products and services. I write blog posts related to corporate video and video marketing.

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Facebook Ads Marketing Guide

Internet marketing is one of the hottest trends these days especially for people who want to earn some money. If you are a newbie, it would help if you know more about Facebook marketing. Getting targeted traffic can cost you money, but one way to get cheap traffic is through Facebook ads. The good news is that these ads are very easy to make at a low cost. When it comes to performance, you can expect a great deal of traffic soon.

Facebook, like other popular social networking websites, have millions of users or members. This is a good way to tap on an effective tool to drive traffic to your website. Within the social network alone, millions of people share blog posts, notes, photos, news stories, and even links every month.

Using Facebook is not confusing as it seems. People of different age groups are now using the network, and as a business owner or internet marketer, it is much easier to reach your target market. As a beginner, you can focus on the three tools that Facebook has provided for purposes of marketing. You can use their tools alone or you can combine them according to your preference. These tools include the following – pages, ads, and groups.

The ‘Pages’ tool is designed for public figures, organizations, and businesses; and it is very much similar to the profiles created by individual users. Anyone can ‘like’ pages and there are no restrictions as to the number of fans or friends. This tool is free and you can set it up with ease. However, you have to invest time in building your very own fan base.

If you are willing to spend some money on Facebook ads, you should check out the ‘ads’ tool. This is a targeted ad platform that you can use for specific age groups and geographic areas. Users can like or close the ads; therefore this tool can be powerful enough to enhance your marketing efforts. Since the goals of each internet marketer or business owner tend to vary, the cost of these ads differ as well.

The third Facebook ad tool is the ‘groups’. This tool is similar to forums but Facebook has integrated additional features that are similar to the Wall found in profiles and pages. Groups can be created that are relevant to product offerings or industry. If you want to reach prospects, this is a free tool that you can use. If you want this tool to work for you, you need to invest time and effort because it can be time consuming.

To start marketing using the ‘pages’ tool of Facebook, you can do many things like:

  • Make use of the info tab. This will serve as your ‘about us’, and it should contain vital information about your company and what you do
  • Use FBML when creating custom tabs
  • Work on different landing pages to suit users
  • The wall should always have new posts, and focus on useful info
  • Ask questions to get engage the fans
  • Don’t spam
  • Run contests
  • Study the results of your marketing efforts

For now, you can focus on the pages tool since it is free like the groups. If you see amazing results, you can proceed with the other tools that Facebook has to offer.

Author Bio

Patric Seeley is a Global Brand Manager at Mattressnextday.co.uk/- huge range of adjustable double mattress in different constructions and all comfort ratings catered for, with free next day delivery.

Twitter for Marketing

I’m sure you’re no stranger to the old “your business should be on Twitter” lecture. Everyone has a Facebook or Twitter page now, and they expect companies to have one, too. In truth, to really see success as a business in this digital day and age, you need to connect with your customers on a personal level; Twitter helps you do that.

But how do you make it effective? What are customers looking for when they “follow” you? Let’s take a look at a few ways to effectively use Twitter as a marketing tool for your business:

Always Provide Value

Every Tweet you post should provide valuable information for your followers. Whether it’s important industry news, a new company product or service you’re launching, or a behind-the-scenes photo of your staff, your customers should get something out of it. It should be something they need to know or will enjoy as a fan of your company.

Also keep in mind that the content of your Tweets should be something shareable, something your users will want to pass on to their friends. In the Twitter world, the more re-Tweets you get, the more people who see your company name and logo. Who knows, maybe you’ll go viral?

Be Conversational and Welcoming

Though you’re using Twitter as a marketing tool, don’t be too pushy with your promotions and marketing messages on your account. You’re bound to turn off your followers. Instead, use a more conversational tone and approach your followers as equals when posting content. Ask them questions, start discussions and engage them. The great thing about Twitter is that it personalizes a company; no longer is it some big, cold corporation. It has a face, a voice and a personality. Twitter breaks down the typical wall between a company and its customers; embrace that.

Give It Love and Attention

Twitter takes time. You can’t just put up a page and it expect to take off; it takes work, effort and planning to truly make it a success. When starting off on Twitter, you should plan to spend at least an hour a day on it: post a few updates, respond to any @replies or messages you get, and maybe send out a few fun or interesting re-Tweets. Don’t let your account fall by the wayside!

Watch your Timing

While posting regularly is important, when you post is important, too. Believe it or not, there are certain times that are better than others for posting Twitter content. For example, studies show that Tweets sent out Monday through Thursday in between 1 and 3 p.m., just after lunch, see the most clicks and re-Tweets. On the other end, updates sent out after 8 p.m. any day, or after 3 p.m. on Fridays, see a steep drop in clicks and re-Tweets.

Offer Exclusive Content

The best way to gain new followers on your Twitter account is to offer exclusive deals or content. Start a weekly Twitter contest or begin posting monthly deals for your followers. This will encourage new fans to join and will ensure you keep the old ones happy.

About the Author

Eric Stauffer is an online marketing expert and small business advocate, his firm helps small businesses by reviewing companies like PayPal Here and Square Up. For more information please visit http://www.cardpaymentoptions.com

Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media is one of the hottest trends right now and is especially popular to use as an overall website marketing strategy. Those who are interested in how to plan a social media marketing strategy have already realized the many advantages it has to offer if executed properly. Planning how to run the marketing strategy is essential for it to be as successful as possible.

Identify your Goals

For people who are researching how to plan a social media marketing strategy, having a clearly defined set of goals right out of the gates is essential. A successful social media marketing strategy has a specific goal, although others may be attained as side benefits. There are a variety of different goals that can be achieved by utilizing social media properly including:

  • Increasing the company’s bottom line by increasing sales
  • Gaining valuable information about customers
  • Gaining inbound links to improve the company’s online ranking, which will in turn help to increase sales
  • Getting customer testimonials and sharing these reviews with potential customers
  • Monitoring the reputation of the brand
  • Building authority
  • Educating customers about the product and brand
  • Finding new audiences
  • Forming a direct relationship between the customer and the company

Design the Strategy

Once the goals have been clearly laid out, it’s time for those learning how to plan social media marketing strategy to design the strategy itself. This strategy should be based heavily on research into strategies that have been used in the past. The best social media agencies learn from other people’s failures and avoid them in their own campaigns by researching what has worked and what hasn’t worked.

Here are a few ways you can measure what you are doing:

Measure Success

Social media companies need to clearly determine a way to measure their own campaign’s success or failure. Without this measurement, there will be no way of determining how effective the marketing strategy was. This measurement should be a direct reflection of the chosen goal of those deciding how to plan social media marketing strategy. For example, if the goal is awareness, things such as shares, likes and new subscribers are good ways to measure growth and engagement. There are a variety of tools and tracking programs that can help determine social media searchers for a specific company or marketing plan.

Overall Trends

As an additional measure of success and of social media trends involving the company, overall trends should also be examined as an answer for how to plan social media marketing strategy ideas. Look for mentions of keywords in the industry, the company name, key employees’ names (such as the CEO), brand names and product services and compare them to mentions of competitors. Depending on which social media outlet is being used, there are also many different tools that social media companies use to help track these overall trends quickly and accurately.

Communication Policies

Communication policies are an integral part of how to plan social media marketing strategy. Make a plan as to what the answer is to customer questions and complaints before they happen. Clarify the role that different team members will take and reiterate the goal behind the communication policies. Make a reasonable timeline for different success measurements and when the associated tasks will be completed. It is important for even the best social media companies to have a written plan identifying which different networks will be used and how the goals will be accomplished.

Growth and Promotion

Once those interested in how to plan social media marketing strategy have implemented their ideas, make sure that the momentum is kept going. There needs to be consistent promotion of social media platforms company-wide, including adding the networks to letterheads, signature lines, business cards and promotional literature. Make use of plugins and icons on the company’s website to thoroughly link to the company’s different media outlets. Promotions such as Facebook ads and contests are affordable and easy ways to draw more attention to the company. Try live webinars, question and answers, guest blogging and expert interviews to keep growing and promoting.

Deciding how to plan social media marketing strategy involves a variety of facets, as outlined above. Promotional policies, goals and communication policies must be clearly laid out before any campaign begins. Make sure to keep measuring to see how successful the strategies were. These evaluation processes can help to develop different strategies over time that may be more successful with the company’s target audience.

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