Small Business Visibilty

There can be no doubt that online marketing is a growing field. In fact, throughout these tough economic times, the digital sector has continued to show strong growth. Of course, much of this increase in uptake can be attributed to larger companies – the multinationals who had the foresight to stay ahead of a rapidly changing online landscape, as well as a size-able budget to implement their plans.

These big corporations tend to have in-house online PR and marketing staff, meaning that they are ready to adapt to new situations. Smaller businesses don’t have this ability, and in fact, they probably don’t need it. But it should be regarded as essential for every business to have its own website and preferably a number of social media profiles. Many small business owners have recognised this, and have become a part of the new digital economy. What benefits are they enjoying?

Establishing a Presence

Local Online Presence

The most basic reason for small businesses to get on the web is that they are expected to do so. In a time when we are depending upon the internet more and more for a wide variety of tasks, the average customer will not be searching the Yellow Pages for local companies. Instead, they will be using a search engine. Your company will be invisible to many potential customers if it lacks a website. Now that so many of us are turning to the online world for products and services instead of walking into the town centre, your website is your shopfront. A basic site with information on your services and contact information is cheap and easy to set up, so there’s no excuse!

Communicating Effortlessly

Social media platforms are a great way to establish a link with potential consumers. Not only do they add another form of online presence over and above your website; they put you on the same plane as the people you want to sell to. Social media marketing is effective for two reasons. Firstly, you are communicating with your target market via a medium that they have chosen to sign up for, and which they probably spend deal of time on. Secondly, there is great potential for viral growth. Social networks are a fantastic resource because when a customer ‘shares’ something that you have posted, they are implicitly endorsing your business. Their contacts are then more likely to view you in a beneficial light, thus making them more likely to also interact with your profile.

Easily Publicising Incentives

The viral potential of social networking makes it child’s play to attract more traffic and, hopefully, sales. By running a competition for a comparatively low-value item, such as a free cinema ticket or something from your shop, you can achieve massive exposure. Do this by requiring each entrant to ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ your page before they can be entered into the draw. Once again, you are receiving a subtle endorsement from each entrant, and you are making it more likely that increased numbers of people will be exposed to your messages. This is because once they have ‘liked’ your page, consumers will see your status updates in their home feed.

Author:

Thomas Jones is Content Manager for I Say! Digital, the outsourced SEO specialists. Though he mainly takes care of copywriting and content creation services, he is training to become a social media consultant. In his spare time, you might find him brewing his own beer and talking politics.

It's Big

Have you ever stopped and wondered just how large the internet actually is? Or how much influence it holds on our daily behavior?

This infographic put together by Open-Site.org displays the raw power of the internet and how it is used. It also puts things into perspective when trying to identify just how large and in charge the internet is to society.

Online Power

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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.

Be Social

It is always interesting to see how other countries use the social networks that we have sort of become dependent on these days. Facebook is a dominant force but it is interesting to see some of the other networks stand up against the giant we call — FB.

Check out this Mashable infographic created by @nick_sigler  and @stephmbuck which showcases the worlds social network usage numbers.

Worlds Social Networks

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Google Plus

Say what you want, Google+ is awesome. Sure it might not be as popular in the mainstream media as Facebook but the reality is that Google has created something great. If you want to compare user numbers it is no slouch either. In this short Google+ video 5 different users discuss how their career and life have changed by using the Google+ social platform.

Google+ Video

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Pinterest for Business

Pinterest is not just another website where you can look at cute puppies and baked goods. Pinterest has become the newest and hottest social bookmarking site the web has ever seen. Sure at first glance it might look like Pinterest can’t help your B2B business grow but you are not looking at it with a big picture mindset. Just because you pin a blog post regarding LINUX server hosting does not mean that you will not reap some sort of reward from it.

If you are serious about your search engine optimization efforts than you should be pinning your blog posts on Pinterest. Don’t forget that Google & Bing really like it when websites and businesses try really hard to grow their brand online. Google has repeatedly come out and told the business community to try and build good quality links through social channels that can help build your brand online. Pinterest is one of those channels that can do just that. Each pin is a link back to your site and you know how much good quality links can help the SEO power of a website.

Eventually boards will rank…better

When conducting random search queries we are already starting to witness Pinterest boards and pins starting to rank in the search space more and more everyday. As Pinterest grows in power so will its ability to infiltrate the search results. With a properly optimized board you could see your Pinterest account quickly generating traffic. Remember that just because you don’t see immediate traffic from your efforts on Pinterest does not mean there will not be some sort of positive residual bi-products that occur down the road.

Launch strategic product and service boards

If you have a business that sells multiple products, services or solutions and you like talking about those products through your company blog you should have a specific board dedicated just towards those products. Make sure the title and description of that board is always optimized and well written. Each board comes with the ability to have a description written and the more quality content you can put there the better off you will be in the future.

Read: 9 Tips: Boost Your Business With Pinterest

It is all about the images

More and more Pinterest images are quickly occupying Bing and Google image searches. Pinterest requires users to use images has the focal point of each pin resulting in a massive amount new images being indexed by the search engines, the better the image the better the visibility. With so many images making it into the search results your business has a good chance of generating visibility from the images you use in your pins if you require frequent quality images in your website content or data.

 

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Whoa! Buried inside the fan page dashboard sits this little gem called The Best Practice Guide for Marketing on Facebook. It is loaded with great info for those of you trying to figure out your own Facebook marketing strategy. The guide is 14 pages long and filled with great info on how to tackle the beast we all call, the Facebook (minus the “the”).

For example, Facebook discusses it’s ecosystem which consists of:

  • Build
  • Engage
  • Amplify

Screenshot

This is just a sample of what you can find in this little document. Check out the Facebook Marketing Guide to learn all the little fun little pieces of information to execute your Facebook marketing efforts efficiently.

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Linkedin Tips

Social media is not just something that is planning on sticking around for a little bit with the plans of eventually moving on. Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter have completely changed the landscape of digital communication — forever. With LinkedIn going public recently it is even a stronger indicator of just how important it is to use this networking giant to grow as an individual and even a business. Sure, things will take time like anything else but if you don’t want to make the time you might just be shooting yourself in the foot.

Here are some ways you can really increase your online influence in LinkedIn and have it start working for you in a positive light:

Fill in your profile 100%

Don’t just add your name without anything else because that is useless and a waste of time. Remember that this thing will rank very well for your name in the search engines so you want that profile robust and full of information that can help you grow as a person or a business. If someone searches your name and they bump into a LinkedIn profile that is completely empty that is not going to strengthen their case to want to work with you.

Use a quality image

Using a good quality image is extremely important for many obvious reasons. Unfortunately people do judge a book by its cover so it is important to use a quality image that allows you to market yourself. Nobody cares to see a photo of you doing a keg-stand or snuggling with your cats. Save those for your friends on Facebook if you absolutely must showcase them.

Send thank you messages to new connections

For quite some time now I have been sending short quick thank you messages to anyone who wants to make a connection with me. I can’t begin to tell you how many great conversations this tiny little effort has sprung up. It is a great way to break the ice and introduce yourself to someone who wants to have a professional connection with you on LinkedIn.

Join some targeted groups

There is an immense amount of targeted groups anyone can join on LinkedIn. Some of these groups have over 100,000 members and most groups allow you to place a link into their news feed that has the potential to be seen by thousands of qualified eyeballs. A great strategy is to take a blog post your business has written and distribute it through some of the groups on a consistent basis.

Get on people’s radars

Being social is all about trying to communicate along with being a team player when it comes to social media. This means leaving comments on a competitors posts, liking others submissions and generally doing things that leave behind some sort of connection between you and the community. This lets the original owner of the post know that you enjoyed what they have to say and it gets you on their radar screen.

Social Email Marketing

Email is probably one of the first forms of online digital communication and still thrives today as a means to communicate not just everyday chatter but also a business message. Email marketing has come a long way and as the world of social interaction continues to strengthen brands email interaction grows stronger and more important every single day. The digital space is complicated and busy and for brands to make waves and create streams of visibility a robust email campaign is surely a must.

Here are 3 reasons why email marketing is not just email marketing any longer:

Reason #1 — Web Based Technology

The technology that allows all of us to utilize the process of email marketing is mostly web based now. Sites like Constant Contact and Benchmark Email are mostly focused on providing users a web based technology solution that can allow anyone to hop online and create some sort of email campaign. Assuming that you have a list of opt-in email recipients most small businesses can whip up some sort of communication in just a matter of minutes. This communication then travels through web based channels making it extremely easy to share with others on sites like Twitter & Facebook.

Reason #2 — People Like To Share

Have you ever fired up your Facebook or Twitter pages and saw a status update that shows someone letting you know they just ate a ham sandwich for lunch? It might sound strange to some to see that but the point I am making is that people share everything these days. Social sharing is something that is growing at an exponential rate and it will most likely continue to grow. If you send your email recipients an email communication with even half decent content that odds are some of your list will share your information, of course your goal should always be 100% quality content. Either through a share button or just forwarding things to their social profiles and friends your email has the ability to really move around the web space.

Reason #3 — Everything is Connected

The entire online community is now connected through a series of API’s and well established technology resources linking everyone together. Your Twitter account can link to your website, your website can link to your Facebook page, your Facebook page can sync up with your LinkedIn account…are you going cross eyed yet?

The point is that when you publish an email campaign on today’s web based solutions you are given the opportunity to immediately export your email campaign to any of your favorite social profiles creating an automatic status update. This status update/email is then seen by all your little fans and followers allowing them to either sign up to your company newsletter or just pass the information along….it’s a beautiful thing.

Facebook Fan Page Dissection

Many business owners who have never depended on the digital space to attract new business have found themselves in an unfamiliar territory in recent years. With a rather large portion of off line marketing disappearing and shifting towards a new digital marketing era sites like Facebook have left them scratching their heads on what to do next. The media has flooded the web space with Facebook headlines causing website owners to realize that they need to be there but not necessarily understand how to do it properly.

Here are some of the different elements that are important when building a Facebook fan page:

The Logo

Always make sure your logo renders correctly. There is nothing worse for building your brand than placing logos that do not appear correctly on the fan page.

Facebook Logo Rendering

Photos

You always want to take advantage of your photo section within your Facebook fan page. This is a nice area where you can actually customize your photos or pull some images from your website to build the attractiveness  of your FB page. Some people even take a very creative spin on how to fill this image section.

Facebook Images

Custom Page

A custom landing page is a great way to set yourself apart from your competition. Many businesses large and small are really focusing on custom Facebook landing pages to help really brand themselves in a new light when it comes to how their audience perceives them. Some experts say that dropping visitors directly on your wall is “bad” but it really depends on what your goals are with your page.

Custom Facebook Fan Page

The “Like” Button

This is probably the holy grail of the Facebook fan page. The goal is to get as many fans to “like” your page in order to get your status updates to appear in their wall stream.

Facebook Like Button

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