Marketing Your Business Online

How to Utilize the New Analytics Feature on Pinterest

Pinterest is a network that many businesses have chosen to incorporate into their social media marketing efforts. Although it doesn’t get the attention that Facebook and Twitter do, some experts think that it’s catching up on these social media titans. One recent feature that was added is Pinterest Analytics, which provides a variety of data to gain key insights into your campaign performance. Here are the basics of this new analytics feature and some ways your business can take advantage of it.

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What Should You Be Measuring in Social Media Marketing?

Launching into a strategic social media marketing campaign can help you increase your brand’s strength, improve name recognition and get more ideally qualified leads into your pipeline. But what constitutes “good social media marketing”? It has to do with what you are measuring and why.

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Inbound Marketing: Where Should You Spend Your Social Media Time?

Is social media marketing worth your time? Here are some stats for thought.

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How to Perform a Social Media Audit for Your Inbound Marketing

According to Customer Think’s research, 56% of B2B businesses are increasing their marketing spending on social media this year. This means that the chances your competitors are growing mature, lead generation social programs is very high. You owe it to the growth of your company to consider how social fits into your marketing plan, and how you can leverage it.

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Two Big Ways Social Media and SEO Can Help Skyrocket Your Rankings

If your business doesn't have a big social media presence, chances are you've been advised to get one. And while there has been a certain amount of hype around “going social”, there is also a very concrete reality behind the hype.

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LinkedIn Company Pages: Tips for the Update

Is using LinkedIn part of your inbound marketing strategy? Technology, software and other B2B oriented businesses can get a lot from participating on LinkedIn, and now the social network has even more to offer for companies.

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44 Creative Ways to Market on Social Media

Social media marketing has transformed the way that companies can do business online. But it’s important to go about it creatively. We’re long past the point where social media can be effective without a strategy and a unique approach. If you’re ready to get inspired and create more profitable social media campaigns, here are 44 tips and examples to help you market on social media.

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How to Socialize Your Business When You’re Strapped for Time

Social media is a terrific way to build your traffic, brand your business and make sure that you’re attracting new leads. But for many businesses, social media seems like a set of time consuming activities that don’t produce a lot of results. It doesn’t have to be that way! Social media can be a real asset to your business if you know how to manage your time and maximize your results.

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What You Need to Know About New Facebook Pages

The new Facebook pages offer many updated tools designed to help your business express its identity.  As of March 30, 2012, your Page will automatically be updated to the new design.  But in the meantime you can preview it and get familiar with the features.

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The Importance of A Google Plus Business Page

Do you have a Google Plus business page?  Not sure what it can do for your business?  There’s a lot of information out there about this relative newcomer to social media marketing, but don’t let yourself become confused.  Google Plus is meant to give you functionality that other social sites don’t. 

First, keep in mind that a Google Plus business page is NOT the same as a Google Plus personal profile.   If you already have a personal profile, you’ll have to set up a separate business page (Google is quite picky about this!)

Your Google Plus page offers the following unique benefits:

  • Targeted messaging
  • Direct interaction with fans and their pages
  • Multiple admin capability
  • Connection to your site for better search engine visibility
  • Real-time interaction through video chat

This is just a short summary of what you can do with a Google Plus business page.  How do you set up your Page?  The process is designed to be intuitive—here’s a brief summary:

1. Start here.  Sign into your Google account. 

2. Choose a category.  How do you want to be categorized?  Choose from Location or Place; Product or Brand; Company, Organization or Institution; Arts, Entertainment or Sports; Other.

3. Customize your Page.   Add a tagline and photos.  The tagline is your opportunity to describe your business to visitors, so make it count.  Add keywords if possible and make it interesting! 

Your profile photo can be your storefront, logo or team.  For the sake of consistency, you might want to make it the same for all of your social media accounts. 

Another way to personalize your page is to add photos to your Scrapbook.  You can post five photos that you feel will help people relate to your brand.  Get creative here—they could be pictures of products, your staff at the office, your latest trade show booth—anything that will make a positive impression.

4. Add links.  The Recommended Links feature turns your Google Plus business page into a hub for information.  This is great, because in addition to your website (listed separately), you can direct visitors to other pages and resource sites—your blog, individual brand sites, videos, etc.

5. Announce your Page.  Since you can’t follow others to get them to follow you, you’ll need to announce your new Google Plus business page through other avenues.  Place a +1 button on your Google Plus personal page, social media accounts, website, blog and video pages to make it easy for people to connect.

Now, connect your Google Plus business page with your website to ensure that it is included in search engine results.

6. Connect with followers.  Google Plus offers some agile features that help you interact.  Use Circles to target followers, and Hangouts for live video chat with up to nine followers.

There’s a lot more to Google Plus business pages, so explore your options and check out the following articles for additional information:

http://www.wordtracker.com/academy/google-plus-business-pages

http://www.wordtracker.com/academy/how-to-set-up-google-plus-business-page

And don't forget to follow our new Google Plus page!!

 

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Setting Up a Google Plus Page for Your Business

Behind every webpage or storefront is a group of people who want to connect with their customers and tell the story of their brand.  If you’re one of those people, setting up a Google Plus Page account for your business is a simple and effective way to do it.

Google Plus Pages is the business end of Google Plus.  With the recent launch of Pages, businesses of any size or marketing budget can get closer to customers, network with other companies and build their brands.

Setting up your Page is simple, and Google offers tools to help:

1.  Create a Google Plus page—Create a Page for your business.  All you need is a Google account to get started. 

Your Page is the place to post updates, promotions and news about your business.  You can also send messages to groups and individuals and have conversations.

2.  Hangouts—This live video chat feature allows you to get face-to-face with up to nine of your customers at once.  Have a conference, invite discussion, or hold a how-to session in real time.

3. Circles—With this feature you can separate followers into smaller groups. Let’s say you have a group of people within your audience who have a particular interest in one of your products or services.  You could put them into a Circle and offer them exclusive discounts and promotions.  You could also share specific messages and stage online events just for these smaller groups.

4.  +1 Button— Similar to a FaceBook “Like” button, the +1 button makes it easy for fans and followers to share your Page and recommend you to others.  With it, people can recommend your brand through Google search, other sites, your ads and even their mobile devices.

Here’s a tip:  Use the +1 button to make recommendations of your own.  This encourages others to recommend you in return, building your network in much the same way that blog comments do.

5.  Direct Connect—Still under construction, Direct Connect refers to Google Plus Pages being included in search results.  Anyone doing an online search can navigate quickly to your Page and even add it to a Circle.  For example, someone searching for your products or services, or directly searching for your company will be directed to your Google Plus Page and given the option to add your Page.

Use Direct Connect to add other businesses and individuals to your Circles to extend your network of potential customers and fans.  

Google is currently adding new features to Google Plus Pages, all designed to weave together Internet search and social media into what they term a “real-life sharing” experience.  For small and medium-sized businesses in particular, this means an effective and affordable way to reach new markets.  For their customers, it means an easy way to connect with the companies and products they love.

Having a Google Plus Page puts the power of social search to work for you. Add it to your business strategy and get more out of your online marketing efforts.

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Customer Service in an Online World

So, you’ve done it all. You’ve created an informative and engaging website to market your business. You tweet, post, and otherwise social network with the best of ‘em. But, are you overlooking the most important part of growing and maintaining your small business? Customer service still reigns supreme in an online marketplace. Here’s how to keep your customers happy, loyal, and talking...about you! 

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I Don't Like It, But I Want It

The Facebook Like button has gotten tons of play as of late. It took less than a month to appear on more than 100,000 websites. Even with that success, the squad at Facebook did some research and they think it’s time to give users more choices. 

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The Company Line: LinkedIn for Business

Recently, professional online network LinkedIn enabled companies to add profiles. Known for creating an online resource for individual networking, LinkedIn has now opened up this ongoing networking event to allow companies to recruit employees and market themselves. So, you ask, would this be a good marketing tool for my business?

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Decisions, Decisions...Facebook or Twitter for Business?

"I have no idea what it is, but I'm on it all the freaking time." - David Letterman discussing Twitter

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How Do I Set-up a Facebook Page for Business?

A very happy Flag Day to you! Have your ever wondered what our flag would look like if G.W. sewed it himself instead of enlisting the help of a pro like Betsy Ross?

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User Personas: Getting to Know Your Customers

So who are your customers,   anyway? You might say that they are small businesses that are in need of a service or product. Nope, too  broad. I mean really, who are they? What are their needs, motivations, concerns, goals? Creating user personas for your customers is an increasingly important step in targeting your marketing efforts. As a business owner, you can work endlessly on marketing your product or service. But, if you cast too wide a net and don’t locate and engage your target audience, your efforts may go to waste. So how does one go about creating user personas for their customers? Today, we’ll discuss some tips on doing just that.

 

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Lead Generation Marketing in a Downturn Economy: Social or Search for your Small Business?

Got a headache yet? The options can seem endless when deciding on a campaign to market your small business online. So what is best for your business when trying to achieve lead generation marketing in a downturn economy? 

 

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Content Marketing Strategy: Sharing Information, Becoming a Resource

Gone are the days of the tri-fold marketing piece. Successful marketing collateral in today’s business climate is dependent on content marketing strategy. So, what is content marketing strategy? Content marketing is a term that describes marketing through multiple formats that, through the creation and sharing of content, engages current and potential consumers. The idea behind content marketing strategy is to deliver useful and valuable information to your customers to position yourself as an authority within your industry.

  • Creative – The start of this marketing bonanza is to create content about your business and industry. Through articles and blog posts, well written for keyword optimization, report on your industry to your visitors. This creates a place for them to return to when needing questions answered. Create e-books to walk them through challenges and post to social media sites to deliver your creative solutions to a broader audience.
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Social Media Lead Generation: Free Stuff in a Facebook World

As small businesses start to use Facebook for various types of marketing campaigns, I am noticing a trend. Overlooked opportunities for lead generation. A local photographer that I’ve used recently ran a contest on her small business’ Facebook page. She posted a message to all of her clients, asking them to “like” their pictures on her Facebook profile to win a free photo shoot with her in the coming year. The client who received the most “likes” on their picture won the contest. So, I entered.

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Foursquare for Businesses

Recently, Foursquare upped its geo-location game by revamping its business page, making it easier for small business owners to register with the site. The social media heavy hitter went about this by breaking customers down into two possible camps: venue owners and brands. A good deal of content is dedicated to differentiating between the two, so determining what category your company falls into shouldn’t be an issue.

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Small Business Social Media Plan, What's Yours?

Once you’ve chosen a platform and have your blog set up, you need a small business social media plan in place to ensure maximum return on your investment. Good maintenance requires consistency in creating interactive content for your readers. If your blog is to be an entryway for establishing your social network and communicating with your customers, then you need to keep your blog stocked with relevant content.

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Groupon Drives Local Customers Through Social Marketing

Groupon is currently all the rage in the social media world and for good reason. It's a great service for customers and businesses alike. Customers take advantage of a great deal, and local businesses get new customers through the door.

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Leveraging Social Media for Small Business: Step One, Set up a Blog

As a fellow small business owner, I know that finding the time to utilize successful social media strategies in your marketing efforts can be daunting.

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5 key ingredients of successful inbound marketing

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