Category Archives: social media

Facebook’s Timeline Cover Makes An Impression

The most visible change to Facebook’s Timeline is the new huge visual strip at the top of company pages. This sprawling 851 x 315 pixel space is great for creating a visceral experience, provided you pick the right image.

Before you run out and create a giant billboard, you should know that Facebook prohibits any kind of promotional message in Cover photos. You cannot reference anything with a rate, price or other purchase information, such as “Free” or “40% off.”

In fact, any call-to-action of any kind (real or implied) is expressly forbidden — e.g., “Download it at our website.” This includes inviting people to Like your page. You can’t even embed contact information, not even a web address.

The good news is that you’ll be able to have an eye-catching, branded image across the top of your page. The bad news is that you can no longer automatically redirect people to a landing page to solicit likes.

This will force a major change in how companies try and engage their audience and build their fan base.

What can you do to prepare for the changes?
Start by creating a compelling Cover Photo that helps tell your story.
It could be a product shot, or people using your service, or whatever makes sense for you.

First Impressions Make All The Difference
The visceral impact of a massive image dominating your Facebook page should not be underestimated. The image you select will play a large (if not the largest) role in people’s first impressions of your Facebook presence. Just keep it super simple, and don’t turn it into an ad.


The Social Media Marketing Wheel

Social Media MarketingSocial media is impacting search engine results! Our wheel explains how:

Word Press Blog/Website
the center of your wheel

Blog/SEO article marketing is important for many reasons. Generating new content keeps people coming back and makes you look like an expert. Blog writing allows your site to be noticed by search engines. By constantly providing new content with specific keywords, it is more likely to move up the results list on Google.


YouTube

YouTube is the second most popular search engine on the planet. More than 100,000,000 different videos are viewed each day on YouTube. Engage your customers so they choose you over your competitors. You will need a customized YouTube Channel, your videos optimized for your key phrases.


Squidoo

Lesser hailed Squidoo provides a place where people can be experts in whatever interests them, and can integrate existing social media accounts and outside links to build up credibility. Pages, referred to as “lenses,” are comprised of different widgets allowing each user, or “lensmaster,” to add different functions and pages to his or her original topic, while increasing the amount of exposure of his or her expertise in more places online.

A great way for certain businesses to boost link popularity and relevancy. Combined with other social media, this is a powerful tool in boosting traffic to your main site.


Facebook

There is no easier way to connect with your future customers than Facebook. Facebook allows you to shop for your own customers by adding them as friends and inviting them to be yours.

Fan pages are a valuable asset because they are indexed by search engines, therefore having the ability to increase your search ranking and draw more people back to your home page.

The possibilities of Facebook increasing your bottom line are endless. Create a promotion to encourage more users to become a fan of your business. Receive feedback on your business through conversations generated through groups and discussions.


Twitter

Twitter has evolved from a small micro-blog website used to update friends and family on your life to an Internet marketing phenomenon. It is a great resource to post links back to your main site, or your site’s blog articles. By spreading your link across various social networks, your arms are constantly outstretched to draw your customers to you.

One of the clearest integrations between social media and the search engines is the Twitter Search Engine on Bing. This tool enables you to search tweets in real-time from within the Bing search engine. Tweets are now in the Bing News feed, as well as a preferred treatment for content “liked” by your Facebook and Twitter contacts.


LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a search engine and has a ton of authority on Google and other popular search engines. Likely if you Google your name and you have a LinkedIn profile, it will show up on the first page of Google. This demonstrates the ranking authority of LinkedIn on Google.

Import your WordPress blog feed to your profile, use Groups to connect with people, create an event and send invitations to your LinkedIn network, get recommendations to attract more clients.


Flickr

Flickr can also be used to generate traffic, build links and increase your visibility in the search results. Add descriptive hyperlinks that encourage people to click from the image to the blog post. Flickr images tend to rank well in the search results for a certain period of time.

Create a descriptive title for the image. This is one of the best places to post your primary keyword. Write a keyword rich description for each photo and use tags.


Yelp

Reputation Management
Yelp is experiencing phenomenal growth! Much like Google has the market on Google for reviews, Yelp now has the iPhone market thanks to Siri, the new Apple personal assistant.

If you own a restaurant or other type of business location, another important task to do after claiming your locations on Google Local Business is to claim them on Yelp. Yelp is important because it is emerging as the leading consumer review site for many types of businesses and it currently receives high priority from the Google Search Engine results.

Business owners greatly benefit when their location is claimed on Yelp. Claiming a location allows the business to personalize their Yelp page in a number of ways.


Google Plus

Add +1 to your pages to help your site stand out. Let visitors recommend your content on Google Search and share it on Google+

You can now set up your own Business Page on Google+. There are lots of ways to promote your site and your Google+ page, from promoting it yourself with Google+ Direct Connect and the Google+ badge, to helping others recommend you with the +1 button. Google’s measurement tools helps understand Google+ activity: what people are saying about your business, how many +1’s your business receives and how these affect your traffic.


See How Social Media Can Replace Pricey Adwords!

Infographic: The Authority Building Machine
Internet Marketing Infographic by Vertical Measures


Opportunity it’s all around. Take a look.

Two hundred years ago the only way you could have a cold beer was if it was winter or if you were rich and could transport and store ice.

Then came Frederic Tudor, an entrepreneur who turned ice into a business, and made a fortune shipping ice to the Caribbean and all over the world.

Technology marched on and people found ways to create ice in warehouses that did not need to be shipped. It could be stored and created locally.

Enter The Web.
Just a few years ago, John Pohlig might have hung up balloons and perhaps an inflatable gorilla outside a Honda dealership in Torrance, California to attract shoppers.

Now Mr. Pohlig, director of marketing, uses Facebook and other social media to try and increase business. Four thousand “likes” later, and Scott Robinson Honda has a huge Facebook base.

“We’re building relevance out there” he says. “Our objective is to reach as many people as possible. Over the long run, this will help build our business and our company.”

“People don’t have time to spend all day at the dealership anymore,” Pohlig notes. “We answer all their questions online before they come in, and get them right out.”

Some 41% of all car dealers now have Facebook pages, according to CNW Research.

Enter The Smartphone.
Nowadays 35% of American adults own a smartphone. One quarter of them use their phone to do most of their online browsing!

Now it’s a cash register. Your mobile phone, I mean. Remember the cash register? Back in 1883 it was a big deal invention called the “Incorruptible Cashier”. Today it’s a pocket-sized credit card reader from squareup.com that plugs into your mobile phone and makes you an instant business able to accept credit cards safely and securely from anywhere.

The cash register comes of age!

Have you?


B2B Social Marketing – a first!

While most of the social media hoopla to date has been in the consumer space, social media will have an even larger impact on B2B companies seeking to build deep, long-term relationships with their customers. This book is extremely timely as a guide on how to do just that.

There are some 138,000 entries in Amazon search for “social media”! But this is the first book that focuses exclusively on the business owner and  the B2B marketplace.

This is a wonderful reference book for everyone in the business world, with solid recommendations for strategies and tactics.
For more information click here to read  Chapter One on SlideShare.

Click on the book image to view the authors’ video.

Last, but not least here is the authors’ website.


Your Web Real Estate

This is a simple graphic of a complicated piece of real estate! Your Internet Presence.  It reveals how interconnected all platforms are and how essential each is to the other.  Because the Internet is constantly changing, your business needs some, most, or all of  these tools.

When you click on the graphic,  it will take you to a larger view with an overview, and descriptions of terms and concepts.

Web Equity Infographic
Web Equity by Mike Blumenthal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.blumenthals.com.


Twitter Surprises

Recently a client questioned the effectiveness of his Twitter account, particularly the question of why people weren’t following at a higher rate. Remember that  no two Twitter accounts are alike, and the reasons why people use Twitter will effect your business regardless of whether or not you are followed.

Unlike Facebook where somebody is expected to register and/or log in before information is made visible, Twitter data is there for anybody to see.  One doesn’t have to have a Twitter account to read Conan’s 140-character long bon mots!

It is through Twitter Search where the accounts with low followers can achieve conversion. If your follower count is sub-100, you may feel discouraged and consider writing off Twitter altogether. This wouldn’t be a wise thing to do, because every word you type and every link you paste is cached in Twitter’s search database.

Let’s say you operate a bed and breakfast in the heart of Napa Valley wine country and want to fill up some rooms during a lull period. Tweet specials using the essential keywords (discount, Napa Valley, B&B, etc.) and maintain a regular stream of commentary on what visitors can expect when they’re in your area. Repeat tweet every few days.

Whether your activity will attract new fans is uncertain, but notice what you have achieved: you are advertising your inn to one of the most used search engines on the Internet. You have created the opportunity for somebody looking for something to do in Virginia to find you, click to your profile, then click through to your website to make a reservation.

This is where the true value of Twitter lies for businesses and people with niche appeal.

Remember, if your Twitter account promotes your Facebook or blog or other site, people who find you this way may sign up for updates elsewhere.

So if you’re concerned about hard numbers, focus your energy instead on giving people pertinent information. You’ll get bodies through the door, some will use a different entrance.


Fabulous Social Media Slideshow

You’re about to see an exceptional ‘social media for business’ slideshow, refreshed with updated web statistics … so gorgeously designed that you will say ‘wow’ as you click!

As quoted in the slides: “Realize that the social media success equation isn’t big moves on the chess board, it’s a little move made every day that eventually adds up to a major shift.”


Facebook’s Global Footprint

TWO THIRDS OF THE WORLD’S INTERNET POPULATION
visit social networking or blogging sites.

Time spent on social network and blogging sites is growing at over 3x the rate of overall Internet growth.

Social networks/ blogs are now the fourth most popular online category – ahead of personal e-mail.

The social network audience is
becoming more encompassing.

Facebook’s greatest growth in global audience numbers has come from people aged 35-49. Furthermore, Facebook has added almost twice as many 50-64 year old visitors (+13.6 million) than it has added under 18 year old visitors (+7.3 million). Consequently, people under 18 years old are making up less of the social network and blogging audience, whereas the 50+ age group are accounting for more of the audience.

Mobile Social Networking is
Taking Off.

The most popular social networks via PCs/laptops tend to be the most popular via mobile too.

Based on a simple design, broad demographic appeal and a focus on connecting, Facebook has become the most popular social network in the majority of countries measured by Nielsen Online.

**Source: Nielsen, Global Faces & Networked Places, 2009


Businesses Add E-Commerce To Social Media Pages

Monetizing social media can be one of the toughest riddles for marketers to solve.  You get a lot of followers, they comment on your content, and so on. But how can you convert a follower into a customer?

Facebook is making the solution a lot simpler.  It is now allowing applications that enable businesses to add e-commerce stores directly to their fan pages.  Now a follower can visit a fan page and find a listing of products directly on the page.  When you click on a product, you are either taken to the merchant’s web store or you complete the checkout process inside the social media platform

In response to this relatively new feature, businesses are turning to social media for yet another way to point customers directly to their products.

Some businesses have seen a real increase in their annual sales thanks to this new marketplace option.  The Wall Street Journal told the story of one guitar shop owner who saw his profits go up by 17% in 1 year, thanks in part to having his products listed on his Facebook page.  Not bad if you ask me.

This new step has the potential to alter the social media experience, so it must be taken very carefully.  But, if and when it’s used the right way, it can be an extremely effective tool to monetize your social media.

On top of that, merchant’s who have little or no online presence will have a really easy new ‘in’ to the online market.  Soon, a Facebook fan page with a shopping cart attached may be all you need to get started.