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Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

How People Often Miss The Mark With Social Media

Many times when the topic of social media comes up in discussions with business owners, I often hear them say that they want to be able to build social media contacts outside of their friends and family. In fact, when I speak on the topic of Facebook Marketing, the biggest question I hear is “how do we build fans?” My response is to start with those you know because those are generally your best sources of referrals anyhow. Often people are resistant to come across as a marketer or as self serving to those they know personally, and other times people simply don’t want their friends and family to know about their business for whatever reason.

Today, I guess the message became a bit clearer during a brainstorming session with a colleague. People are often so concerned with finding ways to connect with strangers (people they don’t know on Facebook or other sites), that they lose site of the massive potential to grow their business through those they know by leveraging social media.

I guess there are those situations where someone may have a side business and they don’t want their co-workers or clients to know about it, and I guess I understand that. What people need to keep in mind however is that SOCIAL media is about relationships. Relationships are not formed by ads, but by interaction with people. I am not saying ads don’t work, but I am saying that relationships build more solid business connections than ads do, especially in a social arena such as a social media community.

When I think of my personal successes in connecting with business opportunities via social media, most of them have been through relationships with those I know and have connected with because I am pretty open with those that know me about what I do.

Social media can be a great platform for educating your friends and family. They may know what you do, but they don’t know what you know. If you have had a viewpoint that says you want to connect with those you don’t know as opposed to those you do know, I strongly encourage you to consider allowing your friends and family into your social media world. You might be surprised at what it does for your business.

How Twitter Helped Me Get a Website Restored

Over the weekend, I noticed that one of my websites was offline. It’s not a mission critical site which is why it was not monitored more closely (in case you are wondering), but it is a site that generates income and one that I was getting ready to upgrade.

I noticed that the web stats had dropped to zero for the past few days and I knew there was a problem. I tried to visit the site and it was down so I called the web hosting provider (I will be nice and not out them… but you can certainly see my Twitter history if you know how to find it) 🙂 Anyhow, I was told that it was a known issue and being worked on and therefore I could not have a support ticket, but that I was welcome to call back and endure another 5+ minute hold time if I wanted an update. Let’s just say, it was less than stellar customer service.

Knowing the power of Social Media, I Tweeted about the issue and named the company in the Tweet, so they would see the message. After not getting a response, I followed up with another Tweet saying that I was surprised that they did not monitor Twitter, given how large of a company they were. Within a few minutes, I was contacted via Twitter asking for my ticket number. I told them the issue and that I was told a ticket could be created… at which time they created a support ticket and told me the issue would be resolved that day.

The next day the issue still persisted and I replied to the support ticket asking for an update because they did not meet the time frame they had said they would. I then Tweeted that I was still frustrated that after 4 days of a website outage (which is simply unacceptable), I still did not have a status. I am sure you can guess what happened next. I got a Twitter message saying that someone would call me to try to resolve the issue, and of course I got a phone call. No one could tell me what magically happened, but they were able to get my site back up within minutes of that call. They said they did a work around to get mine up but that the others on my shared server were still offline. I guess I am surprised that no one else had a problem with their website being down for days.

What’s the moral of the story? Don’t underestimate the power of Social Media. As you might imagine, a few web hosting competitors and affiliates saw my posts and contacted me via Twitter with hosting offers. I went to respond to one to thank them, but they failed to follow me (on Twitter) which means, I could not communicate with them. Well, at least they were on the right track…

Social Media is Now More Critical with Google’s New Real Time Search Feature

Yesterday Google announced that it will be featuring more “real time” search results which includes content from blogs and social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. Just for fun, I have provided a link to the Yahoo News story on this. 🙂

As if we didn’t already know that being involved in social media was important to a business, this latest move by Google further emphasizes this. So what does this mean for those that are actively trying to generate business online? First of all, don’t by any means abandon what you are doing. Search Engine Optimization and Paid Search are still the foundation of a solid online marketing campaign, so you want to make sure you are continuing to make strides there. But, if you have not ventured out into the world of social media, you might want to take a look at it now. Here are some suggestions:

1. If you don’t have a blog, start one. Ideally, your blog should be a part of your website (i.e as opposed to a separate stand along blog, so your domain can capitalize on the inbound links to the blog.

2. If you don’t have a Facebook Fan page, start one. It does not cost anything to set it up, and it’s really not that difficult. Here is a link to the first of a “how to” series I wrote on creating a Facebook page.

3. If you aren’t on Twitter, join. Early on, I was not a big fan of Twitter but as I have seen more value from it, I am encouraging people to join. Here is the key to being successful on Twitter; you have to learn how it works and stay active, otherwise you will deem it a waste of time. A great feature to learn on Twitter, is the “local search” feature where you can do a search based on your region. I actually used this just yesterday and found a partner prospect for my company.

As we go into 2010, I hope this gives you some insights into how you can improve your online positioning by staying ahead of your competition. If you need help implementing any online strategy, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Best Practices For Sharing Facebook Events

Today, I saw a local event announcement on Facebook that I wanted to share with others because it was promoting a local event where Les Brown was speaking. The challenge is that there was no way for me to link to it other than the Facebook event link and not every one uses Facebook as there end-all resource (believe it or not).

I shared with my friend that if she could post the event details on a blog I would be more than happy to help her promote her event. For example, I am active on Twitter & LinkedIn, where blog links can easily be shared (this may be a revelation to some), and where I am connected to thousands of local business owners that might want to attend.

My advice is that if you have notes or events that you want others to share, you should provide a link to an outside resource (ideally a blog) so that others can help promote it. Having others promote your content has a lot to do with making it easy for them to do so.

How Social Media Marketing and Blogging have Altered Conversion Statistics

Social Media Marketing and Blogging have produced amazing results in terms of increasing visitors and brand awareness to websites, but it has also changed how a site owner needs to track conversions.

Recently, I launched a new website and I was discussing the projections with my wife – and for the record, she hates when I start crunching numbers and doing projections 🙂 My goal was to launch a profitable website in a new niche market to create a new income source for us. Looking to my past success, I started to back into the numbers so I could predict what kind of web traffic I would need to reach my sales goals. I realized that I was modeling two very successful sites that I had a few years back and remembered that the traffic to the sites was not based on opportunistic sales from sources such as Social Media sites & blogs, but from targeted visitors from organic and paid search. Realizing this, I set my goals in terms of search engine traffic and not overall traffic, knowing that while Social Media traffic does produce sales, it isn’t necessarily targeted traffic, to is will skew the numbers, and very much so if you have lots of Social Media traffic.

Over time, implementing an effective blogging strategy combined with the power of Social Media sites can produce some great organic search results, and I highly recommend it for any business looking for affordably generate new business online.

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