Stop Being Anti-Social; Social Media Is a Huge Business Investment Today!

has in recent times become equated with advertising online. There’s no disputing that it is a valuable tool when it comes to bringing owners and consumers together. However, if as a you’re still wondering if social media is really worth the investment, then I could only shake my head in pity because you do not know what you are missing.

Now, at the time when was the new thing everyone was talking about, there was no shortage of cynicism. As with any “next big thing,” there were plenty of who said, “It’s a fad, it will never last.” But today? Of course, it’s a different story.

The growth of Twitter as a social media site
But that is understandable because back then, most people had just about accepted that Facebook was here for the long haul. They never imagined there was space for another one. However, we can all agree that social networking is now a part of our lives. In fact, today many more social media sites have joined the fold along with a slew of micro- sites and friend-finding apps!

So, right now it’s not just the “big two” as they’ve been joined by Instagram!

Classifying the Social Networking Field

After a careful look at what is happening in the social media arena, you can, in all honesty, divide the social networking field into three groups:

a. Those who joined Facebook and said, “That’s fine, I’ll stop here.”

b. Those who added Twitter, and get everything they need from 140 characters at a time; and

c. Those who document their everyday life through pictures and wry or heartfelt captions.

While the above may look great but it shouldn’t be for you as a business owner. Fact is, using social media for your business is really not a matter of choice any more.

You Need To Spread Your Online Presence Far And Wide

Spread your online reach using social media

Believe it or not, the way we do business has changed utterly in less than two decades. In the 1990s, running a business from home was just about possible if you had a big enough house or a small enough business. You needed premises, and you needed prime location.

But now?

Having premises isn’t going to hurt if you’re the kind of business that benefits from them. If you’re a food store or a hair salon, they’re almost essential. However, “prime location” now is online.

You’ll get absolutely nowhere if you don’t have a website. That’s for a start. But it’s now more and more accepted that you need other things too. The bottom line is that you need to be active on social networks to have a competitive edge in business these days. And if you’re in either of the first two of those social media adopter groups above, you’re going to need to learn the rules of the networks you’re not yet on.

So, what’s The Route to Take?

1. Business Is More Visual Than Ever; Get on Instagram!
Instagram marketing strategies

Sharing pictures of your lunch may not be for you, but if that’s what’s stopped you from getting on Instagram so far, then stop it from stopping you.

The worst thing you can do as a modern business is to laugh at social media. It will laugh right back and drive your customers elsewhere. The one thing you can be entirely sure of is that if you’re not on Instagram, your competitors will be. That’s a whole section of your audience you’re turning away from.

“But, but…” you may be thinking, “It’s not like my business is a visual one anyway!”

And by and large you may be right. Maybe you sell insurance, or are a courier. Your product may be abstract or hard to photograph. But you’re not. Your vehicles aren’t, nor your delivery route. Your customers aren’t. There will always be something connected to your business to photograph. Make use of the filters, in an appropriate way – like showing off an epic sunset you saw on a delivery route, for example.

2. Take Advantage of Events As They Happen

You’ve probably seen a few businesses’ social media accounts and generally, you’re not impressed by them. For the most part, they are used as RSS feeds by companies who know they should have social media. But they don’t know what it does or how to use it. All the best business social media accounts are the ones with a modicum of humanity.

If the whole world is tweeting about a significant event, you should be in there too. What you need to be careful about is how you do it. If it is a tragic event, register your business’s thoughts and condolences for those affected. Do not editorialize or offer opinions – save that for your personal account, it is not for a business to comment. Never refer to a tragedy and promote your business in the same post. Oh, yes, it happens.

If it is a more joyful or unexpected event, by all means live-tweet your office’s reaction to what’s happening. If it is political, play it by ear. Nailing your political colors to the mast could bring in new followers. It could also turn a lot of people off, depending on what your views and market are.

3. Reach the Widest Possible Audience

Reach your audience on social media

Once upon a time, the hashtag was the domain of Twitter. Now, you can find all Instagram or Facebook posts on a certain topic by clicking on the hashtag too. So you should feel free to use them – in the right way. You want to draw anyone who might be interested in your business to your posts. Do everything you can to get more Instagram followers – this is a ready audience for your promotions.

So much business today is international, which makes social media even more valuable. A huge department store in New York City has high catchment in that area. Its international custom cannot be as impressive, because someone in Zurich doesn’t just get on a bus and head to New York for the weekend. But if you’re visible on social media – and do it well enough – you can attract overseas followers.

4. If You’re Not Sure, Hire Someone Who Is

The big three social media sites are different enough that you can be a Twitter junkie but left cold by Facebook. And, verse versa. If you’ve had trouble getting to grips with Instagram or another social network, fine. It’s probable you know someone who isn’t so unfamiliar.

It may be a friend, or a friend of a friend, or a son or daughter of a friend. Ask them to take control of the business social media accounts. Pay them for their time – and if business booms, bring them on full time as social media manager. It’s well worth the commitment.

Conclusion

It’s fine to be agnostic about social networking on a personal level. A lot of us are, and some people are better at filtering events and opinions into a digital space than others. However, you need to remember that social media is not huge part of business – and unless something unforeseen happens, will stay that way. So for the sake of your business success, stop being anti-social!

How a Good Customer Service Care Strategy on Social Media Can Positively Impact Your Business

No one is in doubt that your business is measured by the amount of profit it produces. But you mustn’t ignore the fact that you aren’t going to generate any income without customers. The key therefore to long-term business success is not to focus on gaining new customers but taking care of the existing ones.

Let’s face it, the modern digital age doesn’t naturally encourage great customer care. This is the more reason why it’s very important that you offer a good customer service that will wow your customers. The good news is that it’s a simple process where small gestures can go a long way in improving your business results.

Employing those tips could instantly propel your company ahead of your direct competitors.

Customers like to feel valued and showing your appreciation will get the positive vibes flowing. Once they’ve started to link your company with good feelings, you can’t go far wrong. They’ll naturally start to think your business can improve their life. This is a very powerful tool. After all, we all share that pursuit of happiness.

Human interaction will always remain the greatest way to build relationships. However, in this digital age, you must use virtual resources to achieve the best results. Using social media platforms like Twitter as a customer care tool is a brilliant option. If nothing else, it makes a public showing of your commitment to the customers. In turn, this could help recruit new supporters.

Here a few benefits of using social media platforms to drive your customer care strategy.

Leveraging social media to drive customer service

1. Cheap Word Of Mouth Promotions

One of the best things about using social media to power your customer service machine is the fact that news about what you are doing will soon spread. This is because word of mouth can be very powerful and recommendations from friends and family can often influence far more than fancy adverts.

With social media you can leverage those personal feelings in your business and use them to drive your company forward. Using social media to power your customer service strategy is therefore one of the greatest and cheapest ways of increasing your clientele base.

2. Save And Better Utilize Your Time

Another fantastic benefit about using social media to offer customer care is that it can save you time. Your one response to a customer of social media could solve five people’s questions. Now that’s great streamlining. Better still, smartphone devices allow us to complete these tasks even while we’re relaxed and enjoying a train ride! By squeezing more into the working day, you can only see positive results.

Final Thoughts

Time constraints and ignorance are the chief reasons for dismissing the benefits of great customer care. However, the rewards are so great that you must find ways to make time for it. I would suggest using accounting people to keep your finances in good health. Not only will the experts save you time and hassle, it will probably save money in the long run too. It’s a no-brainer, and should allow you to further improve customer relations.

At the end of the day, money and customers are the two most important factors to your business. Finding a method that benefits both has got to be considered a priority for any business. And this is what social media can do for you. Employ this is in your customer service today and you will see the returns.

The level of customer care is integral for every business, but especially smaller operations. Quite often, people use this type of company because they enjoy the better experience offered.

Being the company to provide it can only stand you in good stead. Make it a foundation of the business, and you should see noticeable improvements to the entire operation.

The verdict? Social media is a great tool for improving your customer service care and therefore your business!

The Top 4 Most Effective Social Media Sites For Your Business Marketing

The big 4 social media sites for your business

Social media and successful businesses go together like salt and pepper. They are a match made in heaven!

Hopefully, that doesn’t come as a surprise because your business might be in a lot of trouble in the not so distant future if today you ignore social media marketing. There is no doubt that many business owners now know how important social media is, but they don’t know how to exploit this powerful business promotion tool for their benefit.

You cannot just pick any social media site and hope for the best. You need a strategy if you want success. To help you come up with a successful strategy, I present to you the best social media sites that every business should focus their online marketing efforts on. Learn to use these sites well and you will see great success in your marketing endeavors.

So, let’s get started…

1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn for business

To show its importance, let’s have a look at how many people use LinkedIn. On average, it gets two new users every second, which means there are over one hundred and thirty million users around the world. To begin with, they are contacts that you cannot afford to miss out on. What makes LinkedIn even more successful is that these hundreds of millions of users are all in the business sector. LinkedIn provides a database of like-minded people who can follow, converse and use to cultivate leads with one another. Normally, it would take years to build up this kind of info. Now, it is just a click away.

2. Facebook

How Facebook can help your business is one question that a lot of people ask. For whatever reason, they cannot comprehend how a social media site is good for business. For starters, it is free advertising. Again, masses of people use Facebook around the world, even though they are not strictly looking for business. But, you can always change their mind with some gentle persuasion. Before you know it, one post could result in a huge boost in sales. Facebook’s biggest benefit is that you are advertising to hundreds of millions of people, and it is so easy to use. No other social media outlet can compete with their power or their simplicity.

3. Twitter

Promoting your business on Twitter

The Twitterati are always out in force. Twitter might not have the 800 million active users that Facebook has, but it still has 300 million. Not too bad, don’t you think? Where Twitter and Facebook also differ are trends. Twitter can start trends in a moment’s notice and increase your reputation around the world. Following an event or an experience that your company has been a part of, you can create a hashtag and market it around the world. Sometimes the response will blow you away.

4. YouTube

Youtube marketing strategies

Online marketing strategies need to include video. It is all about a holistic strategy, so all users have something they enjoy. In the case of video, however, it is more important than you think. A video is more relatable and relevant than written content because viewers can see the people involved. It gives your business a face to which they can place the name. And, with 48 hours of video uploaded every minute, you cannot fail to realize the potential.

Conclusion

There are other social networks out there you will want to consider, but the sheer numbers of these four make them the Holy Grail of social media. If you can master the use of these sites and strategically apply them in your online business marketing, you will definitely see the type of results that will surprise you.

How to Get Super Results From Social Media, 60 Min a Day! [INFOGRAPHIC]

As a business person if you are not using social media as part of your marketing strategy, then you are missing out, BIG time!

But as much as this is true, the fact however, is that managing a business’ social media presence could be time consuming. As a result many have decided not to take it too seriously and so, they spend too little time on social media. And most time. they do it without any clear direction.

Others, who care to put in some effort, spend too much time thereby sabotaging their over-all success as too little time is spent on other areas of managing their business!

In this scenario the question then is, how do you effectively manage your social media presence to get the desired results in your business?

Like many others, I have asked this question a number of times. I’m not unaware of that social media demands a continuous tending if there must be positive results. But considering the little time available to handle task of managing business and running social media campaigns, I was really intrigued when I came across “Social Media Cocktail – How To Quench Your Social Media Thirst In 60 Minutes A Day”, an infographic presented by Dendrite Park.

The infographic is actually straight forward. But a careful look reveals that it indeed have a lot that can help you solve the time problem of social media marketing. It offers some practical and doable suggestions of what tasks to concentrate on and how much time you should spend on  each. All in all, it will only take you 60 minutes a day win the social media war if you follow the suggestions of this infographic. Indeed, it’s one infographic every business person should take some time to understand.

Do enjoy it …

How manage your social media marketing more effectively

So, how did you find the infographic? But most especially the tips presented therein? Interesting right? It’s clear that putting in the right effort into your social media marketing can truly produce the right results. So, why don’t you take these social media nutrition facts and start implementing them right now?

10 Design Hacks for Visual Content to Improve Social Media Marketing!

So, you are investing time and resources in social media marketing, right? But how successful have been with this?

How about some improvement to drive more interesting results?

There is no doubt that these days, practically every business needs some type of visual content with social media marketing becoming a major part of our everyday lives. For one, social media is a ready platform to easily connect with and engage your potential customers at near zero cost. However, to be effective you need to create sharable content that has the potential of going viral. Unfortunately, not many of your social media marketing content will be able to achieve this feat.

From research findings, it is a confirmed fact that visual content do better than context based campaigns on social media. This means if you can create more appealing visual content you will have more chances of improving your social media marketing success. But the challenge is, how do you do this? How can you design visual content to spark up the flames of social media shares and ultimately, go viral?

In this post I want to share with you 10 design hacks to make your visual content stand out.

1. Create Billboard-Like Page Headers

Using great domain names isn’t enough to capture your audience’s attention. Your website and your social media accounts need attention-grabbing, informative page headers, too.

2. Keep The Design Simple

Today, single-column, endless-scrolling pages are popular because they’re straightforward and easy to navigate. This is what people expect when they visit a modern website. If they can’t figure out how to get around your site, they may go elsewhere.

3. Show Your Information, Don’t Just Talk About It

You’ve partnered with Williams-Sonoma in the past? Post a photo from the shoot. You’ve had an article in a top selling magazine? Don’t just post a link to it, also include a PDF of the actual printed page.

4. Tell Stories With Your Visuals

By creating visual narratives, you can lead people through the story in an interesting, compelling way. In a world where nobody can pay attention to anything for long, storytelling is one of the best ways to engage your audience.

5. Include Obvious, Strong Calls To Action

Make them unique, too. What do you want your audience to do? More importantly, what can you make your audience to do? Tell them how to do it so that the process is fool-proof.

6. Try Crowdsourcing

Social media is a two-way street. When you communicate with your customers, they want to communicate back. With crowdsourcing, your audience can feel like they’re an actual, important part of your business. They get involved while the brand gets the funding they need to move forward.

7. Create Visuals Specifically For Each Platform

Vertical images work well on Pinterest while horizontal images are better for accompanying links on Facebook. On Instagram, every image has to be square. When you re-design visuals so they work well on each platform, you tell your audience that you care about social media messaging.

Increase engagement on social media with visual hacks

8. Vary Your Content, So Long As It’s All Still On Message

Try different types of content, including photos, graphic design, videos, GIFs and audio posts.

9. Create Original, Branded Designs

Use your brand style to create your own images using tools like Canva. You’ll avoid copyright issues and showcase your graphic design skills at the same time.

10. Always Link Back To Yourself

When you pin to Pinterest from your blog, make sure the link to the blog post is included. When you upload a photo to Instagram that you created, add your watermark. Always make sure to credit yourself. If an image or other piece of content circulates online, you’ll want everyone to know where it came from.

Conclusion

Visual content are a great way of making a success of your social media marketing. Right now everyone is doing it, from people you’ve never heard of to the biggest name brands on the market today. These tips will help you stand out and of course, implementing them will help you make the most of the content you put so much hard work into.

How to Improve Your Productivity on Social Media

Do you know how many hours you spend on social media sites every day on the average?

Well, studies indicate a range of 3.6 hours!

If you ask me, that is really something a business person wouldn’t want to do. Remember, you have other pressing demands on your time trying to effectively run your business!

Agreed, those hours your spend on social media are spent on trying to drive traffic to your business offerings. But you DON’T have to spend about 25% of your waking hours on social media everyday to do that.

Do that and other areas of your business will suffer for it.

This is why when I came across Neil Patel‘s infographic: How to Be More Productive on Social Media, I immediately thought of sharing it with you.

Please enjoy!

Improving your productivity on social media

Conclusion

So what do you make of this info?

Fact is, improving your investment in time on social media so that you can be more productive is definitely going to pay off on your business success. The above tips are sure to help do this effectively. Put them to use today and you’ll see a BIG difference in your social media marketing efforts.

Succeeding With Pinterest Marketing: A Checklist!

In the past few years, Pinterest has become social media marketing platform of choice for businesses. Brands have seen in the platform a sure system for connecting with a visually interested online audience for their marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, not many are really doing it the right way.

Simply registering a Pinterest account is not enough. To get the best from your Pinterest marketing strategy you will need to set everything up right from the start. Doing this properly is more likely to help you enjoy marketing success.

Every aspect of your marketing campaign should be well designed and never overlooked. Everything must be as perfect as it can be right from the beginning and all the way to the end.

In this post I want to give you a few tips to help you jumpstart your Pinterest marketing campaign. You may want to take this as a checklist when you’re ready to setup your Pinterest strategy or, if you already have one in place, a guide to redesigning your campaigns.

Recommended: 11 Awesome Pinterest Tools to Boost Your Business Easily!

Pinterest strategy checklist

Pinterest Marketing Checklist

1. Board Creation

Your Pinterest boards should be the “home” of your pins. Remember that houses aren’t synonymous to homes, though. You should effectively choose a category and name for your board in order to make it a perfect home for a specific group of pins.

  • Avoid using “Other” as a board category as much as possible because this is too generalized and won’t help with niche marketing.
  • Each board must concentrate on a single niche – and no more than that.
  • Include at least one keyword in the name of your board and at least two in your board description.
  • Choose the best photo to serve as your board cover. Don’t hesitate to replace it when something better comes up.

A Word About Keywords: Think hard and choose wisely among your keywords. These keywords must be frequently used by your target market in their search engine queries as well as their internal searches in Pinterest.

2. Pin Creation or Uploading

Pinning beautiful photos is a sure way of getting repins. Besides, your pins should be able to spark either emotional or mental interest in your target market for them to be repinned and shared with other people.

  • Pins must be of excellent quality.
  • Aim for 3 x 5 dimensions for your photo – avoid photos that are so wide they require you to scroll horizontally. That will just inconvenience your readers.
  • Ordinary photos can be extraordinary with the addition of text or the use of filters.
  • Create your own artwork and pin it.
  • Make infographics if you aim to educate while marketing. Use visual aids like charts, bar graphs, and diagrams.
  • Select photos that favor the most popular trends in your target market.
  • Try to aim for your readers to feel a specific emotion when looking at your pin.

3. Pin Description

Similar to how tweets are in Twitter, you also need to work with a maximum limit for the character count of your pin description.

  • Keep sentences short.
  • Speak the language of your target market.
  • Include links, hashtags, and of course the appropriate keywords.
  • Be as descriptive as you can.

4. Profile Page Building

Lastly, your Pinterest profile page is also integral to your marketing strategy. A profile page is ideal for building your professional credentials and proving your company’s reliability and trustworthiness.

  • Include links to your website, blog, and social media accounts.
  • Choose a company logo or product image for your profile photo if you are selling goods online but use your own image if you are selling services.
  • Keep it general. There’s no need to force or inveigle people into visiting your site with your profile page. That will come sooner or later as long as you do everything right.

Conclusion

Pinterest like any other online marketing platform needs to be handled right to get the best out of it. Use this Pinterest checklist if you really want to succeed with marketing your business on Pinterest. Taking a look at what is already out there is also a way of knowing what others are doing so you can better plan your strategy.

Hope you make the best of these tips.

LinkedIn Marketing: 33 Quick SUCCESS Tips [INFOGRAPHIC]

LinkedIn, over the years, has become one of the best social media platform for B2B businesses. With over 347 million users, nearly half of which are very active, it is one site that any wise business owner, especially service to service or B2B businesses, should consider seriously.

But beyond claiming your company profile on LinkedIn, you need to know how to effectively use the social site to market your business. For example, when should you post on LinkedIn? What type of content should you post? How long should your updates be? Etc.

Ethos3 recently created an awesome infographic which you will find very useful is you want to market effectively on LinkedIn. There’s so much to learn from this infographic and I advise that you print it out for future references.

Please enjoy:

LinkedIn Marketing: 33 Quick SUCCESS Tips [INFOGRAPHIC]

Social Media Marketing Trends 2015: Here’s What to Watch Out For! (INFOGRAPHIC)

Social media marketing has no doubt caught on with marketers, whether they be online or offline. This is really not a surprise.

However, what is surprising is the rate of transformation. Over the past few years we have witnessed social media marketing trends that simply beats the imagination.

It was just some five years or so that the social media giant, Facebook, rolled out what we now know as the “Like” button. Since then, social media has grown into a huge worldwide phenomena. For example, imagine 2.46 million posts being posted on Facebook every minute!

But do you know that such figures might soon become child’s play in the next few years if we’re to take seriously what the experts are projecting?

Yes, it is projected that about 2.44 billion users will be networking with friends and family on their favorite social networks in the coming year!

Can you, as a business person who wants to connect with, and engage potential customers ignore such figures? The fact that as much as 97% of marketers now use social media, with up to 92% acknowledging its importance in their businesses, should be another reason why you take note right now.

So, how do you ensure that you get the best out of your social media marketing?

The sure way is to stay up to date with the trends. The following infographic provides an overview of new trends, highlights and things to watch out for in the next year so you can prepare yourself and your business for what’s in store for social media in 2015.

Hope you learn one or two things from it. Enjoy!

10 Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch Out this 2015 (Infographic) - An Infographic from CJG Digital Marketing

Embedded from CJG Digital Marketing

8 Social Media Rules Your Business Should Live By

8 Social Media rules for online successimage credit: flickr

Is your business presently on social media?

Do you want to see more success with your social media marketing efforts?

To say that social media has revolutionized how we do business today is understatement. Right now many businesses have moved beyond considering social media as just a fad. Many now take social media marketing as an integral part of their marketing strategy.

For example, a recent report by SocialTimes indicated that social media marketing budgets were projected to double in the next five years. Also according to Social Media Today, 83% of B2B marketers now invest marketing budgets in social media to increase brand exposure; 69% to increase web traffic; and 65% to gain market insights!

But these stats are only indicative. Businesses who use social media need to make sure they’re using it properly, otherwise they might just be wasting their time.

If you will want to experience success in your social media marketing efforts it is important you stick to the rules outlined in this post:

Rule 1: Keep Your Brand Voice Consistent Throughout

Come up with an appropriate brand voice for yourself and keep it consistent throughout your posts and advertisements. It can be difficult to come up with one, but you need to ask yourself a few questions first. What relationship do you want your business to have with its customers? How do you want your audience to view you?

You can be funny, serious, motivating…you name it. Just keep it consistent and appropriate.

Rule 2: Post during Peak Times

To get the most from the things you post, you should always post during peak times. Different social networks have different peak times. In general, you can post between 10am-4pm and feel OK about it. However, networks like Instagram have a sweet spot at 6pm-8pm. Do your research and stick to the timings.

Rule 3: Respond in a Timely Manner

If your audience is engaging with you, that’s fantastic. But you should do your best to respond to them in a timely manner. If somebody inquires about something with you on a Friday, you can’t respond on Monday. You’ve left it too long. The quicker you can respond to your audience, the better.

Rule 4: Post Quality Content

The content you post should be high quality, and original. If you post half hearted content, people will feel it. Post quality content of your own and of other businesses/people if you find them relevant, just make sure you credit them. If you don’t think you can manage this, you should have a chat with a company like Ice Breaker.

Rule 5: Be Social and Engaging

You can’t expect to sell, sell, sell on social media and get a huge response. People don’t like that kind of thing. Be social and engaging; that’s the whole reason people sign into their social profiles, after all. Talk about things in the news, holidays, and topics you feel will get people talking. It’s always beneficial to talk about things everybody else is talking about, as you’ll get spotted by more people as they browse.

Rule 6: Follow the Rules of Each Platform

Each platform has a sort of ‘etiquette’ that you should try to stick to. For instance, you can pretty much post as much as like on Twitter. However, Facebook should be less frequent. Instagram can be tricky; don’t post enough and people will unfollow. Post too much and people will unfollow. Try to gauge the etiquette of each platform you’re using and stick to it.

Rule 7: Remain Positive

Positive posts are always better than negative posts. You don’t want to be associated with any negativity.

Rule 8: Watch What You Post

Be careful of what you post. Make sure it’s appropriate and that you aren’t going to offend anybody. The last thing you want is to be in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Live by these social media rules and you’ll find you get much better results!