A Financial Advisors’ Guide to Protection When Using Social Media!

Because of the economic downfall that America faced during the previous years, consumers have felt the need to consult financial advisors to help them recover from their deteriorating finances. Some financial advisors have offered their professional services using the “old way” or on a case-to-case basis. However, because of the advancements in communication technology, a lot of ways and means have been developed to connect with people. With all these advancements, where are the financial advisors placed?

Social media is the newest “it” and undoubtedly will remain being “it” for a long, long time. Some financial advisors have seen the potential of social networking sites and created their own accounts. Then aFinancial Advisors' Guide to Social Media Protectiongain, it appears that after creating their accounts they suddenly encounter a big question mark in terms of how to use social media effectively without bringing themselves closer to the threat of identity theft and online credit scams.

With the frequency of data breach rising, the question remains: How can financial advisors protect themselves when using social media? Fortunately, here are some tips that may help out in answering that question.

Share Unique but Relevant Content Using Trusted Third-Party Sources

It is always advisable to share one’s own content in social networking sites in order to reel in potential clients. However, it is not a good idea to share personal information for everyone to see. That is why some of the best financial advisers share their content through personal blogs and landing pages from trusted third-party sources.

By blogging, you can share your ideas and apply your knowledge to attract clients without having to share too much personal data. However, make sure that you put in educational or insightful data. Such will not be viewed as overly promotional as consumers are looking for more personalized content.

You can also use social networking sites by sharing your unique value messages. Sharing your values and belief systems through tweets or status messages is a good way of developing your own set of guiding principles for your potential clients to know. On the plus side, these messages save you time and add more personal touches to your content without having to risk your personal information.

Choose the Right Social Networking Sites

There are a lot of social networking sites out there. You may use them to your advantage but be careful as not all of them share a particularly safe way of securing their database. Before creating your accounts, look for the best social networking sites first. Choose the ones with the best security features in order to minimize the possibility of a stolen identity online. This is aside from considering other factors such as population of members and target populations.

Use Complicated Passwords

When it’s time to create your account, use a complicated password. Do not use your name, birthdate, or parents’ names for passwords because these are terribly risky and can easily be figured out by hackers and identity thieves. It is best to be creative and use a mixture of alphanumeric characters and symbols that are hard to crack.

Monitor Your Credit

Unfortunately, there is no foolproof social media id theft prevention measure. When things come to its worst, the best thing to do is to know whether you are a victim as soon as possible to avoid further damage. Regularly monitoring your credit is a good idea to detect identity theft. Also, considering professional services such as credit monitoring can provide you with real-time information regarding your credit and bank accounts. Being informed at once can give you the opportunity to seek immediate action.

It is important to take note that social media has now become one of the most useful tools for financial advisors. Not only does a social medium enable them to express themselves freely but it also helps them reach out to their target market. On the other hand, it is also important to take note that the threat of identity theft is always there.

There is no foolproof measure to prevent identity theft. However, these tips will surely help financial advisors minimize the threat for them to be able to enjoy the benefits of social media. Aside from learning the tips on how to effectively use social media, financial advisors should consider protection from identity theft not only for themselves but for their clients as well.

Want To Maximize Your Blogging Success? Employ These Problogger Social Skills!

Have you ever visited any of the problogger blogs and wondered how on earth they pull such a big crowd of readers and followers?

I personally have!

It will interest you to know that as a student of success I’m always interested in studying those who have succeeded, especially in my area of endeavor. That’s why, seeing those 100+ comments on blogs by probloggers like Darren Rowse, Yaro Starak, Jeremy Shoemaker and John Chow, I decided to research the problogging secrets behind their impressive results. I must say I was pleasantly surprised to discover that these master bloggers, besides some other creative marketing tactics, are actually using some very practical social skills in running their blogs.

Of course, you’ll readily agree that we are social beings. This is why we crave the attention of others. From the cradle to the grave, we crave relationships. We do this not just because it makes us feel good about ourselves but because we need others to reach our potentials in life. Just as the saying goes; a tree cannot make a forest, so we believe, to be someone outstanding in life we need the cooperation of others.

Even with the increase of modern conveniences like the television and the internet which tends to make us more confined to ourselves, we still yearn for that relationship that gives us the joy of being human. We can see the power of this being played out in the astronomical rise of the social networking sites like facebook.com and twitter.com and of course, their outstanding success.

What the success of these sites tells us is that as bloggers we can maximize our success if we can exploit to our advantage our social power!

Social Power, but what is that?

Social power is about you being a people-person – someone unbelievably nice and charismatic that he can charm anyone into doing anything! For example, if you take a person who is so naturally friendly and put him inside a room full of strangers, you’ll discover that in no time he’ll be friends with almost everyone! This person is simply using his social skills to not only gain the attention of others but also get them to trust him. 

So the lesson is that you need to use your social-power as a blogger. When you do this you’ll achieve outstanding success because others will readily catapult you to your success. Building relationships and forming partnerships will be much easier as you maximize your social potentials!  The following are some of the social skills you can use as a blogger to gain trust and all-out support from other bloggers to ensure your success.

1. Be Genuine, Shelve Hypocrisy!

One thing that is hated by every one of us is hypocrisy. Despite the facelessness of the internet, the truth is that you cannot hide behind some static webpage anymore. The internet has become so interactive that trying to be some hypocrite will only bring you down. So if you want to succeed as a blogger you need to be genuinely nice and interested in other people. If in any way they perceive that you are a hypocrite with selfish intentions, you might as well say goodbye to your dreams.

2. Be a Listener

Socially empowered people are great listeners. They do not just hear people speak but they listen with their hearts. They know how to make eye contact and how to sympathize with people. This is very important for you to earn the love and trust of people. As a blogger learn to put these skills to your advantage. What are your blog readers saying in the comments? When they contact you through email, do you respond to them quickly and do you help them with their problems? Your ability to listen and respond accordingly will help you greatly as a blogger as others will easily find a confidante in you.

3. Have A Sense Of Humor, Be Funny … At Least!

Humor and jokes have a way of helping us connect much easily with others. A joke and a laugh not only ease the tension but it opens the heart to more intimate feelings. A person oozing with an awesome sense of humor attracts crowds and eventually, attracts success. As a blogger, found a way of putting some humor in your content. Tell a joke now and then. A tactful use of jokes will make your blog more popular and therefore successful.

4. Don’t Forget Yourself

In the process of fluttering around like a social butterfly, you might forget yourself, allowing everyone to push you over. Remember, love and value yourself before anyone else. It’s when you respect yourself and let others see this that people will flock to you and not trample on you. Besides, never forget your purpose for seeking that relationship. If it’s for networking or forming partnerships, always keep that in mind.

5. Be Kind

Little acts of kindness showed to your readers matters the most. There are various ways you can do this. Bookmark and share their blog post on the social networking sites, send an email when you notice something wrong with their sites, link to their blog posts maybe in a post roundup, etc. These simple acts can really endear you to many of your readers so much that you may reap a truckload of gains from them in no time!

6. Work on Your Old Friendships

As a blogger you definitely must have connected with many wonderful bloggers in the past. Of course as time went on those friendships may have somehow staled. But you can renew them. Why not look into your records again with the mind of contacting some of these old friends? For example if you’re using the WordPress blogging platform you can use a plugin like the contact commenters plugin. This plugin can help you stay in touch with those who have connected with your blog through comments in the past. Simply choose a period of maybe a year or even two years back and send an email to these people with the intention of renewing your relationship with them. You may not know it but adding these old friends to your roster of support peers will surely make a great difference in your blogs popularity.

7. Work on Your Personality

Are you bad-tempered? Are you easily irritated? Then you’ll need to work on these for they will some show in your communications with your blog readers and friends. If you’re the type that throws a tantrum when angry you’ll need to learn to stay calm and collected before replying to comments. One thing that seasoned bloggers know how to do very well is how to turn negative comments to useful relationships. If you don’t learn how to turn your anger into something more productive your blog readers will soon find it hard to come to you. Remember no one wants a grouchy friend.

8. Never Stop Nurturing the Relationship

You must understand that it is not just about starting a relationship. Relationships need nurturing because they are too precious to neglect. And to this you must apply your social skills to the uttermost. I’ve come to realize that most of these super bloggers nurture their relationships with their blog readers in different ways. One of such ways is through offering free ebook donwloads, offering more insightful content and reader’s-only newsletters. Work on ways that best suit you. Only ensure that your relationships are nurtured for better results. Do some acts of kindness like the ones mentioned above and never forget to continue visiting and posting comments on their blogs. As the saying goes, what goes round comes around; you will definitely be the better for it!

Conclusion: Your social skills can be powerfully employed to maximize your success as a blogger. Learn this secret from the probloggers and sky-rocket your blog success today. What you need is to become a better and more lovable blogger and done well it can turn out to be a win-win situation.

Over to you: Have you noticed these social skills in any of the probloggers? Do you think there is any more you would want to add? Feel free to give your comments below.

And, you can always support us by tweeting and sharing this article on your favorite social network!

Viral Marketing Tactics: Supercharge Your Blog Marketing NOW!

Using viral marketing techniques to drive blog traffic

Are you interested in driving more traffic to your blog? If indeed you’re interested then these viral marketing techniques will appeal to you!

To better help you understand this strategy I want you to consider the recent buzz about facebook. Do you know why facebook all of a sudden become so popular with internet marketers?

How about twitter.com?

Do you have the answer?

Ok, here it is: All of them did because of the viral nature of these social networking sites!

Facebook is built in such a way that when you friend someone on facebook your interactions with this friend become visible to every other friend of this your friend! This creates a viral spread of your interactions on facebook. This is the one big plus that has worked so well for facebook’s and twitter’s popularity.

If you truly appreciate the popularity of these two social networking sites you’ll understand the power of these viral marketing techniques.

But What Really Is Viral Marketing?

Here are some definitions of viral marketing from across the web:

Wikipedia.org: Viral marketing and viral advertising are buzzwords referring to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of virus or computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet.

Wisegeek.com: Viral marketing is a marketing strategy that relies on individuals rather than traditional campaigns to pass along a message to others. It usually refers to marketing on the Internet. Viral marketing is so named because of the tendency for messages to use “hosts” to spread themselves rapidly, like a biological virus.

Businessgyan.com: Viral Marketing (Word-of-mouth): It is the personal communication about a product between target buyers and their friends, relatives, and associates. Viral marketing technique passes along the company’s marketing message to create an exponential growth.

Sitenexus.com: Viral marketing is the extremely powerful and unique ability of the Internet to build self-propagating visitor streams, bringing about exponential growth to a company’s Web site. This can consist of such things as affiliate programs, co-branding, link exchanges, e-mail campaigns, and off-line promotion.

Marketresearchterms.com: The effective way or advertising or producing brand exposure through social networks. The technique spreads throughout the network rapidly by word of mouth or by Internet resources like e-mail, blogs or other services. Like a virus, it replicates and spreads quickly. The cost of such a campaign is relatively low compared to the high rate of exposure to the target audience.

From the above definitions you can see that viral marketing have been proven to produce good results because it makes use of the tendency of a person to share something that he/she find informative, entertaining or amazing. It is simply an innovative way of using the traditional word of mouth marketing techniques of business promotion. And as you may know word of mouth marketing can produce outstanding results because prospects and customers gained through it are more reliable and profitable. It’s because of this effectiveness that many webmasters and bloggers now bank on it to spread their products and increase the popularity of their sites and blogs.

In this article I want to discuss some proven viral marketing techniques you can implement to produce outstanding results as a blogger.

#1: Create Informative Videos

Video has gained and continues to gain popularity on the internet at the moment. With the continued rise of broadband and ad-serving technologies, more sophisticated online video advertising is becoming popular. Right now videos can be embedded in emails and they are also becoming popular in sales letters. The simple reason is because they achieve greater response rates than plain text.

But how can you use videos to drive traffic to your blog or business site? It’s simply by taking advantage of the many video hosting sites on the net right now. Sites like Youtube.com allow you to upload your videos thereby giving the site users to syndicate your videos by placing a code on their sites or blogs. This means if you can create an informational and entertaining video and upload it to Youtube.com you have the chances of turning that video into free digital salesman for your blog as others can embed it anywhere on the internet.

#2: Ask Your Readers to Share Your Content

This technique has actually caught on with bloggers. It is one of the easiest methods in viral marketing. And the good part is that there are a whole lot of free scripts out there that will help you do this without any problem. For example, on this blog you can easily share our content with your friends and contacts on any of the social networking and social bookmarking sites.  At the top of every post there is a “ShareThis” button that gives you various options to share the article with your friends either through email or the social sites.  Like I said this is really popular with bloggers right now and there are various wordpress plugins that will help you do this without much ado so you can’t afford to ignore this simple viral marketing technique in promoting your blog.

#3: Give Away E-Books

Another powerful viral marketing technique that is taking the internet by storm is the use of free ebooks that comes with giveaway rights. Of course before now the printed word on paper and bound into books used to be the only way information was given and received. But not anymore.  Today the marketing ebook, which is slightly different from just an ebook has taken over as a powerful salesman on the net. The marketing ebook could contain text, images, links to web pages and navigation controls.

For effectiveness, your ebook needs to be interesting and informative. It should also have links back to your website or blog. Be sure to include a prominent section where you encourage your readers to pass on the ebook. Let them know that they can post it on their site as a free download, that they can use it as a bonus, and that they can bundle it with other products. This method uses the multiplication effect to “explode” the distribution of your message by willing participants.

Using viral ebooks as a viral marketing technique is cheap. It doesn’t take long to set up and it’s even quicker if you use rebrandable ebooks that have been written by others. You can also produce your own ebooks by combining articles written by you or that have private label rights. If you have written a large ebook you can also use the first three chapters as a viral ebook.

On promotion, it could be done through offering it to your blog visitors in exchange for subscribing to your newsletter and also posting the ebook to free ebook directories.

#4: Install Facebook Comments For WordPress

This is one of the latest that bloggers are using to get viral with their blog marketing tactics. Facebook comments for wordpress when installed on your blog gives your blog readers an option to post a comment on your blog using their facebook id. The idea is to cash on facebook’s  viral nature. Whenever anyone posts such a comment the comment does not only appear on your blog but also shows up as a status update on the commenter’s facebook page. Now if you understand how facebook works, that status update will also be visible to the commenter’s friends on facebook thereby exposing your blog to a large number of facebook users. If your blog is running on the wordpress platform I advise that you install the facebook comments plugin right now. Besides, I invite you to try out the system by commenting on the facebook comment box below!

Bottom-line: These viral marketing techniques works on common human motivations. So you’ll need to implement a technique that will be able to build on these common motivations and behaviors to produce the right result. Besides, ensure that your content is worth sharing because this is what will give your readers the experience that will help your viral marketing campaign succeed.

Now over to you. Tell us which of these viral marketing techniques you’re already using right now. And do you think bloggers should really use these viral marketing techniques in promoting their blogs?