9 Creative Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Business Today!

Creative Ideas for Profiting Iin 2012!

There is no doubt about it, marketing your business on the internet is evolving every day. But as a savvy business entrepreneur you need to put in place your own strategies to stay ahead of the competition.

Putting in place these strategies don’t have to be difficult because you don’t need some rocket science to do that. Whether you pick them up in the course of running your business online or you simply decide to put a “twist” on what you see others doing, as long as they serve your purpose they are justified.

In this post I want to present you with a few creative marketing ideas which could help boost your business profits any day! Read them and feel free to adapt them to your peculiar marketing needs. Pick two or three from the list and work on mastering them. I bet you will be the better for it!

So here we go:

1. Increase Your Visibility Through Co-Operating With Your Competitors

There’s one fact about running any form of business and that is, regardless of what business you are in, every penny you earn comes as a result of the cooperation of other people. These could be employees, suppliers, partners or customers. Another group of people who are very important but we want to stay away from are our competitors.  But instead of staying away from them or fighting them, you could team up with them and start an association geared towards your specific industry. By simply partnering with them you could increase your visibility and exposure which will ultimately increase your profits.

2. Leverage The Efforts Of Your Customers

Your customers could actually be your best sales people because satisfied customers will eagerly spread the word about your product or service. However, to better encourage them to do this, start an affiliate program. The benefit of receiving an income for telling their friends about your product will be an added incentive to spread the word. This is a good way of multiplying your marketing and advertising efforts and increasing your profits.

3. Improve Your Business by Being a Good Listener

Customer feedback has always been a powerful tool for businesses in knowing how to better serve their markets. Today listening to what your market is saying is much easier to do.

Do a search for your business name using either Google or the social media sites. Chances are you will find comments that could help you improve your business. A comment complaining about your customer service, your web site design, product, etc will help you know what to improve.

4. Covertly Encourage People to Link to Your Business Website

We all know the importance of backlinks in gaining visibility on the search engines. Online entrepreneurs have always created backlinks by encouraging reciprocal links. How about some creative ideas that will encourage one way backlinks to business website? For example, you could offer a discount on one of your products and encourage your customers to link to your site to qualify for the offer. They could create the back links on their social media profiles or if they have blogs, make a post mentioning your offer.

5. Add A “PR” Page to Your Business Website

One good way you can create more visibility for your online business is by getting into the news. You can do this by adding a “PR” page to your site. Allow your site visitors to submit newsworthy items to be published on this page. This could attract the media and soon your site could be the “go-to” site for the latest news.

6. Provide a Free Online Directory on Your Site

Like the “PR” page, you can add a free directory of interesting downloadable e-books on your site. If people find your directory to be a valuable resource, they will visit it over and over again. This will not only increase traffic to your site but also increase the reach as your visitors spread the word about your free directory.

7. Hold Free Online Classes Or Webinars

I’ve seen a similar idea being used by Adrienne Smith of AdrienneSmith.net. Offering a live informative training on your site will definitely entice people to visit your web site. If you do this very well, you may just become the go-to expert in your topic area. These classes or webinars could be held weekly or monthly to get people to revisit your web site again and again.

8. Offer Free Consulting For Your Site Visitors

Depending on your business, you could establish your expertise and thereby increase your clientele by simply offering free consulting on your web site. This could be offered via e-mail or by telephone. Skype is another good medium to use. Considering the cost of consultancy, people will place much value on your free consulting and as they talk about it on the social media sites they will simply be offering free promotion for your business.

You could simply add another stream of income to your business by recording or saving the information you give out and creating a product you could sell or give away for more exposure.

9. Create a Free Group on Facebook or Linkedin and Make Your Business Website the Official Site

A Facebook group can be a power traffic generating tool for your business site. Linking your business site as the official site for the group will greatly create visibility for your site. You can also design membership graphics for members to place on their sites. As more and more people come to know of the group and become members so also the popularity of your site will increase. This’ll increase your repeat visitors and sales.

These ideas may not really be new but you can use them as idea generators for enhancing your business operations this year 2012. Your success with these marketing strategies will greatly depend on how you are able to apply them to your peculiar circumstances.

Over to you: Are implementing any of these creative ideas in your marketing right now? Share your experience with us in the comments below.

Generate Qualified Leads on LinkedIn With A 5 Minute Daily Plan! [INFOGRAPHIC]

5 minutes LinkedIn marketing plan infographic!There is no gainsaying that in the past couple years social media marketing has grown to a point where it is not about “IF” you should jump in but “HOW” you need to go about social media marketing as a business!

It will interest you to know that presently, social media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity online! More and more people now spend their time on the web on social media sites. Many savvy businesses seeing the marketing potential in this trend have jumped in body and soul! As at today, many have created social media profiles on different networking platforms but unfortunately, many of these profiles are far from achieving anything for such enterprises.

It has become clear to many of these enterprises that if you truly want to make any headway with your social media marketing efforts, setting up a workable strategy is definitely something you must consider. This is why this LinkedIn marketing strategy infographic from the good people at Bluewire Media is something you should take seriously.

The infographic is about growing your LinkedIn networks to produce qualified leads working a 5 minute daily marketing plan. The strategic plan is divided into 3 sections for beginner users, intermediate users and advanced users.

Carefully study this infographic, you will definitely get something from it no matter your level of experience on LinkedIn.

Enjoy!

5 Minute LinkedIn Marketing Strategy Infographic

This 5 Minute LinkedIn Marketing Strategy Infographic is produced by Bluewire Media
Over to You: Do you have social media marketing plan specifically designed for LinkedIn? Which of these strategies are you presently using? Share with us in your comments below!

Google +Posts Ads: Giving Brands the Social Power

Google.com has once again showed that 2013 is indeed a year of change and innovation. From the various Panda and Penguin updates to the launch of a completely new ranking algorithm and of course, the issue of encrypting search results, Google has shown that it is an entity on a mission! Right now, Google is taking that mission to another level by introducing a whole new twist to social media advertising.

Just some hours ago, Google announced the introduction of what it has chosen to call +Posts adsan advertising opportunity for brands to turn their Google+ posts into ads which will be displayed across the Google Display Network (GDN). According to Google,

“+Post ads let you turn your Google+ posts into engagement ads on the Google Display Network. People can join a Hangout On Air, add a comment, follow your brand, or give a +1, right from the ad.”

+Post ads - The all new Google advertising game!

For now, Google is testing this new innovation using a few chosen brands like Toyota USA, Cadbury UK and RITZ crackers.

This is really a new twist to social media advertising because unlike what we have seen on other social media sites, +Post ads will not be shown on the Google+ platform (Google’s social media site) but rather displayed across all its network which reaches to somewhere around 2 million sites!

Is This Taking the Rivalry between Google and Facebook to another Level?

Without trying to sound antagonistic, it is very clear that the launch of +Post ads is indeed another way of Google flexing its advertising muscles against other social media sites, especially Facebook.

In his post announcing +Posts ads, Eran Arkin, Google’s Social Ads Product Manager, said:

“+Post ads allow a brand to take a piece of their public Google+ content, like a photo, video or even a Hangout, and with a few clicks, turn it into a display ad that can run across the more than 2 million sites in the Google Display Network. This lets brands think of the entire web as their social stream.”

The statement, “…lets brands think of the entire web as their social stream” is definitely an indirect way of saying that as a brand you don’t have to limit yourself to just one social platform like others are doing but have the entire web as your platform. Of course, that is a way of luring more brands to jump in to the program!

For example in a video posted by Eran Arkin, he revealed how Toyota is using +Post ads to drive consideration for its newly launched Corolla. Arkin also claimed that the brands testing this new innovation are already seeing increased click-through and expansion rates of up to 50% higher than the industry average for rich media ads!

Did I Saw This Coming?

I must say that even when I did not see the whole picture of what Google had up its sleeves from the beginning, I can say I had an inkling that Google was going to do something in this direction at the time Google+ launched.

Back in 2011 when Google plus entered the market and many were comparing it to Facebook pitching Facebook’s big numbers against Google+, I did a post where I said,

“Facebook is not just competing with Google+ but with Google.com who has proved in its own merit that it is an online colossus.

So the question is not about Google+ displacing Facebook from the social networking game but Google.com putting all of its online resources into playing the game and coming out on the top!

You can read that post here.

Since then we have seen a whole lot of new things from the stables of Google aimed at putting all of its online resources to play the game. +Post ads is just another such move!

+Post Ads Is Actually A Two-Edged Sword!

As expected, many are already whining on why Google should not show the +Post ads on their social media platform – Google plus – even when the ads are initiated there.

But it is clear that this is definitely a tactical move. We mustn’t forget that at a time when many users had issues with Facebook concerning what to share with friends, acquaintances and family members, Google came up with the idea of Google+ Circles.

Right now, reports indicate that many youngsters are abandoning Facebook while elderly ones are complaining about the volume of ads they have to contend with on the site. So Google taking the decision not to display +Post ads on the Google+ platform but on its advertising network is definitely a good decision, business-wise!

RECOMMENDED: Business Lessons You Can Learn from Google’s Company Philosophy!
Beyond that +Post ads could really be a way of Google bringing more brands to using the Google+ social media platform while at the same time building its advertising business. And if that is the case, then this is really an innovative move on the part of Google!

How are Facebook and others going to react to this move? We only need to wait to see that in 2014!

But I’ll love to know what your reaction is. Give your views on these +Post ads in your comment below.

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[INFOGRAPHIC] Will These Social Media Relics Rise Again?

There is no doubt that social media has changed a whole lot of things in recent times – whether online or offline. For example, if you are in business and you are not using social media, it is definite that you are behind the competition.

Of course, Politicians, sportsmen and women and of course Pop stars are not left out of this social media rave. But we all know that this was not the case a few years ago. Unfortunately, in the teething years of social media, there were social media platforms that tried all they could to stay afloat but today these have either drowned or at the moment, clutching to whatever is handy to stay on.

MySpace was once the place where all the cool kids hung out, but a cluttered homepage and faulty spam filter allowed Facebook to move in and steal the social network crown. In 2009, the site had only 75 million monthly users which may sound like a lot until you compare it to Facebook’s 200 million.

MySpace has now rebranded itself as a social music platform for both established and emerging artists, and it received an unlikely boost in the form of pop star Justin Timberlake who bought the website for $35 million in 2011 and now co-owns it with Specific Media. In 2012, the FTC charged the site with sharing user’s personal information as well as spying on their browsing habits.

Despite the controversy, MySpace still has a legion of loyal fans that would love to see the social relic rise again, and the new owners have poured over $20 million into an advertising campaign to try and make that happen.

Whether MySpace can snatch power back from its archenemy remains to be seen, but new features such as an iPhone app that allows users to create their own playlists may help to make it relevant once again.

In this infographic, we want to take some time off to pay homage to these wonderful “kids” who tried to make our lives a little livelier!

Enjoy!

Will These Social Media Relics Rise Again? by Who Is Hosting This: The Blog

Over to you: What do you think? Do you see any prospect of these social media “kids” taking the stage again?

[Quick Guide] How To Use Social Media Marketing To Acquire Loyal Customers!

There is no doubt about it; social media marketing is an important part of effective eCommerce marketing. However, it can also be a tremendous time waste if you are not careful. So, the question is, how do you make sure you are not just wasting your time and resources promoting your ecommerce business on social media?

The answer is in effective social media marketing that is targeted in drawing in loyal customers rather than general curiosity seekers.

Effective Social Media Marketing Guide

Here are 3 simple but powerful ways you can make your social media marketing effective:

1. Specifically Target the Types of Customers You Want to be Loyal

One of the biggest mistakes that eCommerce store owners make is to try to make their marketing campaigns as broad as possible. Of course, they reason this way they can try to get as many people as possible. But this is precisely what reduces the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Instead, you need to get to know the type of customers that you want to attract. Your marketing campaigns and efforts on social media platforms should include information and promotions that would make those types of customers the most interested. The easiest way to increase your effectiveness here is to get to know the greatest density of demographics in your marketing pool. Find out everything you can and make the language of your social media posts target them.

2. Offer “Secret” Promotions

People love being in on a secret. Whether it’s something small like finding a newer and better POS machine or letting people in on a new site upgrade, it makes them feel like they’re special. Taco Bell, for instance, has been using Instagram as an effective social media platform for VIP Taco Bell customers. These customers receive secret images and special videos that are not released to the general public. It creates a feeling of closeness, and it gets their customers excited. These are initially focused on the main target audience, but Taco Bell has started to expand the customer base over the past few months.

3. Let Them Know That You’re Listening

One of the biggest challenges in eCommerce marketing is letting your customers know that you actually listen to them and care about what they have to say. While all large businesses face this problem, eCommerce stores in particular struggle with the conception that they are faceless corporations with no interest in their individual customers.

Take the time to respond to your customers. Ask for their opinions, and then incorporate these into your actual strategies. When you do this, let them know that you listened. It will go a long way toward accomplishing your goals and turning your customers into loyal ones.

Marketing Takeaway

When you use social media for marketing your ecommerce stores, you need to make sure that your activities are effective. You will gain the greatest benefit if you focus on creating loyal customers. Your first step is to target the type of customers you want to be loyal and focus your efforts on them. You can also offer secret promotions. Additionally, you must let your customers know that you are listening. Ask for their opinions, and then make sure that you take some of their recommendations.

Do you have an ecommerce store? What are the major challenges you are facing right now trying to promote through social media marketing?

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.

Facebook, Linkedin, Google Plus, Twitter: Which Is Helping To Drive More Traffic To Your Blog?

Driving traffic using social media sitesIn the past couple of weeks I’ve read different reports from researches by different marketing groups on how small businesses are using social media. As expected, there is a slight difference in the different reports depending on indices used by the groups.

While one thing was common among the reports – that is, more and more small businesses are increasing their budget and use of social media for marketing – two are clearly at variance on the social media platforms these businesses are using.

One of the groups reported that while 90% of small businesses are on Facebook and 70% are on Twitter the report says, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest are being ignored by these businesses.

The other group, on the other hand, reported that this year (2012) has witnessed more and more small businesses turning to LinkedIn!

Now, that is something I couldn’t reconcile!

However, these reports have made me to once again re-evaluate what impact social media is playing on my blogging career.

I must say my use of social media had been for one purpose, to drive traffic. I rarely do much socializing on the social media sites. Most of my engagements are on my blog. Platforms like twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn are simply used for pulling in traffic from the social media sites while the engagement is on the blog.

Now, from my own statistics, I know that LinkedIn has proved more useful in driving traffic than any other of the social media sites.

I’ve been on Facebook for over two years now but I must say, for me it is the worst traffic source. May be, it is simply because I spent less time on the platform while the users of Facebook kind of love it more socializing on the site.

When Google+ launched, I jumped at it knowing the SEO value of the site; and I must say it has also proved useful as I have witnessed a good number of traffic flow from the platform.

The worst so far is twitter. I’ve tried various tactics but all just seem as useless as doing nothing! For over 3 years now that I’ve been on the platform I cannot really point to any significant stat showing that the site has pulled any traffic to my blogs. For me, the noise on twitter is simply drowning. I’ve read various blog posts and ebooks on how to drive traffic using twitter and have tried a few of them but the result has remained the same. Though, I’ve not in any way abandoned the platform but I really spend any time on it other than tweeting every new blog post whenever I publish one.

Now, from my experiences and what these groups are reporting about small businesses using Facebook and Twitter more than the other social media sites for their business marketing, I’ve been wondering. I’m beginning to think that there is something wrong with my strategy.

And so, I’m bringing this issue before the community today for further discussion.

Here’s what to focus on:

1. Do you agree with the report that shows small businesses are ignoring Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn?

2. What is your own experience in using social media for your marketing efforts?

3. Which of these platforms is helping you to drive more traffic to your blog?

Feel free to share with us. If you can offer a few tips that are helping you, we will be grateful.

So, let the discussion begin!

A Content Marketing Strategy That Has Great SEO Benefits!s

Did you noticed that gradually and steadily content marketing is becoming the in-thing for internet marketers? Oh, you’ve noticed? So, are you now creating content for SEO benefits or, are you still using those SEO tactics that draws the anger of Google?

With the many updates and ‘push’ against all forms of blackhat SEO, Google has clearly shown that the way forward for businesses to promote and market their wares online is using quality and informative content – content that is designed with your site users in mind.

In this article therefore, I want to give a few reasons why you should be using content marketing as a blogger.

But First, What Really is Content Marketing?

content for SEO

Content marketing is simply a marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of content in order to attract, acquire and engage clearly defined and understood current and potential consumer bases with the objective of driving profitable customer action. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brands. (Wikipedia)

Recommended: Strategic Content Marketing Using Time Tested Guest Blogging Tactics!

Content is king. You can say that again! That is why writing article is one of the most utilized Internet marketing strategy today. Internet surfers just can’t get enough of information on various fields. Providing information through these articles is a surefire way to drive hot traffic to your web site.

With the recent search engine updates, it’s obvious that SEO is no longer what it used to be. These days, you can’t just throw up a bad looking website, throw up common content, and build a few links and expect to rank well.

… You need to build a good and attractive website, write epic contents that solves peoples’ problems, build thousands of backlinks, and get thousands of social shares before you can see such result.

But problem is that it’s not easy to put all of this together. Building thousands of high quality links manually is really difficult and will take lots of your time and efforts. You may decide to outsource it which is also very expensive and even if you have the money, it will take months if not years to build those links. When it comes to social sharing, you won’t get them if you don’t have anything worth sharing unless you decide to purchase them from spammy accounts like fiverr.

The question now is…… how do you build thousands of links and get thousands of social shares naturally?

The answer?

….Content marketing!

Content marketing is the cheapest and most effective way to do SEO these days. Not only does writing highly quality SEO content produce links at a quicker pace than building them manually, but it’s also cheaper. Plus your content for SEO will naturally get shared on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus Pinterest and a host of other social media sites out there.

Too good to be true right? Not in your life!

Okay, you have to pay for your Internet Service Provider. That’s all. Other things you need is your thoughts, your computer, and your hands. If you have those, nothing will stop you from typing words that will make you complete that article for your website. On which aspect of that process did you really shell out any cent? Maybe later when your electric bills arrive! 🙂

Difference Between Content Marketing and Paid SEO

You may also decide to spend some money on content marketing by outsourcing it to sites like Elance and Odesk which is not bad provided you get nothing but high quality content from them. But there is one big variance between paying to do all of the things above versus spending the money on content marketing.

Guess what that is…..

You may be surprised to hear this but it’s the real truth, your marketing content carefully crafted with SEO in mind does not get affected by algorithm updates, but paid SEO does. Search engines can tell when you provide value, and in the long run that’s the kind of stuff that they want to make sure that stays high in the rankings.

So instead of investing in short term solutions that may increase your overall rankings and traffic, why not invest in the long term marketing solution of content for SEO?

Content marketing does not only involve posting on your blog alone, you should also start guest blogging if you have not.  Guest blogging will not only give you targeted traffic and quality backlinks, it will also brand you.   A key requirement to a successful content marketing strategy is owning powerful social profiles, make sure you build up your Twitter and Facebook profiles.

Concluding Thought

Believe it or not, content marketing has become the easiest way to dominate your niche in and out, so forget about traditional SEO tactics for now and solve your reader’s problems and traffic will surely come. While writing, make sure you use a good and eye-catching headline because no matter how good your content is, if you can’t write attractive headlines, no one will read your content. Period!

I wrote a detailed post on how to get Inspirations for a new content; it might interest you to check it out. Finally, you must know that success is not an overnight event; consistency is the name of the game. Keep doing it right and the results will definitely come. Remember the almighty Google is not done yet with his updates. This time it might be Google Anaconda, so get your bullet proof now and start writing content for SEO. Lol

Thanks for reading.

So, what’s your thoughts on content marketing, SEO and blogging success? Share with us in your comments below.

How Integrating Social Media And Blogging Can Greatly Enhance Your Online Success!

Are you using social media and blogging to build connections online? If you are not then you are definitely losing out in some good fun!

It is a fact that in the early days, blogging was simply a means for people to talk about their interests and share their hobbies and ideas. Then it was all about self-expression. But those days are gone as blogging has come to serve a bigger purpose than anyone would have ever thought.

Today blogging is not just a powerful marketing platform but it’s also the biggest source of information for the general public.

To better understand the increasing popularity of blogs in recent times, let’s take a look at these insights:

The Statistics

  • The top two blogging platforms right now are WordPress and Blogger with 43% and 35% users, respectively. On the other hand, Tumblr, Posterous, and TypePad have 16% each.
  • WordPress has approximately 42 million blogs with each one garnering around 329 million viewers. Beyond that, there are about 500,000 new content and 400,000 comments in a day.
  • The top three languages used are English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Aren’t these figures incredible?

Now, let us put social media in the picture.

The Growing Connection

By definition, social media refers to mobile and Web-based technologies that intend to make communication more interactive. It allows the production and trade of content, which the users have created themselves (technically known as user-generated content).

Now, please note that blogs are technically part of social media. Though many people tend to look at the two as separate platforms, the truth is that blogs are part of social media. And so instead of working with them as two separate tools, you should find ways of integrating them for your online marketing efforts.

Doing so will greatly help you to both share useful information with your networks without running out of words and also grow your readership.

9 Fundamental Social Media Tactics for Bloggers

social media and blogging integration

Whether you are in the process of designing a platform or you have been publishing several posts already, boost your blogging activities with these ideas.

1. Integrate your site and social pages

There are two main ways of doing this.

1.    Place your top posts with widgets and buttons. This allows users to easily share your work to their network. Plus, it helps them navigate to your fan pages conveniently.

2.    Add your blog article link to your profile messages.

2. Limit your updates

You must note this with every caution. Never flood your followers or fans with nonsense talk. Apart from being annoying and risking removal from users’ list, it hampers engagement on the part of your target audience.

Do you want these things to happen?

If you don’t, never forget to minimise your posts to one or two.

3. Communicate with your readers

Since you wish to widen your network, interact with people. What better way to win their favour than to engage them in an interesting conversation.

Therefore, take time to respond to their feedback or comments. Ask them questions on particular topics and encourage them to send in their own masterpieces (e.g. poems, photos, blogs, etc.).

4. Pay attention to their interests

In line with #3 above, make sure that you listen well to what the users have to say. By doing so, you can learn greatly from them. What is more, you can come up with wonderful ideas for your next post.

5. Portray a consistent image

Batman has a bat logo, Superman has “S”, and McDonalds has “M”. How about you, how do you want your target audience to see you?

Always remember that it will be easier for the people to recognise you if you use the same username and trademark for your blog site and social pages.

6. Interact with other bloggers

In the blogosphere, you don’t have competitors but peers. Those individuals who are in the same niche as you and talk about similar topics are not threats. On the contrary, you can think of them as your guide.

Therefore, participate in bloggers’ groups to help you learn more ideas and gain new readers.

7. Use analytics tools

Never forget that your tactics must not only involve application. It must also include monitoring, so you can determine whether you are using the right strategies or not.

With that said, find online software and applications to help you keep track of unique visits, quality traffic, and user engagement.

8. Remain active

“Out of sight, out of mind”, does it sound familiar? Well, you can hear it almost anywhere. It applies in social media too, specifically those times when you don’t log in to your account for days. If you keep on doing this, the tendency is that the users will forget you.

9. Work with marketers, brands, and sponsors

This strategy is very useful if you wish to make money out from blogging. Do you want to?

Well then, one of the best means is to search for affiliate programmes or sponsorship on top of networking sites and then, become a fan. Afterwards, express your interest in joining them. Once they welcome you, you can start creating content about the products or services you are marketing. You may also need to advertise on your social pages.

Conclusion

As you can see, the last technique is quite specific. If you really hope to generate income, you must dedicate time and effort on your blog and in finding niche markets. If you won’t, then you can’t earn a penny.

On the other hand, it does not mean that you can slack off if you do not want to become an affiliate blogger. You need commitment to become successful too.

What do you think? Are these strategies easy to carry out? Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts or own tips on blogging and social media.

How Can Pinterest Help Your Business? – You Need To Read This!

Are you on Pinterest?

An insipid question right? I know with the entire buzz about Pinterest being the latest and hottest new social network in town, who wouldn’t be!

Would you be surprised that despite the buzz, I only created a Pinterest account  just a few weeks ago?

Wondering why? It’s because I am not really keen about jumping into every opportunity that comes along. I always want to be sure that adding another social network to the ones I’m already using will help further my business objectives and not just be another time waster!

And that was the reason why I had to do some research to know how Pinterest can truly help an online business. So, in this article I want to share with you some very interesting facts and ways pinterest can help your business which I have been able to uncover.

So, let’s begin.

But first,

Pinterest.com images

What Is Pinterest?

According to Wikipedia,

“Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration,’re-pin’ images to their own collections or ‘like’ photos. Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting” via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing. “

It is founded by Ben Silbermann, of West Des Moines, Iowa and it is funded by a small group of entrepreneurs and inventors.

Why is Pinterest Creating Such Waves?

It does appear the social media bug has infected just about everyone online these days. Coming from now where, Pinterest suddenly appeared on the social media landscape like a storm!

In December of 2011, Experian Hotwise placed Pinterest as one of the top ten social networks at an enviable #5, beating big names like LinkedIn and Google plus!

From my own calculations, this is definitely the reason for all the attention that Pinterest is enjoying today because Compete.com later reported that between December 2011 (when the Hotwise report came out) and January 2012, unique visitors to Pinterest increased by 155%!

Yes, 155% within a period of one month!

Do you think online marketers who are always looking for easy ways of generating quick traffic ignore such potentials?

Not in your life!

A Few Pinterest Lexicon

A Pin: This is an image added to pinterest. In all indication, this is Pinterest’s content.

Pinning: This is an act of visually sharing content on Pinterest. As tweeting is to twitter!

Pinboard: This is a set of theme-based pins. You can create different pinboards on different topics or titles. If you’re using WordPress as a blogger you could equate this with categories!

Repin: This is when you repost somebody else’s pin. Again you can think of retweeting in twitter!

Pin it button: This is the pinterest button which you can place on your website or blog to facilitate the sharing of your content on pinterest. Any pin that is added using the “Pin It Button,” links back to the site they came from. This is very important for businesses who want to use Pinterest for business dealings.

Pinner: This is a person who does the pinning.

Now,

How Can Pinterest Help Your Business?

1.    Generate More Traffic to Your Website/Blog

Your business definitely needs more traffic for increased sales. From all indication Pinterest can greatly help you with this. Reports already show that pinterest drives more traffic to websites than facebook and Google plus! Well, this is not really a surprise to me because these two sites have not really proven to be traffic generators in my experience.

So, if these statistics are correct then for one, it is something every business person should consider. I don’t know if you are still dilly-dallying or you already have a pinterest account. If you don’t, consider requesting your invite now to get a slice of that traffic!

2.    Build Back Links

Every online marketer knows the value of back links to their business website or blog. From my research this is another area pinterest can greatly help you. If you are using the pinterest “Pin It” button on your site, every pin using the button has a link back to the source. Though these links are ‘nofollow’ links and may not directly affect your search rankings, yet they are nonetheless valuable. Also those links can help in more people visiting your site.

3.    Generate Leads

This is another area that many businesses have reported good results. With the volume of traffic that you can get from Pinterest, implementing a good lead capture system is sure to produce outstanding results. If you have a social media selling strategy that takes Pinterest seriously, you will definitely want to make some good business from this.

4.    Social Integration/Sharing

The ability to integrate your social networks to ease sharing between your different social media profiles is a great way businesses can boost brand visibility. Pinterest has made this really easy as it gives members the option of sharing posts/pins through facebook, twitter and email. This means that with a single pin you can reach these other networks without visiting them.

Conclusion

Pinterest is indeed offering online marketers a new way of increasing business through communicating visually with potential clients/customers. This article has shown a few ways you can greatly use pinterest to your business advantage. However, you must take note that Pinterest states clearly in their Acceptable Use Policy that you are not allowed to use your account for commercial purposes. Nevertheless, under the Terms of Use there is a mention of individual accounts and accounts for companies and I’m sure no company will open an account if not for commercial purposes.

The trick in using Pinterest for business therefore, (just as in every other social media marketing) is not to blatantly showing off your products or services. It’s about finding creative ways to show your target audience how your product or service fits their lifestyle.

Indeed, this is a primer on using Pinterest for business but I hope it is helpful in some way!

As usual, I’ll be glad to read your comments and respond to them. Are you using Pinterest for business? What is your experience so far? share your thought with in your comment below.