Social Networking Archive

Writing For More Reader Interaction

Posted October 5, 2016 By Callie

Most social media marketers aim for eyeballs, but it’s engagement that will drive high page rankings and more followers, for increased profits. Getting more interaction on your site, blog, and social profiles is the name of the game. There are several ways to accomplish this through the content you write.

1. Know your niche. Give them the content they want. How do you know? Answer their frequently asked questions, comment, on what they say, and hang out where they do. Offer advice, hints, and tips they will not only read, but share.

2. Join the conversation. Web publishing allows your information to spread far and wide, but it should not be a one-way street. Join in conversations. Don’t be a lecturer. Comments, likes, shares on your part will encourage others to behave in the same way.

3. Invite guests. Guests broaden the conversation and reduce the need for you to crank out more content. Inviting guest bloggers and encouraging contributions builds relationships with your existing followers but can also bring in new ones connected with your guest.

4. Create surveys and polls. People love to be asked what they think. Create short surveys and polls to get information and encourage an atmosphere of interaction. You can also give them an incentive or little surprise thank-you gifts, such as special reports, handouts, cheat sheets, and other free information items that can also broaden out the conversation in relation to your niche.

5. Create contests. Everyone loves a good contest. Make contests related to your niche and the free items you wish to give away, or products you wish to sell.

6. Perk up their passions. Choose hot topics that are currently being discussed a lot or items in the news. Avoid being offensive or controversial, but do ask what they think.

7. Use images strategically. A picture is often worth a thousand words. Use images to support your content and grab attention in a way that a headline might not. The image could also encourage comments and other forms of engagement.

8. Use PowerPoint decks and videos. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a good deck or video could be worth tens of thousands of words. Post on prominent social sites and embed in your own site or blog. Consider including a transcript to post on the social site page and you will pick up traffic based on keywords. Turn on the comments section and see what people are saying. Engage in conversation with them as appropriate.

9. Don’t skimp on tags. Think of tags as keywords that will drive traffic in a number of ways. The easiest these days is that users of social sites can click on a tag and see all of the latest information published in relation to that tag. Tagging is therefore one of the best ways to attract a niche audience, who will be the most interested in engaging with you.

10. Create your own discussion board. If you have a website or blog, add your own discussion board where you can post in-house comments and threads that will encourage interaction. Q and A as well as FAQ formats work well in driving engagement.

What would happen if you focused on writing for more reader interaction, rather than more traffic? Try these suggestions and test out your theory. The results may surprise you!

There is an ever-increasing number of social networking sites, but paying attention to the top 5 will create the most opportunities for building your brand and promoting your business, in order to increase reach and profits.

Currently, the top 5 social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. Let’s take a closer look at each of these to help you decide where to focus your social media marketing attention.

Facebook

Facebook now has more than 1.1 billion users. It allows individual and corporate pages, and a variety of written, video and promotional content. Despite reports that Facebook is decreasing in popularity amongst a younger audience, it is #1 in the world and #1 where it counts-with consumers who have money to spend.

The audience tends to consist of more women than it does men. Both use social search to learn more about products and services and get recommendations. Women socialize more, and keep in touch with friends and family through their account. They are also more likely to access their account on a mobile device.

They participate more in groups, polls and surveys and tend to respond better to ads. The ads at Facebook are highly targeted and a good deal cheaper than the Google AdSense network, so making the most of all the free as well as paid marketing opportunities at Facebook is the best way to build your audience rapidly and stay connected with them.

Twitter

Twitter has 310 million users. Many people like it because they feel it is fun and easy to use. The posts, called tweets, can only be 140 characters long, so it is a fast way to update your followers about your business. More women than men are on Twitter and tweet more actively. They also re-tweet, or share your tweets. This helps you to reach a wider circle of people. Twitter also has an easy-to-use advertising program to help gain followers and feature tweets.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn, geared towards businesspeople, has 255 million users with more men than women using the platform. LinkedIn works well to connect with people you know and tap into business-to-business opportunities. They recently added advertising to their offers in relation to lead generation, that is, focusing on getting people to sign up for your email marketing list. They also bought SlideShare, the #1 site for sharing PowerPoint presentations. Use all 3 opportunities to build your brand and reach if your product line appeals to business people.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a social media platform that focuses on images. It has 250 million users, with women accounting for 80% of users and a majority of this sector is over 35. It is a visual social network where people pin pictures related to products, services, and more to virtual pinboards related to particular topics. They also re-pin to share interesting content with their social circle.

Studies have shown that around 60% of users have made a purchase based on what they saw at Pinterest, with an average payment of $55. If your products are highly visual, ideal for women, or you wish to tap into a female-centric market, this is the site for you.

Google+

Google+ (pronounced Google PLUS) is the youngest of the top 5 networks, but already has 120 million users, mostly men. It links to all your Google activities through your free Gmail account. This also means you can connect it to your YouTube channel if you have one. YouTube is the #1 video sharing site in the world and the third most popular site on the Internet after Google and Facebook. Google+ Hangouts and Hangouts on Air allow you to use video to attract an audience and meet with prospective customers.

Good social media marketing is all about making connections. If you’re not already using these 5 top sites, open an account to test things out. You may find that you have tapped into a true social media treasure when it comes to finding and connecting with your target market.

Becoming a thought leader in your niche or industry is all about establishing yourself as someone worth paying attention to in your niche or industry. If you think of yourself as a brand in your own right, not just your company as a brand, imagine instant name recognition by those in the know in that niche. If we say Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, most people know who we are talking about and what they are famous for.

Becoming a thought leader in your niche may take some time and effort, but the financial and professional rewards can be well worth it long-term.

* Do your niche research. Where do people interested in your niche spend their time, and money? What social networks do they visit? What do they talk about? What are their pain points and problems in relation to the niche? What solutions are they willing to pay for and how much will they pay? Who are your main competitors and how good are their products? What are niche customers saying about those products? Can you come up with even better ones?

* Create great content. Use your niche research to create content readers/ followers want. People learn visually most of the time, but offering a range of content gives them a choice. The more content you create, especially free content, the more traffic you will get from search engines and social sites. Seeing your name and (good) content appearing repeatedly will make potential customers check you and your item out more closely.

* Connect on social media. The secret to success in social media is in the name itself: social. People are on social networks to connect with others, not to see your latest promotion. However, people are always on the lookout for products and services that make their lives easier. Be helpful in all your interactions and people will appreciate and remember what you do for them.

* Make the most of groups. Are there social media groups you can join in order to connect with your target audience and other like-minded people? Facebook and LinkedIn have some very active groups. Some popular Pinterest boards allow guest pinners and can provide another way to get you noticed.

* Convert connections. Rather than focusing on quantity of posts, tweets, and pins to convert your connections into email subscribers, focus on quality. Use the information you gained from your research and insights to provide a special offer that is specific to your followers on a particular social media platform. For example, a cooking related niche could provide an exclusive and free offer, available only to Pinterest followers who sign up for updates during a specific time.

Using social media to establish yourself as a thought leader can take time. However, the more quickly you get started, the more quickly you will arrive at your desired destination. Put these ideas into action to begin your journey to success.

If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know,â€

Social media marketing strategies can get incredibly complicated. There always seems to be so much to do and so little time. However, there are ways to keep it simple once you know how.

1. Know your niche.

The niche research you did when you first started your business should have revealed your people’s interests, pain points, problems, and spending limits. If you’re not sure, do some research. Above all, find out where they spend their leisure time on the Internet and target those sites. There’s no point in banging away on a social network if the ideal customer in your niche isn’t hanging out there.

2. Brainstorm hot content.

Hot content is the kind of content that will appeal to those in your niche. As you do your niche research, you will probably see the same questions coming up repeatedly. Make a list of them and create content that answers these questions. Be sure to create paid products that do as well. Free products lead to paid products.

3. Leverage the content you create.

Make every piece of content you create work hard for you. One of the best ways to do it is to put it into more than one format. For example, your content could be an article, top-10 list, or a PowerPoint deck. Your deck could become a video on YouTube which you would then embed on your site. You could also share the deck at popular sharing sites like SlideShare, owned by LinkedIn, which has very convenient sharing buttons for all of the major social networks.

4. Create a publishing schedule.

Once you leverage your content, schedule it. You obviously can’t publish leveraged content on the same topic back to back, but you can use your blog scheduler to set the date and time in advance and, for example, publish one each month for several months.

Make video your priority, though, to build up a robust YouTube channel full of interesting content that will gain followers.

If you are working alone, create your own calendar and follow it. The plugin Editorial Calendar for WordPress is incredibly useful. If you are working in a team, set up a shared calendar to make sure something of value is being published regularly.

5. Use automated tools.

WordPress has a range of plugins that will create share buttons so people can just click to share on the social networks. In addition, they have plugins that will announce your new content on your social sites automatically, such as WordTwit for creating a link to your content on Twitter.

Then there are specific tools that will allow you to schedule posts in advance, such as Buffer, which will link with a number of different networks, and ViralWoot, which allows you to schedule Pinterest pins in advance. These tools have both free and paid levels, so you have nothing to lose by trying them out and seeing how useful they are. If they make your publishing on the social networks easier, the cost will more than pay for itself in terms of the amount of time you will save.

6. Make an appointment with social for 1 hour each day.

Social media can devour your time if you’re not careful, so block out 2 appointments of 30 minutes each, morning and evening, so you minimize the danger of getting distracted and wasting hours wandering around in an unfocused manner.

7. Outsource

Once you get things organized, outsource the work to a reliable virtual assistant. Draft in your teen or neighbor and free up your time to build your business in other ways.

A strong online community is not just about numbers. It’s also about how people engage with your business or brand and the ways they do it.

Make the most of your blog

Your starting point should be your website and/or blog. Yes, we know it is tough to come up with great content consistently, but it is the only way to prove what you know and that you are worth doing business with.

In addition, if you have a WordPress blog, you can use it to build community through the plugins and themes available. Creating a discussion board or forum, inviting guest bloggers, getting comments, and actively asking for endorsements and testimonials are all signals that you are a thought leader in your niche.

Offering free special reports or ecourses as an incentive to register for your email-marketing list also creates community, rather than visitors who come once for a few seconds and never return. The repeat visitors are the ones who will form your community over time. Using the plugins that allow people to share content on the social networks will also build a strong online community that will create all new opportunities for your business.

Connecting with niche leaders

We are often judged by the company we keep. Being seen at the same sites as other “thought leaders” in your niche is always a good idea. Even better, this can create the opportunity for new product creation and joint venture (JV) partnerships. For example, you can interview each other online and publish or sell the resulting product to build brand and/or make more money.

In a JV, you would email each other’s lists with a special offer. Anyone who signs up from their list would be your customer and possibly listed as your affiliate. Even if their list has 5,000 people and you have only 1,000 people, you can offer to mail 5 of their offers during a specific time. JVs then split the profits 50/50 or each gets a special affiliate link. This allows you both to profit from more exposure and/or sales to people interested in your niche.

Social network profiles

If you have not already taken the trouble to build a full, robust profile at each of the major social networks, put this at the top of your marketing list. Social search, that is, search within a network, is rapidly overtaking search through search engines like Google. You can only build community if people can find you. They will only want to join your community if they see things on offer that interest them, products, services, information, and eye-catching content.

Making the most of groups

One key aspect of top social media sites is whether or not they have groups you can join in order to connect with your targeted audience and like-minded people. Facebook and LinkedIn are examples of social media sites that have popular and active groups, where you can connect with prominent influencers in your niche and position you as an authority.

Other groups you may want to consider include active Pinterest boards that allow guest pinners. This will mean more of your pins are shown around the clock, not just the times you pin. Don’t forget Yahoo groups and Google+ circles. Both of these can also help you build a strong online community related to your niche.

Be helpful, not pushy

Finally, the best way to build a community is to participate in communities. Join groups, participate, share, and don’t just try to push all of your products for sale. Social media is all about connection and community.

If you’ve wondered how to build a strong online community, try these tips to start a strong community or even fine-tune your existing community. It’s never too late to get your group or community on the right path.

Most marketers who use social media are mainly interested in cranking out as much content as possible and getting ‘eyeballs’ for it. Smart marketers know that social networking is not a one-way lecture, but a means of building relationships with your target audience. It is not about eyeballs, but engagement, with website visitors and followers on social media taking the actins you wish them to.

As part of driving engagement, it can also be about using what you learn while monitoring the social networks to underpin all your marketing and product creation decisions.

Niche marketing online

One of the reasons online marketing has been so successful is because it allows unprecedented access to those interested in your niche/industry. Instead of scattershot marketing such as broadcast advertising, which is not very precise, niche marketing can be conducted through topic-related discussion boards, forums, and social site groups.

In this way you can discover the answers to all-important sales and marketing questions such as:

* What does my target market care about?

* What are the most common ‘pain points’ of those interested in my niche?

* What is trending in relation to my niche?

* What trends are driving sales?

* Who are my main competitors?

* How do my products compare or differ?

* What social media marketing efforts on their part might be worth imitating?

Engagement, not eyeballs

Niche marketing is like fishing in a well-stocked pond. You know your quarry is in there; you just have to come up with the right bait to get them to nibble. All of your social efforts can be the bait, showing that you have the answers they need and are worth doing business with.

Engagement can take a range of forms. It is up to you to create the opportunities to engage with you and monitor the results. For example, if you want to add more people to your email marketing list, create a special-report or ecourse, and then announce it to your list. Monitor how many new subscribers you get.

For info about social media sales, create a special offer for each social media platform’s target audience. Resist the temptation to run the same offer on all platforms during the same time. Track your results for each social media platform.

To get insight about building brand and increasing reach, create content that is so compelling that your followers will be willing to share it with other people they know, who are also interested in your niche.

In terms of advertising, track your click-through rate and engagement in taking the action you are expecting. Facebook and Twitter advertising is a lot more targeted than Google AdWords, yet a lot cheaper too.

Riding the trends

Another important reason to monitor social media sites is to see what is trending. You don’t need to try to be topical in all of your postings, but if there is a chance to tie in your products with breaking news or a hot topic, it might be worth a try. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr will all show you listings of what’s most searched for or engaged with. Join in the conversation in a helpful manner and see how much exposure you and your brand can get.

The power of social search

One of the most important reasons to monitor your social network activity is to discover who is finding you through social search. That is, searches within the network, not via search engines like Google. Social search is important because it will lead to your account and to groups. You have to be active in the network to be discovered, but once you’ve created your account, you will be amazed at how much traffic you can drive through free and paid means.

Monitor not just eyeballs but engagement, and see what a difference it can make to your marketing efforts.

Thanks to the Internet, anyone in the world can publish content online. It’s getting be a crowded space, but those who have authority will be able to build their brand and increase their profits more easily.

Authority at a Glance

What do we mean by authority? It can mean different things, depending on the area you are examining. Authority operates on several levels. There is domain authority, page authority, and professional authority within your niche.

Domain Authority – Domain authority relates to your domain traffic. Is your URL a frequently-visited site that attracts not only new but repeat visitors? Do they visit once and click out?

Page Authority – Page authority is often measured by search engine results. Is your page in the top 10 on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) delivered by Google and other top search engines?

Professional Authority – Regarding professional authority within your niche, name recognition would often measure your level of authority. Would your name garner instant recognition by fellow experts in your niche in the same way that Emeril and Rach would?

If you’re struggling with all three of these areas, paying attention to your ratings and reviews can help improve your authority and garner more sales.

Ratings and Reviews at a Glance

Your reputation has a lot to do with your authority level, whether you are looking at domain authority, page authority, or professional authority. One of the easiest and most effective ways to boost your authority is to make it a point to give your ratings and reviews a little TLC. However, before you can get to work on that, you need to know more about ratings and reviews as well as where to find them.

Ratings and reviews can be found on “review sites” such as Yelp, as well as other places online such as social media sites, and even on your own website. If you are a brick and mortar business, you know just how your ratings can encourage or discourage people’s visiting habits.

Some ratings sites will also allow people to post reviews. Again, reviews can make or break a business, especially if they are not accurate. A malicious poster can trash your reputation you’ve worked so hard to build with just the click of their mouse. Conversely, a high rating and good review can build consumer confidence and make those who read the information more willing to give your business a chance.

Tips to Build Authority Building with Ratings and Reviews

Honesty is the best policy. Don’t write your own reviews from lots of accounts, or write fake bad reviews of your competitors no matter how tempting it might be. If they do it to you, don’t reciprocate. Focus on:

Ask customers for honest feedback. Ask for reviews, endorsements, and testimonials. Remind them in your email marketing. After they provide a review or testimonial, whether positive or negative, thank them with something such as a coupon, or something specifically related to the review provided.

Avoid paying for reviews. DO NOT pay for reviews. It will backfire sooner or later. Amazon is starting to sue reviewers, authors, and publishers who are involved with “paid reviews.” They know how influential reviews can be in the purchasing process.

Create authority with search engines. Google is by far the biggest search engine and worth paying the most attention to. They offer the largest number of free marketing opportunities for smart business owners. However, you also want to include the top search engines that your target market uses.

Use Google for Business. Google for Business, https://www.google.com/business/, allows you to publish a robust business listing. The Gmail account you use can also connect to other free Google services such as YouTube for video marketing and Google+ (Google Plus) for social media marketing.

Use Google+ Hangouts. Hangouts let you connect with your audience live. Hangouts on Air can be streamed live from your site. All your videos can also be recorded and posted on YouTube. Let your customers provide quick video reviews as well, and give them to you to post to your channel.

Get reviews at your Google Business listing. People will be able to post ratings, reviews, and comments. They will be made through the person’s Gmail account, which should keep the system honest and cut down on malicious or dishonest postings.

Boost your ratings and reviews for more authority by paying attention to what people are saying about you online. Then implement good marketing strategies to make the most of what’s working as well as fix anything that isn’t working to your advantage.

8 Habits of Successful Social Media Marketers

Posted September 27, 2016 By Callie

Social media has become firmly established as an effective way to market almost any business, but there are so many sites, tasks, profiles and publishing to manage every day, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

The most successful social media marketers have several habits that enable them to do it all successfully. See how many you’re already doing, and add those you aren’t to your day to see what a difference they can make.

1. Know your niche

Know what the people in your niche are most interested in, and come up with content that satisfies those needs. For example, any new golfer will want to know about perfecting their swing. Think beginners new to your niche, and intermediates, and you will become a magnet for them as they look for solutions to their main issues.

2. Block time on your calendar

Make an appointment each day with your social networking profiles. Thirty minutes per day 2 or 3 times a day will prevent you from getting distracted and eating up your time. Log in, look around, and interact as needed. Don’t constantly crank out content with no thought to what’s actually happening in the account.

For example, if you have a Tweet that is getting a lot of traction, don’t tweet more items that are just going to push it down the page. Instead, let it ride as long as it can.

3. Leverage advertising as needed

Even a small budget can go far with the right content on the right network. Using the example of the hot tweet above, consider turning it into a sponsored tweet. Also consider running a campaign to add more followers while the tweet is prominent, in order to give it more exposure to those interested in your niche who are on the network but not connected with you yet.

4. Using automation as needed

A growing number of tools will allow you to manage multiple social media accounts, with just a few clicks. Pay particular attention to publishing content during the times you are not online, for around the clock marketing.

5. Think engagement, not just eyeballs

Your content should have a high potential to evoke a response, such as a comment, like or share. Make your calls to action obvious to get the response you want.

* Poll

* Survey

* Provocative or thought-provoking question

* Sharing interesting articles and other niche-related content, and encouraging others to as well

* Creating a range of content at your site and sharing it

* Comment on a recent news item

If you get a comment, reply to it as appropriate. Stuck with a troll? Don’t engage on their unprofessional level in front of the entire world, just delete their nonsense and block them.

In the posting, give a clear call to action, such as “Like or share if you agree.” For more details, invite them to share more with, “Let us know what you think in the comments box below.”

6. Follow others and engage as needed

See what others are doing and be helpful in all your interactions online, and people will soon be checking out your profile and starting to follow you because you look like someone worth paying attention to.

7. Connect with thought leaders

Connect with the top people in your niche. You can learn from them, and will be keeping good company, which over time may result in a range of profitable opportunities.

8. Track your results
See how many engagements you get from each activity. If driving traffic to your site, create a unique URL for each network campaign so you can see the results from each network quickly.

7 Costly Social Media Mistakes

Posted September 26, 2016 By Callie

Social media gives unprecedented access to people interested in your niche or industry, or the products and services you offer. However, some new users of the networks can get so excited by the prospect of more profits that they actually end up costing themselves through simple yet avoidable mistakes. Here are the top 7 to watch out for if you are a newbie social media marketer.

1. Unclear goals

Do you want sales, subscribers, followers? Plan every campaign around a specific goal, which you can measure by getting the target market to take particular action. By limiting the number of actions available in the message or campaign, you help to reduce returns, unsubscribes, and unfollows.

2. Unprofessional profiles

Make your profile as informative and professional as possible. Include basic information that potential customers or clients want to know, along with info that makes you stand out from your competition. A logo and colors help you to be recognized at a glance, so be sure to add a unique and professional logo to your profile.

3. Following too few people

As soon as you sign on for most social sites, they ask you what you are interested in and give recommendations as to who you might like to follow. Take these suggestions seriously and sign up, because the ones they are suggesting are usually the top participants at the site in relation to your niche.

4. Promoting too soon

Most newbies to social networking are there because they’ve heard it is a great way to reach millions of people. They no sooner sign up with their profile than they start to crank out posts, tweets, and promotions at lightning speed.

Social networks are just that, social. It’s not about you hammering out promotion after promotion. Focus on building relationships and connections that are based on your common personal and/or business interests.

5. Publishing the wrong content

Every social network attracts people who prefer a specific type of content or type of delivery. For example, most Twitter users want very short and to-the-point messages. Most content online is text-based, but many social networks are driven by eye-catching content, such as images and video. Organize your material into folders for each network so you deliver the right type of content to each social media network, based on its specialties and the preferences of their users.

6. Ignoring daily search results

Conduct a quick search each day for a couple of your business’s keywords and/or brand products. Look for mentions of your business, product, and/or your name. Also look for questions and positive or negative comments on other sites.

If you see questions, answer them and/or refer the person to a specific URL for more information. If you see positive comments and reviews, thank them. If you see negative, refer them to your customer service email for more details on what their issue is. The offer of help will show good will to anyone who might have seen it and sort the real customers from those who might be doing nothing more than trying to damage your reputation online.

7. Retaliating

No matter how unfair they have been. Just don’t retaliate in public. It could cost you more than you can ever imagine. Keep it professional at all times.