Archive for May, 2010

11 Tools and Tips for Social Media and Business

 

Having become proficient in the use of social media, you are likely recognizing that a great deal of time can be spent maintaining a social media site. After all, tracking down hot topics, checking reports and doing analysis can be time consuming. Fortunately, others have already recognized this, and have created a variety of tools to help make managing a social site easier and more productive for the business owner.

Consequently, there is no need for you to spend excessive amounts of time researching,
tracking and analyzing your sites; rather begin using these 5 social
media tools:

  • MajesticSEO offers
    link analysis and acquisition counts.  Site owners can get full reports
    on their website. There is also a paid version that gives you link
    details on your competition and helps you find high impact links for
    SEO.
  • Andy Beal’s Trakur monitors
    social media sites giving you insight into what others are saying about
    your brand, identifies their influences and shoes where they are
    commenting
    Tracker Screenshot
  • SocialMention is
    a free Real Time and social search tool that crawls social media sites.
    It has a variety of options, outputs and tools that help you create
    spreadsheets to track your progress.
  • PostRank shows
    you what topics are hot, so you can include information about the most
    popular search queries.
  • bit.ly is
    a URL shortener that allows you to create a domain name for Twitter and
    Facebook that is recognized as your own.

Tips for Building a Social Media Network

Now that you have your tools and apps in place for your social media profiles, you will want to make sure your fans and followers know as much as possible about what your business can do for them. The tips below will help:

  • Make sure people know about your social media accounts. Link them through your blog, website, newsletter, signature line, etc.  Pages such as Flavors.me are a great way to get all your sites listed in one location.
  • Pick an avatar or custom background that stands out as this will help people recognize you.
  • Be authentic and accessible- people want to know who they are dealing with.
  • Be polite and helpful- Offering a service or giving advice or free consultations shows expertise and builds a good business reputation.
  • If possible, spend some time each day (some people schedule a set number of minutes) on your social media account. If you can’t do this- or don’t want to, then consider hiring someone to do this for you. The more people see "you" the more they will trust you. Note that the more strategic time (NOTE: Not playing games or sending goofy messages to your high school buddies) you invest into social media, the more benefits you will rea. Just having the account and letting it sit won’t do you any good, as it is SOCIAL media after all…
  • Be persistent. Building business through social media will pay off, but you, or whoever you appoint, have to invest some time.

Using social media is proving to be one of the business owner’s best friends. Take time to make your business social media profiles benefit both you and your customers.  You will soon see an increase in business. Whether you maintain the page yourself or hire Page Progressive to do it for you, you don’t want to miss the potential of social media – your competitors won’t. get started today!

13 Apps for Combining Business & Social Media

 

Now that you have set up accounts at a few (or several) social media profiles, you will want to use it to its full potential. Of course, maintaining a social media listing takes time, so learning how to get the most of your efforts is important. Fortunately, making your company’s social media profile profitable can be done through the effective use of tools and applications that can increase your business while decreasing the number of hours you spend on your Facebook, Twitter, Buzz or other social media profiles.

7 Facebook Apps to Improve Your Business

As one of the most recognized social media sites, Facebook has massive potential for increasing your number of customers. Recognizing that a number of applications have been designed to assist businesses in customer services and product promotion. Some of the most useful are:

  • Contests, promotions and polls are a great way to support your business and encourage interaction with your fans, just be sure to follow the Facebook guidelines for using contests.
  • SocialToo  allows users to update their profile pages and promote Twitter from their Facebook status update box.
  • SocialOomph provides update tools for Facebook, Twitter, and StatusNet.
  • Network Blog makes it easy to promote your blog on Facebook and connect with others.
  • JobMagic is a recruiting application that expands a recruiter’s range through Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
  • Social Store Builder enables a store owner to sell and display product from their Facebook page.
  • IAnalyst- This new Facebook app allows you to integrate HTML into your page. It is especially helpful for small business owners.

6 Twitter Management Tools

Depending on your business, you may have opted to set up a Twitter account. However, as you are limited to 140 characters per tweet, you will want to make the most of your text and Twitter time. Here are some tools to enhance your Twitter business account:

  • HootSuite.com offers a free tool to help manage multiple social media accounts. You can personalize columns, view multiple feeds, and create messages then select what social media accounts to post to. You can even schedule when tweets go out and have custom searches for topics that interest you.HootSuite
  • CoTweet allows you to manage as many as 5 accounts with a single login; there are workflow management tools and the ability to take notes on Twitter for co-users to view.
  • EasyTweets is a low management tool for multiple Twitter accounts. It allows you to post and track RSS feeds in Google Analytics, set up continuous searches for brand mentions, and follow those users who mention your brand.
  • TweetDeck keeps track of multiple social media accounts. You can follow topics with saved searches, manage conversations and records, and share or watch video clips, YouTube and photos.
  • PeopleBrowser allows a visual browser based dashboard view of social activity and to create and manage groups by adding public/private tags.
  • Twitterfeed.com  takes RSS feeds from a blog and posts them as a Tweet linking them back to your site.  However, be careful not to overuse this automation tool as it can then be seen as spam and people may stop acknowledging it.

With the growing popularity of Facebook and Twitter, you can expect to find more and more tools to take advantage of these services. With the speed at which social media platforms are being developed, having tools to help automate and simplify things are almost essential! Stay tuned in for the next post where we will be exploring more tools for social media research and also tips for building a social media network!

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Social Media to Promote Your Business

 

Reasons to Use Social Media for Business, Part 1

As few as 3 years ago, the use of social media sites and their relevance to business was unheard of. Today, however, savvy businesses are approaching their advertising and marketing resources with a bend toward social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Buzz and others. In fact, according to the observations by the Center for Marketing Research, the Inc. 500 companies are outperforming Fortune companies largely due to the use of social media. In addition, Facebook recently topped Google as the most visited website on the internet. If you are not using a social media website, then you are missing out on a large customer base-and who wants to do that?

Social Media

If you still aren’t convinced of the value of social media websites, consider these recent five facts:

    1. There are more than 350 million active users on Facebook with 1.6 million active pages.
    2. 50% of active Facebook users log in on a daily basis, spend a minimum of 55 minutes per day and are posting 700 items per second
    3. Digg has 1 million users
    4. Twitter has over 18 million users posting an average of 600 tweets per second
    5. There are 55 Google Buzz comments per second

            To put these numbers into perspective, consider these comparisons. According to a February 2010 report:

            • Google has 34,000 searches per second; 2 million per minute; 121 million per hour, 3 billion per day and 88 billion per month.
            • Yahoo has 3,200 searches per second; 194 per million; 12 million per hour; 280 million per day and 8.4 billion per month
            • Bing has 927 searches a second; 56,000 per minute; 3 million per hour; 80 million per day and 2.4 billion per month
            • Twitter reports 50 million tweets daily and Facebook shows 60 million per day.

            In addition to these numbers, it should also be noted that in January 2010, Facebook passed Yahoo to be second only to Google. Then, during the week of March 7-13, 2010 visits to Facebook increased by 185% and Google by only 9% over the same week of 2009.   

            With these numbers in mind, utilizing the selling power of social media in business marketing is a must. After all, using social media sites is cost effective (usually free) and the ability to build one’s customer base is exponential. However, there is more to social media than merely setting up an account. To be effective, businesses need to combine SEO practices and customer interaction options in order to build trust and respect with their audience. This social media interaction has been shown to increase retail and e-commerce significantly. Many companies have recognized the correlation between social media and sales. According to a February 2010 Marketing Sherpa poll of 2,300 communication experts, "79% of experts of retail/e-commerce plan to increase their social media interaction in 2010" Simply put, if you are looking for a cost effective and efficient was to promote your business, social media is the way to go. 

            Uses of Social Media to Businesses

            Because search engines are now using "Real Time" search results as well as crawling social media sites, business owners can promote their services in a variety of ways. Also some sites, like Facebook, allow you to target your advertising based on gender, relationship status, age, location, etc… so you are able to focus your efforts on those who are most likely to be interested in your services. Consider including any (or all) of the following as part of your business social media page.

            • Post questions that encourage fan response
            • Post a poll to garner customer feedback
            • Integrate apps like games or quizzes to encourage guests to spend more time on your page
            • Repost information from other  users that is relevant and interesting
            • Promote your business through promos only available on your page (free shipping for fans only, exclusive product discounts, specials, etc…)

            Social media is likely here to stay. Regardless of whether you are a small business owner or President Obama, choosing to use the tools available on sites like Facebook or Twitter, can be a big business benefit.  Why not use it to your advantage and promote your business where you will be seen by the largest customer base available? You can do it yourself or hire the professionals at Page Progressive to do it for you. The sooner you do, the quicker your business can increase. Contact us today!

             
             

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            Why choose Page Progressive?

            Daniel from Page Progressive visited us, and I was immediately impressed with his enthusiasm and interest in our logo development project. They immediately began the design process, and in less than three weeks we went from a concept to a final product. The new logo has already received great reviews from our customers! I will highly recommend Page Progressive to all of my friends and business associates.

            Tony Blinson, President
            Blinson Service Company, Inc

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