TWITTER TAKES ON 2013

INTRODUCTION
It has been known for sometime that images enhance social media the way the talkies transformed the film industry. It was a long time coming but visual design finally caught up to social media. Or did social media finally wake up to visual design? That does not matter. What does matter is that they finally got together and their marriage is one that was made in heaven, for the most part.

@MariSmith twitter page © Mari Smith

@MariSmith twitter page © Mari Smith

@JoyLynskey twitter page © Joy Lynskey

@JoyLynskey twitter page © Joy Lynskey

Social media has embraced the visual and has been benefitting from it ever since. Facebook posts that contain images get a greater percentage of Likes and comments.

Statistic Number 1: “…photos on Facebook Pages received 53% more Likes than the average post.”
Statistic Number 2: “…photo posts attracted 104% more comments than the average post…”

Source: Hubspot Blog

Twitter page of @LamourSupreme

@LamourSupreme  twitter page © Lamour Supreme

@WildmanSteveBrill twitter page © Wildman Steve Brill

@WildmanBrill twitter page © Wildman Steve Brill

THE DUOS
Every major social media tool has a visual component:
• Facebook bought Instagram
• Google owns YouTube
• Yahoo flaunts flickr

Pinterest is social media’s grand dame having risen to fame and fortune faster than any other unit of the social media toolkit to date. So far it seems to have no desire to take a mate. It is doing quite well without one.

@FindandConvert twitter page © Find and Convert

@FindandConvert twitter page © Find and Convert

@CraigEYaris twitter page © Craig Yaris

@CraigEYaris twitter page © Craig Yaris

TWITTER TAKES A MATE
Well, Twitter has joined in. Twitter has the ability to connect Instagram images through tweeted URLs. Even better, it has developed a method for some serious customization of its pages. Twitter now allows its members to say, ‘Hey, this page is mine and no one else’s. I am cool. I am serious. I am funny. I am creative. I am unique.’

@ManOneLA twitter page © Man One

@ManOneLA twitter page © Man One

@AmyPorterfield twitter page © Amy Porterfield

@AmyPorterfield twitter page © Amy Porterfield

EASY AS ONE-TWO-THREE
It does not take very long to figure out how to create a completely customized page or one that is a combo of twitter template and original design. There are three components involved:
• the image
• the header
• the background

@BasilPuglisi twitter page © Basil C. Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi twitter page © Basil C. Puglisi

@MktngBytesMaven twitter page © Alison D Gilbert

@MktngBytesMaven twitter page © Alison D Gilbert

Twitter offers all kinds of templates, choices of color and pattern making for the background. In addition, one can take a custom image and tile or repeat it on the screen. In front of that, appears a vertical band containing one’s tweets and other information.

At the top of the band is the header. Twitter allows a very large image to be imported for this area but reduces it quite a bit when uploaded. In front of the header, appear one’s image, name, twitter name, a URL and mini-bio. A 180×180 facebook icon works fine for the image.

@TheEarthDiet twitter page © Liana Werner-Gray

@The EarthDiet twitter page © Liana Werner-Gray

@AlisonsArt twitter page © Alison Gilbert

@AlisonsArt twitter page © Alison Gilbert

CONCLUSION AND QUESTIONS
The results can be very creative and unique as witnessed by the samples displayed throughout this post. What do you think of them? I am eager to hear your thoughts:
• Do you think these samples are creative and unique?
• Do you think they are too much?
• Which one(s) do you like the most and the least?
• Do you have any other thoughts or comments about this post?

SOURCES
The Power of Images on Facebook
Five Reasons Why Twitter Background Is Really Important
Warning: Your Visual Message Is Just As Important
Visual Marketing Book
Twitter Headers and Covers

 

 

 

 

 

About Alison Gilbert

Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.

LET ME TELL YOU A STORY

INTRODUCTION
Social media is all about telling stories. Technology continues to make it easier, faster and more appealing to tell, share and even re-share our stories. It has also become about telling our stories in both words and pictures. The bluebird sings the social media theme song, at right, ‘Let Me Tell You a Story’. 

a blue bird sings the social media story

A bluebird singing the social media song, ‘Let Me Tell You A Story’ from an image @ 123rf.com

VERBAL STORIES
Up until about a year ago, the story telling method was primarily verbal. Thanks to the meteoric rise in popularity of Pinterest, Instagram and other visual tools, it is clear that people want the option of using pictures, not just words, to tell and view things.

Look how dramatically facebook’s landscape has changed to include massive visual real estate. See the facebook timelines for business cover page at the end of this story.

VISUAL STORIES
The verbally based social media tools have known this for sometime. Google purchased YouTube. Yahoo purchased flickr. Facebook acquired Instagram and no one has been able to buy Pinterest.

It stands heads above most other social media, has done so in record time and is believed to be the first visual application to accomplish this. In addition, there is ground breaking news that the White House will start using Pinterest on December 17, 2012.

SOCIAL MEDIA APPS
Both verbal and visual apps have unique characteristics and value. Amongst the most popular are: • facebook • twitter • LinkedIn • WordPress • Google • Pinterest • YouTube • Instagram

WordPress sharing bar

Sharing  is  a click away.

STORY TELLING
Users have their preferences and loyalties for story telling and sharing. There are formulas for sharing stories that vary with users. As one becomes more proficient in the use of social media, these formulas develop into personal systems.

There is no one system that is the answer to sharing for everyone. But certain apps and combinations of them work well. In time, we each discover what fits our style. WordPress makes this very easy with their sharing button bar shown at left.

STORY SHARING
For example, let’s say a story is written in Word. It then can become a blog post in WordPress with still images, video and even audio. Once the story is written, it needs to be shared. Certain venues have proven to be most successful at this. In fact, in order to make sharing a breeze, sharing buttons are installed right on blog post pages.

Why is sharing so important? Sharing attracts attention, engages an audience, allows one to stay connected manually and automatically, fosters the development of  trusted relationships and ultimately can increase business or establish a personal, professional presence.

CONCLUSION
One may not be looking to provide a service or even a product in the traditional sense of business. Providing and sharing information is the essence of social media. Just think about how much we know, how easily we can learn and share things compared to a generation ago. It is all due to social media allowing us to tell our stories.

Do you have a story that you would like to share, one that social media has enhanced or caused to go viral? Would you like to share or comment about this blog post? Your comments, suggestions and feed back are all part of the story. Please share with us in the comments area. Thank you from the author.

The Social Media Marketing Graphic Design page

facebook’s new timelines for business has given tremendous opportunities for visual real estate as shown in the example here. ©http://www.MarketingBytes.biz and http://www.facebook.com/PageCoverMastery

 

SOURCES

Amy Porterfield’s FB Influence 2.0 Webinar

Bringing Your Marketing To Life Through Video by Dr. Marc and Charlie

Obama White House joins Pinterest


About Alison Gilbert

Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.

Google AdWords, Part 2 [Internship]

As you read in the Google Adwords part one, pay per click (PPC) is one of the options Google offers as an advertising feature. However, PPC is not the only feature. Cost Per Impression (CPI) is another online advertising tool that Google offers. CPI usually is in the form of a banner ad on a website and advertisers pay for every time their ad is displayed. CPI is different from PPC because CPI is only when the ad is displayed on a website, not clicked like PPC. Cost Per Mille (CPM) is the most common marketing practice used on the internet. CPM advertising is the way a marketer can be more certain about the revenue they generate from their website traffic. When the amount paid for every thousand earning impressions served, this is said to be CPM or CPI.

Some of Google Adwords advanced features include location options. In the previous Google Adwords article, it talked about setting your location to make your ads visible to a certain area. Advanced location options allow a marketer to reach people viewing pages about your targeted location. This will help because you will not only be seen in just your targeted area anymore. The only catch is that this feature is only available for certain campaign types that have “all features”. The good news is that you can switch your campaign type whenever you like.

Google had recently been trying out a new feature called Google Email Subscription Ads. This allows companies to buy ads that automatically fill in a newsletter slot. This allows users to sign up more easily for email subscriptions or other free newsletters. A cool feature on this allows your Google email address to be displayed next to your ad.

A new revolutionizing feature that Google Adwords set up is calling Pay Per Call (PPC). Pay Per Call is simply the process of an advertiser paying the publisher every time their phone number is clicked off a Google search page. This is another good way a marketer can establish their advertisements and see how their PPC option really works.

Google offers many different features for businesses to choose from. Google Adwords is a great beneficial step for your business to take. The set up is easy, and Google is kind enough to show you a step by step process. Even though Google is testing out some features, it’s easy to see that they are thriving and will go into good use.

Read: Google AdWords Part 1

Sources:

http://www.allbusiness.com/marketing/advertising-internet-advertising/2646-1.html#axzz29NUBY4iJ

http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1722038

http://www.crunchbase.com/product/google-adwords-2

http://paypercallexchange.com/mobile-marketing/google-mobile-adwords/

 

The content in this article is part of Digital Ethos’s Digital Media Education in the Higher Education Internship Program, the content was created by @KaylaMarzo, a Student at Suffolk County Community college, intern at Digital Ethos.

About Digital Media Education Internship

Digital Media Education Internship Program is an outreach initiative for Digital Ethos.

Why use Google AdWords? – Part 1- [Internship]

Google logo

Ever search something on Google and wonder what makes the first search result better than the next? With a little help from AdWords it can help you achieve a higher rank in the search results. AdWords bid on keywords that will help trigger their sponsored ads. How much they bid is one of the things that determines their position on the page of search results. The more their ads are clicked, the less they have to pay for each click.

Google AdWords is Google’s pay per click (PPC) advertising platform. This tool is used to direct traffic to your website. Every time your ad is clicked in the PPC option, the advertiser pays the website owner on the terms that the agreed on. The budget can determine how often ads can appear on Google. PPC’s content usually takes form in advertisements such as sponsored links or ads. They appear either above your search results or along the side.

There are many beneficial factors when taking using the AdWords tool. When someone clicks on your ad, this will take them to your website where they can learn more about your business and make a purchase.  Advertising on Google can direct more traffic to your website as you are using the most widely used search engine in the world.

When you first come across Google AdWords, you’ll want to narrow down your audience and attempt to target just your customers. Google AdWords allows you to narrow down your audience by choosing from hundreds of languages, and specific cities and regions. For example, if you own a furniture store in New York City, you don’t want your ads to be seen in Colorado. Set your campaign ads to be read in English throughout the New York City area. Making your ads visible within a ten miles radius of the city or using the zip code targeting can’t hurt either.

After you targeted your audience, you then want to create your ad that will appeal to them. You want your ad to stick out like a sore thumb. In a world full of furniture stores, you want someone to click on your website instead of your competitors. In order for the searcher to click your ad, you want to be able to provide them with the one they think provides the most beneficial information or drives the highest value. In order to make an ad the most effective for your website, you want to choose keywords that are relevant. Choose keywords that relate the most to your site, service or offer. For example, if you are a business that sells furniture, your keywords might include couch, futon, or recliner. You’ll also find it useful to create long tail keywords, like NYC furniture store, or park slope furniture store. The long tail keywords use more terms to narrow your target and often have less competition.

There are a couple of types of keywords, one being negative keywords. A negative keyword is a phrase or word that prevents ads from appearing when a searcher types it in. For example, if your business sells furniture, but doesn’t sell bed frames, you would add the negative keyword but put a hyphen before it like so –bed frames. This eliminates your ads from appearing on irrelevant searches. Another type of keywords include exact match. You want to use exact match when you are using keywords that are exactly what a customer would be looking for when searching on Google. Exact match means that the ad shows for searches only when the search query is exactly the same as your keyword. When using exact match, chose your keyword and put it in square brackets. When someone is looking to buy a love seat, and you own a furniture company, you may want to use [love seat] as an exact match.

After you created your ad, you want to set a pricing. Set your daily budget and cost per click up. You can spend to as much or as little as you want. The average cost per click with Google AdWords is around $3.50 per click but in some cases skyrockets to $20. A useful feature on AdWords lets you change your budget at any time. When you are finally all done with setting up your ad, you want to launch the campaign.

Signing up for Google AdWords can be a good move for your business. It can direct traffic straight to your website which can mean more purchases. Google AdWords generates more visitors, followers, and customers. When you have an effective ad on Google’s search results page, your website will see a whole new world. The tool is one of the best advertising options when you want to track ROI and be able to reduce or grow on the fly. While there is still a lot of other options, using the PPC campaigns in Google AdWords can be a great source for new business.

Coming In Part 2 – Google AdWords, Advanced Options, CPM, Newsletter, Calls, DisplayNetwork

Sources:

The content in this article is part of Digital Ethos’s Digital Media Education in the Higher Education Internship Program, the content was created by @KaylaMarzo, a Student at Suffolk County Community college, intern at Digital Ethos.

About Digital Media Education Internship

Digital Media Education Internship Program is an outreach initiative for Digital Ethos.

A Day at Google New York & Seth Godin [OPINION]

Google started a pretty amazing program called “Google Engage for Agencies”, while it’s a great outreach program to help generate brand advocates that act as a sales team for low to no cost, it’s much more then that!

Google has generated a program that has done a few things, but I want to center on two, Content and Education!

1) Google Engage is a program that is producing content for Google.  Agencies are now telling stories for Google about Google and tying it directly into local communities! The Engage program has agencies and consultants that now have stories that tie back to their community, ones that give all the recognition to Google and the AdWords platform.

2) Google is flooding the market with the correct information and empowering agencies and consultants through education to provide the correct and effective services. In a time period where consumers distrust agencies and digital marketers (and they should) Google has decided to empower those that want to learn, want to provide value making it much harder for those that are not genuine to survive.

The Engage program has provided others, like myself with direct education and training. The information that I now have as a professional has been advanced by the support of Google, both in a distance education program and done in conjunction with Dale Carnegie trainers at Google.

I made a comment earlier that consumers distrust digital marketers and agencies and that “they should”. I stand by that statement, in fact,  I started blogging because of that very fact just a few years ago. Walk into a small business owner these days and don’t be surprised when you get a question like “what makes you different then the other 100 sales people before you” and it’s a great question, in fact if business owners and organizations had asked it sooner we wouldn’t have the distrust that the marketing industry has earned.

Google made a commitment to provide a service that they believed helps connect people on the web to solutions providers and services. That incredible tool has been defiled by digital marketing consultants and agencies. As Seth Godin has explained, marketing had it good until the illusion vanished. Out of fear and greed the economy was destroyed overnight by those that worked to game the system, be in PPC, SEO or just selling products, services and solutions that they didn’t care if it worked as long as they got paid.

Google had another great surprise for those of us in attendance, a LIVE Google Hangout with Seth Godin, “America’s Greatest Marketer as claimed by American Way Magazine. Seth’s presentation was excellent and while he did a great job sharing information with us, the Q&A was a treasure. Seth’s message is that success comes from being genuine and often takes a long time, in fact Seth admitted it took his blog three (3) years to gain traction.

A day at Google confirmed one thing, the world is full of fraud and the marketing industry has a disproportionate number of contributors. The bright note is that for those of us that take the time to genuinely try solve problems and not just generate sales or revenue, we can and will be successful. In this case, Google is genuine about wanting to connect people with what they are actually looking for, be it through organic search or paid search. Google is acting like a leader, providing the right and accurate resources to the community. The Google Engage program is just one of the resources that Google has invested in to empower the professionals that are trying to do the right thing by their clients, customers and business.

In the end, Google was impressive at every turn. Google New York had Food, Fun and Value! The information was only surpassed by their commitment and methods to deliver it! A methodology that I feel is worth any successful business or corporation pursuing.

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

How Exact Match Domains Have Weathered the Penguin Storm

Exact match domains have always had the added advantage of direct-type in traffic, giving them certain immunity to algorithm updates. Once an EMD is linked to a website, the webmaster’s behavior has more to do with rankings. Penguin sought out sites with too many exact match anchor text links, but the outcome had more to do with who can get away with it and to what extent. For EMDs, exact anchor text makes up part of the natural link profile.

Brand based anchor text is natural, i.e. www.brandname.com, brandname.com and brand name. When your brand is your exact match domain name, your website is not going to set off those same red flags for your exact match keywords. But, what you’ve done with your link profile beyond that is what does come in to play with Penguin. Is the rest of your link profile diversified with partial anchor text, long tail, and a nice mix of click here, visit this site and straight http: links? That’s most likely what sets apart the ones who were impacted by Penguin and those that were not.

Tier 2 pages

What have the exact match sites done with their tier 2 pages? Chances are, most have targeted different keywords for those pages and not focused on as many brand anchor text links. Natural links to tier 2 pages often contain the title tag. Take a look at your back link profile and look how others linked to those pages. That’s a good indicator of what natural linking to those pages looks like.

Meta Data

Another issue any site could run in to is over-optimized title tags. So, if you repeated your keywords in your title tag in a spammy way, i.e. red shoes, cheap red shoes, not only does that page come across as spammy because of the title tag existing on it, but if a user linked to your site with the title tag, that appears spammy, too.

Keep in mind, if you keep on playing with your title tags, you set off a spam alert. If your title tag is webmaster tools compliant, don’t tweak it. Spammers will often watch if their title tag adjustments results in higher or lower rankings and if they drop, they will go back and revert the changes. This is when you get in to trouble. Your server records the file date every time you make a change and Google uses that data to make an evaluation.

Many exact match domains do continue to rank well in Google post Penguin, but no site is immune to future updates. Moving forward, don’t assume that because your website was not affected that it won’t be. We’ll always be left guessing what the next problematic issue will be.

 

Source:

Theresa Happe works with Buy Domains, a leading source of domains for sale, including available and exact match domains.

About Guest Blogger

This article is a guest post provided by a third party, its content was added to Digital Ethos to help provide additional information for our readers and followers. While the Guest Blogger posts do not undergo the same scrutiny as Authors and lack sources, the content was reviewed and approved as valuable to our mission.

SEO2012: A Visual Look at Search Engine Optimization

First, note that the article starts with “opinion” and the truth is that all content related to SEO is exactly that, opinion. Any representative or person that claims to have “facts” to back up their SEO strategies has discredited themselves. This is not to say that professionals can’t produce data that shows results, but simply put no one outside of Google really knows what drives Search Results in a manner that can be supported by fact. If you then take into account the fact that SEO has changed so many times in the last two years, one could argue that the industry has removed itself from the categories that allow for the titles guru and expert.

Search Engine Optimization

The chart is meant to be a tool, one that business owners should find useful as a roadmap for talking points with a SEO Professional or Agency. While there are finer points and details to contend with, you’d be hard pressed to find a real professional in the industry that could argue about the basic premise here and how important quality SEO is derived almost equally between each of the three sections. As such you should expect and anticipate that your SEO strategy should touch on all three, or spend your time and money somewhere else.

Onsite, represents the structural design and make up of your website. The structural design is a crucial component to how the site is crawled and MORE importantly will allow your users to interact with it. Engagement which is the perceived value to the user or visitor, is believed to have direct value correlations to onsite structure. Things “onsite” like Meta descriptions will affect things like CTR (Click through rates) which is one of the values we believe Google uses to determine if the placement is justified. Followed closely by bounce rates and time on site, which again we believe are all indicators to your sites value in relation to a topic or keyword. The Offsite refers to things like Social Signals, which once heavily included Twitter, but now seems most influenced by +1 activity from Google+. Geo references and Google Local are also factors in the search results both as an independent source and as part of traditional organic results. While backlinks are frowned upon in the perspective of buying links, you’d better believe that it’s going to continue and finding strategies that are genuine in nature are crucial to you survival on page 1.

There is no cookie cutter for SEO, anyone that walks up claiming they have the package for you is full of it! Genuine SEO strategies take time and must evolve, you can start with a budget but what you get as a report at the end of each month can be completely different, types of content, links, social outreach/bookmarks will all change over time and the SEO strategy should reflect that approach and not a useless plan that says $800 you’ll get 50 links, 3 articles and # # # #. That’s a big red flag.

In the end, SEO is part of a business. The Search Engines want to put people in touch with the service they are looking for and you should only want to spend time and money on strategies that place genuine search results that you can benefit from. In the end it’s all about connecting people with the content, product or service they want or need.

Sources:

 

 

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

ODE TO ANDY ROONEY: My Social Media ‘Pet Peeves’, Part Two

TO CONTINUE
The first part of this blog post detailed my first ‘pet peeve’ about facebook. It involves the new ‘timelines for business pages’ and the page cover designs in particular. You can refer back to that post, Ode to Andy Rooney: My Social Media Pet Peeves, Part One to read it as well. This post, Part Two, will explore my ‘pet peeve’ #2. 

Charlyn Shelton on facebook LIKES

Here’s what Charlyn Shelton of the Facebook for Beginners, facebook group thinks about just asking for ‘LIKES’. She knows that ‘customer experience’ is where it’s at these days on facebook.

FACEBOOK PET PEEVE #2

It is no longer possible to count how many requests one gets in one day. If you ‘LIKE’ my page, I will ‘LIKE’ yours. These taunts are endless and nauseating. Can you hear my screams of frustration? This ‘LIKE 4 LIKE’ obsession no longer has a place in social media land.

HOW MANY FANS DO YOU HAVE?

There was a time, long ago in facebook time, when there were no business pages. There were personal pages for regular folks and fan pages for celebrities. Within one or two incarnations, that has all changed. ‘Fan pages’ were eliminated. They became ‘LIKE’ pages. The goal was to get as many ‘LIKES’ as possible. That was how the search engines determined one’s popularity or ‘reach’.

DON’T MESS WITH THE GOOGLE ALGORITHM

Google has mastered the shape-shifter game. Once too many ‘SEO-iacs’ figure out the algorithm for getting their clients highly rated by Google, Google changes shape. The ‘trick’ is no longer getting gobs and gobs of ‘LIKES’. But it seems that the pedestrian facebook timelines for business users have not gotten the message.

BECOME A TRUSTED CONNECTION

The facebook Edgerank Triangle

The facebook Edgerank Triangle © JamesCarson.co.UK

Now Google rates users by how much they interact and engage with each other. Imagine that. Google is rating business people by how social they are. What a unique concept. Social media is about being social. Yes, SOCIAL. That means being polite when making an introduction to another business owner and possible new colleague. It includes working on becoming a trusted connection. It holds as most sacred, being patient and waiting to talk business until the right time.

CONNECTIONS TAKE TIME

Communication on social media is no different from in-person interactions in many ways:
• Being polite when introduced
• Working at becoming a trusted colleague and connection
• Being patient about talking business and waiting for the right time to do so

Approaching a complete stranger with “ ‘LIKE’ me and I will ‘LIKE’ you” is like speed dating. It makes politeness a time consuming luxury. It does not leave room to become a trusted colleague or connection. It definitely obliterates patience.

THE IDEAL COUPLE

facebook and google +

Facebook on google + © FavoriteGadgets.com

The one relationship that seems to have worked out very well is between facebook and Google. Who knows what was said behind those closed doors. No speed dating there. It just so happens that simultaneously Google changed its algorithm so that the numbers are no longer what matters most and facebook now requires only 30 LIKES for a business page to be fully functional. What a coincidence. Or was it?

So, to get to the point about Pet Peeve #2, once a business page has 30 ‘LIKES’, there really is no need to keep annoying people with, “If you ‘LIKE’ me, then I will ‘LIKE’ you”. (Imagine the annoyance of this being said by two pre-teen girls chatting with each other. No offense girls, but we’re talking boring business. So I doubt you would be interested in this discussion anyway.)

PET PEEVES PUT TO REST
I hope that the points that I have attempted to make are clear and that I have made my case. Is it Pet Peeve #1 or #2 that drives you to distraction? Is it both? Or is it neither? If you agree or even if you disagree, please let me know what you think. I would really like to hear from you. Thanks.

AUTHOR:

Alison Gilbert is a Digital Age Journalist. She is a regular contributing author to DBMEi, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz  located on Long Island, New York.
This boutique style – very personal service – hybrid company specializes in helping local/small biz generate sales leads by combining the best of traditional advertising with the latest online marketing technology. Contact Alison Gilbert at info@marketingbytes.biz or call 516-665-9034 EDT/NY/US. MARKETING BYTES serves local/small businesses virtually everywhere.

 

AUTHOR:

Alison Gilbert is a Digital Age Journalist. She is a regular contributing author to DBMEi, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz  located on Long Island, New York.

This boutique style – very personal service – hybrid company specializes in helping local/small biz generate sales leads by combining the best of traditional advertising with the latest online marketing technology. Contact Alison Gilbert at info@marketingbytes.biz or call 516-665-9034 EDT/NY/US. MARKETING BYTES serves local/small businesses virtually everywhere.

SOURCES:

Andy Rooney © HolyTaco.com     
 Photo of Andy Rooney © HolyTaco.com


 

About Alison Gilbert

Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.

Social Media is HARD

The dictionary defines “perception” as “understanding”.  And the prevailing perception is that social media management and marketing is easy.  That people will find your Facebook page, your Twitter account, or your Google Plus page and they will just automatically connect with it.  That they will “like” you without any action on your part.

THIS JUST ISN’T TRUE

My favorite analogy is the opening of a new store.  When you open a retail location, people will not just automatically know you are there.  You need to tell them.  You need your friends to help spread the word.  You need to give people a reason to visit your store, whether it be a “grand opening special” or a product that they can’t live without, they need a reason to visit.

I was working with someone who wants to make social marketing their livelihood.  They have a Facebook page, and were complaining about how their audience wasn’t growing.  They haven’t run any ads.  They don’t even share that much on their page.  But, most importantly, they never asked any of their friends to help by “liking” their page.

They forgot the most basic idea behind social marketing — that it is no different than “word of mouth marketing”.  The platform doesn’t matter.  If your friends won’t or can’t sing your praises, why should anyone else.  And what reason will anyone else have to like your page if all you do is change your cover image?  If the only thing you’ve shared is…nothing.  And you’ve done it with no regularity.

In order to grow our audience, we need to give them a reason to join in our conversations.  We need to provide them with a reason to visit, and a reason to share our thoughts, ideas, and services.

The perception is that social marketing is easy.  It isn’t.  It takes time to cultivate relationships.  It takes effort to curate good content.  It takes momentum to build your audience.  And, it takes thought to become a thought leader.

Want to build your Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus audience?  Follow these simple steps:

1.  Share good content.

2.  Be human

3.  Share often

4.  Help others

5.  Follow the Golden Rule

6.  Ask for help.

Basically, if you want to build  your following.  Be a good person, and the rest will fall into place.

Author:

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you.  He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line.  EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business.  Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.

Resources:

Definition courtesy of dictionary.com

Image courtesy of Get Social With Amy

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

How to Budget for Marketing

Whatever it is, the budget you put in place for your marketing for the year ahead will shape the results you achieve. Now is the ideal time to define your marketing approach and the budget that will support it. In a recent Toluna survey of businesses, 40% of businesses surveyed stated that they did not feel that their marketing budget met all their marketing needs.

In tougher times, the marketing budget is often the first thing that is cut. Yet it is commonly known that companies which consistently market themselves in a recession perform better than those that don’t. So:

  • How can companies budget better to create the results they want?
  • What can companies do to budget effectively for the year ahead?

Fit your strategy around your target market

Strategy is everything in marketing.  But a separate strategy for your marketing and your sales approach will not deliver the best Return On Investment (ROI). Now is the best time to review your marketing approach in 2011 and identify what worked – and what didn’t. Then, apply this important data to your overall sales and marketing strategy. Which markets are you trying to reach? Which audiences do you want to grow in the coming year? Match this with your marketing approach and plan your marketing spends in careful stages, so that each part of the plan flows from one stage to another. Use inbound marketing technology to track the behaviour of your target markets and ensure that you are using the most appropriate marketing channels to reach them.  This will help you get more from your budget in 2012.

Track your ROI on marketing spend

Your marketing data from the past year will provide a valuable insight into what will work over the next 12 months. So carefully track the ROI you’ve gained this year and identify the activities that have created the best results.

Be ruthless in assessing what is paying you back and what is proving to be a drain on your resources

Would these areas work better with a different approach, perhaps using inbound marketing to accelerate results and make them more profitable? You can also use inbound marketing technology to closely assess and analyse the exact payback from each area of your marketing plan – and feed this knowledge into the year ahead. Put a plan in place for tracking your ROI. Inbound marketing allows you to do this continuously and consistently, letting you to adapt and refresh your marketing activities accordingly.

Create a cross-channel marketing budget

Are you currently using all the appropriate marketing channels? Did your approaches in 2011 feed across the different channels to maximise results – or did you only focus on a couple of areas?

Recent research suggests that companies using social media or “collaborative Web 2.0 technologies” are achieving higher profits. (Source: McKinsey)

Are you one of the companies missing out on a better marketing ROI by neglecting or misusing social media and other technologies?

By using inbound marketing you can connect up all your marketing channels much more effectively, making it easier to retain any potential customers – whatever stage of buying cycle they are at. You can create a cross-channel presence that reduces the cost of building a receptive and responsive brand profile. This approach also makes it much easier to budget for the year ahead. It gives you a core strategy which then feeds out across all the channels – bringing you a better ROI for 2012.

Adapt and update

While it is important to develop a clear strategy to get the best from your marketing budget, it is also important to continuously review and analyse your results. More conventional marketing approaches have traditionally made it quite hard to view the results as you go along. But new inbound marketing technology allows you to view the impact of every single aspect of your marketing approach – as it’s happening. Use this invaluable and on-going insight to adapt your strategy and ensure you make the most of your budget throughout 2012.

What is the secret to budgeting right for marketing in the year ahead?

Everybody wants to make their marketing budget work harder. So how can you ensure you do this in the months to come? Focus on your target market and what they’re doing. By using inbound marketing technology you can get closer to buyer behaviour and demand. You can use this insight to create more meaningful connections by building relationships across all the different marketing channels. This enables you to accelerate the relationships you build with your prospects. Instead of waiting for months to view the results, you can see who’s responding – and adapt your strategy to meet the demand there and then.  This ensures that your marketing spend is continuously matched with where it is most effective and that it feeds right back into your company’s sales and marketing strategy. Create your strategy, use advanced inbound marketing approaches to maximise your marketing impact and assess its impact while it’s live. Keep it consistent and targeted and you can look forward to a better ROI on your marketing budget in 2012.

Author: Sookie Shuen is the community manager at Tomorrow People, a leading UK inbound marketing consultancy. You can read more of Sookie’s content on inbound marketing by subscribing to the Zoober Inbound Marketing blog here. You can also find her on Google+ and Twitter.

Sources:

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