What does your LinkedIn account look like?

At a recent networking event, where I was discussing the benefits of social media in a marketing plan, I heard over and over again how these professionals were on LinkedIn, and therefore participating in social media.  As I’ve written before (Saying You are on Facebook Does Not a Social Strategy Make), having a profile is not social media, although it is a small part.  What is most important is how you use that profile or page.

So, you have that LinkedIn profile all set up, right?  Well, if it looks like this, you have a long way to go:

This is a poor LinkedIn Profile

What’s wrong with this profile?  What can you do to optimize it for both LinkedIn search as well as Google search?

Let’s begin with the “Professional Headline” which appears right under your name.  This should be a descriptive sentence about who you are, or what you do.  Good examples would be “Social Media Marketing and Education for Small Business”  or “Marketing for the Digital Generation”.  Just make sure to use keywords that people would use to search for someone within your field.

Next in the profile is your career, education, websites, and other social sites that you are connected with.  This should be filled out as completely as possible, using as many keywords that are appropriate to your career/profession.  Also, while completing this information, make sure to take advantage of the ability to edit your public profile “URL”, or address people will use to find you.  LinkedIn assigns a long string of letters and numbers, which is difficult and confusing.  Change it to something meaningful – (my URL is www.linkedin.com/in/CraigEYaris)

Finally, there is the “Summary”, which is where you get to really tell all about who you are.  This is a great place to explain a career path, or why you are in the field you are in.  Just make sure, as you complete this section, to also use some important keywords.

After these main sections are completed, it is time to fill in some of the other available options to increase your profile “completeness”.  This includes your “Honors and Awards”, “Volunteer Experience”, interests, Groups and Associations, and even some personal information.

All of these items will help you increase your visibility within LinkedIn, and will put you on the path to more connections.

Want to continue to grow your network?  You should be searching for groups within LinkedIn to join, and make sure to participate in those groups.  Offer opinions, ask questions, be helpful.  You can also add applications to your profile, such as the Amazon Reading List, and you can even have your blog imported straight to your profile.

Most importantly, avoid the following “buzzwords” within your profile, as they have no real impact, and may even hurt your career prospects:

  1. Dynamic
  2. Communication skills
  3. Problem solving
  4. Innovative
  5. Motivated
  6. Track record
  7. Extensive experience
  8. Effective
  9. Organizational
  10. Creative

By now, your profile should look like this:

Craig E Yaris LInkedIn Profile

Now, go visit LinkedIn, and get your profile in order.  Let the networking begin (and feel free to start with me)!

Resources:

15 Tips to Optimize Your LinkedIn Initiative

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn Search Optimization Tips and Tricks

10 Buzzwords to Take Off Your LinkedIn Profile Now

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 .

Saying You are on Facebook Does Not a Social Strategy Make

This past week I visited a local restaurant that was preparing for the holiday season by advertising their holiday parties on a board right when you walk in.  Also on that board, were requests to “Follow us on Twitter” and “Like us on Facebook”.  So I tried to find them on Facebook, and being more knowledgeable than most with Facebook, I thought I would find them right away.  But, there are two pages for this one specific business.  It was also difficult to find them on Twitter, since they add “NY” to their name.

On their lobby sign, they don’t even tell you how to find them.  What’s their twitter name?  How are they listed in Facebook?

This is the position so many businesses find themselves in lately.  They have gone through the trouble and expense of creating a Facebook page (or two)… and then nothing.  People click “like”, they collect fans, people even write on their wall, and then … nothing.

This particular restaurant hadn’t updated their Twitter account since May, and has never actually engaged on their Facebook page(s).

Is this a social strategy?

No.

So, what makes a good social strategy?

A good social strategy has four main components:

  1.  Identify your goals
  2. Find your audience
  3. Decide on performance indicators
  4. Schedule and manage

Identify Your Goals:

Any good marketing plan, whether social or traditional, requires that you start at the beginning.  What do you want this specific marketing to accomplish?  Do you want more customers?  Do you want to establish your brand as an expert in a specific field?  Until you know what you want to accomplish you will have no way to move your plan forward.

Find Your Audience:

You will need to determine where your customers are spending their on-line time.  Are they on Facebook or Twitter?  Is LinkedIn more appropriate for your business?  This will all depend on the type of business you have and the specific client you are trying to reach.

Set Your Performance Indicators:

Social media can be measured.  You can determine how many people visit your blog, website, or Facebook page.  You can analyze what content is getting shared and retweeted and when that content is being posted.  You just need to determine which of these items are important to the campaign you are running.

Schedule and Manage:

Once you know what your goals are, where you will be concentrating your efforts, and what you are looking to monitor, it’s time to set out your schedule.  Who is tweeting on behalf of the company?  When will posts be made to Facebook, and who is responsible for responding to your customers?

These steps will help you begin to envision your social media strategy, in hopes that you can offer your clients an engaging, responsive, and embracing community.

 

Resources:

7 Steps for a Successful Social Media Strategy

The Key to Developing a Social Media Strategy

Social Media Strategy in Four Steps

 

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 .

Professional Spotlight: Robert Basso

On Tuesday, November 15th, a group of everyday entrepreneurs who have proven track records from building their own successes, came together to share how they had achieved those goals on their own terms.

Some attendees included:

  • Joe Corcoran, Founder of Joe Corcoran Productions
  • Selena Cuffe, President of Heritage Link Brands
  • Jeff Hoffman, Co-founder of Priceline.com family of companies
  • Steve Davies, President, The Alternative Board – Nassau
  • David Becker, President, PhilippeBecker

Robert Basso, the author of The Everyday Entrepreneur, is a well-recognized business leader and advocate. With an entrepreneurs eye for spotting opportunities, Rob has a long list of achievements from founding investor in Empire National Bank to owner of Advantage Payroll Services. Rob frequently contributes on Fox Business as well as other national programming such as Entrepreneur. Rob has also submitted to interviews with USA Today, AP, and CNN Money. Rob also hosts a web program called Basso on Business which features businesses and entrepreneurs.

The Everyday Entrepreneur

The Everyday Entrepreneur is loaded with powerful strategies and important objectives for defining, setting, and achieving goals for your own entrepreneurial success. Revealing how its readers can learn to apply their own ambitions to their desired goals and gain an understanding on how to proceed on their own, this book provides realistic goal setting ideas that can lead to successes that may have eluded you so far.

The Everyday Entrepreneur is unique from other available books on the market in that it supplies palpable entrepreneurial strategies for business owners. The contributions of The Everyday Entrepreneur allows for business owners to build their own wealth, financial freedom, and success regardless of age.

In The Everyday Entrepreneur, Basso explores other innovative entrepreneurs like himself and discovers what encouraged each one of them to push the limits and find their own genuine successes on their own terms.

You can also expect to learn:

  • Valuable lessons regarding how to drive business growth
  • How to best hone entrepreneurial instincts
  • How to reawaken your sense of adventure in your business endeavors

So much more is covered here but we can’t share it all. The Everyday Entrepreneur provides a roadmap allowing readers to follow the success stories of a variety of individuals who all hail from very diverse backgrounds. Take a walk with Basso as he shares the stories of each entrepreneur while they find the answers to achieving their own successes and surpassing goals unimagined.

My Take on Robert Basso

In a room full of professionals this picture speaks but a touch of the moment and what Robert Basso conveyed as an Entrepreneur, Professional and Parent. At the start of the event Robert thanked a few people, something you expect from most at such an event, but the moment to see Robert’s character came forward when he called his children to the front of the room.

“You might not quite understand this yet, but it’s my hope that you will someday” Robert Basso told his two children.

A moment that was so passionately about a father conveying an important message to his children that he had to be instructed and nudged by others to turn so they could get the photos they wanted. One could try and say that this was possibly staged, but if you had seen it first hand, you’d know the sincerity was without question.

My short interaction with Robert leaves little to argue about the long term experience of knowing or doing business with this professional, but if how he cares and treats his family is any indication, then clearly he is a professional worth knowing.

THE EVERYDAY ENTREPRENEUR

Published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Publication date: October 24, 2011

$24.95; Cloth; 175 pages; ISBN: 978-1-118-10644-0

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.

The #140Confli: Fast, Informative & Interactive

The #140Conf by Jeff Pulver is known for short presentations and interactions, but for Long Island it has turned out to be one of the most potent networking and learning experiences I have ever seen.

This fast passed, energetic event engaged the attendees, keeping it under 140 Characters @katcop13: summed it up in a tweet “The word ‘audience‘ is dead. It’s a conversation.”

The engagement was both real life personal interactions and throughout the twitterverse, so much so that @namnum: was the first to break the news “Just heard we are trending in NY!”

@Krochmal has been a great host, engaging the audience making sure that all attendees are getting an experience, even seeking out an entire room to find out what they are passionate about and what they are learning.

This event has featured few if any traditional presentations, many presenters and the panels made a successful effort to facilitate conversations between presentations and during the breaks. The topics included business, personal brands, success stories, the human element, startup issues, fashion, musical performances and this thing called Social Media.

While the event is still far from over, it has this professional wondering, whats next and where can we get more?

Latest Tweets from the #140ConfLI:

— Melissa_Kue Melissa Kuehnle

@farida_h Glad we got to finally meet face-to-face at #140ConfLI.

— KennyKane Kenny Kane

@Krochmal Did you host a talk show in a past life?

— treypennington Trey Pennington

“Hugs over handshakes…that’s what we do at 140 Conferences” @jeffpulver #140ConfLI

— longislandpatch Long Island Patch

LI social media rocks RT @jmolinet Follow the afternoon sessions Long Island 140 Character Conference live http://bit.ly/lStBmK

— PsgeToNirvana Lee Carlson

RT @dhfrench: “Don’t be afraid to fail; it’s how you learn.”-@elyrosenstock #140confli How true, how true….

— levyrecruits Steve Levy

@mzayfert ”take the first step, make some noise, and change the world” #140confli

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 Much Money Should You Make? How to Sell Online…

Have something to sell? No? You may not think so, but I’d bet good money that you already do, or have the skills to easily create things that could sell well online. Quite frankly, when it comes to selling online, you are 100% limited by your own ideas of what your limitations are. Too vague? Maybe this will explain further.

You do not have to own a jewelry store, pawn shop, or music store to have a product that is high demand and high profile that will sell well online. Regularly, regular people are creating their own businesses by doing exactly what they like to do, what they are good at, and what is easily done in their own homes.    

  • Art – Custom paintings, creative furniture covers, frames, the list is actually endless in the art department.
  • Handbags and Purses – There is actually a fairly large market for handcrafted bags and purses.
  • Bath and Beauty – There are hundreds of thousands of people making a nice living by creating eco-friendly, and homemade bath and beauty products.
  • Candles – Candles of all sizes and styles are always in demand. Most especially candles that are created for weddings or religious ceremonies.
  • Ceramics and Pottery – This can entail many things, but a good potter will know exactly what products people can use the most and create them accordingly.
  • Clothing – Handmade clothing and used clothing have a big market online with many different venues. E-bay does not have a monopoly on secure online open seller sites.
  • Crochet – You may not have thought all of those hours you spend crocheting that blanket for the co-worker with a new baby was worth much, but blankets crocheted larger for a bed size for instance, regularly sell for several hundred dollars online.
  • Edibles – No one says you will be able to make a living cooking dinner for people and selling it online, though some do. But if you have skills in the kitchen, be aware that a few dozen decorated sugar cookies can rack in over a hundred dollars.
  • Furniture – Have carpentry skills? You don’t have to build and ship custom couches to make money. Try building light weight veggie boxes or trinket boxes online. You would be shocked how much custom designed items like this can go for. And the shipping won’t kill your wallet either.
  • Glass – Do you have skills at blowing glass? What about etching it? There is a huge market for these items in holiday, wedding, and religious ceremonies for this.
  • Holidays – Any holiday, all year long. If you have a special skill with creating Halloween costumes, or a knack for making nice Christmas ornaments, you have what it takes to sell online.
  • Music – You don’t have to be rock band quality. If you have a guitar and a nice voice, sell your skills online to create jingles, videos or other audio products for the many businesses that are desperately hunting them daily.
  • Pets – Like making dog sweaters? Seriously, browse some pet clothing shops online. Outrageous prices. If you can do better, you have a lot of money waiting on you as you read this.
  • Plants – Seed sharing is not only an incredible idea for producing great new strains of fruits and vegetables, but it is also a lucrative business to do so. Got some incredible moss covering some of your property? You can sell small chunks of it online for ten bucks a piece all day long.
  • Vintage – Vintage items of any kind are always top sellers. If you inherited some clothing from a great- great anything, don’t turn it over to the second-hand donation box just yet. Even they may not know what to do with it. But a vintage shopper online will.
  • Weddings – Have skills with creating invitations? Knack for decorating? Sell your skills, or your wedding products online. You may have a bit of competition, but nothing a little targeted marketing may not cure.
  • Woodworking – If you have woodworking skills and are not selling those in the creating of custom frames, plaques and the thousands of other quick finish job options online, you are missing out.

So that’s a great place to start. Now that you’ve had a moment to think on it, maybe you just need to know how to begin.

  • Selling Online

Product sales online are divided into three categories.

  1. Selling physical products
  2. Selling downloadable products
  3. Selling services

Note: Even if you’re not taking money digitally your still selling so make sure your brand and pitch are in line with the consumer need.

  • Equipment

So the first thing you need of course is a computer and an internet connection. Be sure you have a reliable connection. Losing the internet for a couple of days mid-sale can cause you to end up with bad feedback or reviews that can be highly detrimental to your online business.

Tip: Setup a backup plan, who has wifi in your area and maybe a valuable tool like coffee?

  • Funding

You will need to have a credit or debit card to do many of the functions online. Although having a checking account is nice, not many businesses will accommodate automatic checking, instead, use your bank ATM card as your debit or credit source.

Tip: If you can’t afford a charge back or lack of funds availability get a corporate card because credit is far more forgiving then bank accounts when it comes to fraud. If your credit is in the recent tank like so many others ask your bank about secured cards that start at as little as $300. Credit cards are much more safer then bank accounts when it comes to internet transactions. (This tip thanks to Doug @ Suffolk County National Bank)

  • Email

You will need an email account. For business purposes, try to find an email server that will allow you to get your company name in the email address. Yet one more way to put your company name into cyberspace for recognition. Google, Hotmail and Yahoo all provide free email accounts that are commonly compatible with many other sites and services online.

If you grab a domain you like run a generic, sales@ info@ and use a POP setup, in the early portion of your business you don’t need to be spending money on exchange services and avoid any tech that tries to tell you otherwise.

  • Domain and Web Hosting

If you want to be easily found, and easily remembered, you will need to get your own domain name and find a web host with good solid service. Always try to get a .com if at all possible. Of course you or a hired web designer will still need to build the site, but never settle for a free option on another sites server alone.

SEOTrick: Avoid your name, you not famous or important (yet) take a look at your product or what your customer is searching for, run that through the AdWords keyword tool and buy a domain that fits that.

No one says you shouldn’t have an Ebay store, but you should also have your own. The Ebay store should actually be used to direct customers to your real store front, the one you own the domain and pay the host for.

  • Exercise the Options

Do not limit yourself to your website and an extra Ebay store on the side. Although you should be careful not to overextend yourself, there are so many other options available that it’s hard to imagine an online store owner that does not network themselves and their product. Check out these sites to build an extra store front. One more place on the net with your product, and one more place on the net with your name on it. Don’t let someone tell you that you should pay for this or that service because they have great online storefront options, use these free options.

  1. http://www.etsy.com/
  2. http://www.artfire.com/
  3. http://www.ebay.com/

This isn’t the stopping point. Check out the unique ideas these online product sellers are marketing themselves.

  1. Valentine’s Day Services
  2. Business Logo Embroidery Service
  3. Cancer Research
  4. Music Services

Take note of those sites. Register with them, offer a lower cost product you have, and with each product you send out, send a business card with your real website address on it. Offer them a discount for shopping directly through your store. Do what you have to do to network your business, but never, ever, just pop a store up and wait. There is no quicker way to fail and to let frustration cause you to give up.

  • Merchant Services

Get your account set up with a merchant service that will allow you to accept credit card payments. You can do this several ways, but Paypal does offer great merchant services at about the best price you are likely to find.

Authorize.net is arguably the largest and easiest plug and play merchant account offering integrated web systems and virtual terminals.

  • Promote Your Site

If you have utilized all the tips here you have definitively gotten a great start on advertising, networking and promoting your site. Go the extra mile, build a blog that provides helpful information on your products, find some affordable SEO services such as those who will help you release great PR’s for reduced cost. Remember those micro sell sites you exercised your options on? Check thoroughly through those for some quick and incredibly affordable marketing and advertising options as well.

They may not shoot your store to the top all by themselves, but with your own efforts and theirs combined you will have definitely begun to make your mark as an online seller.

Good Luck!

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.

How to Protect Your Digital Brand Online

One of the first things the small or large business manager needs to learn is how to protect your digital brand online. Your digital brand is comprised of everything that is online about you so it is important to know what is already there before going any further.

Damage Control

One of the easiest things to do is to go to a search engine such as Google and perform a search for your name. Googling yourself will give you a good place to start if you need to do some housekeeping on the web. You may be surprised at what you find and see the need to start performing some damage control.

Social networking is the way many people communicate these days and almost everyone has or has had a Facebook or MySpace account possibly beginning in their college days. If these sites do not project you or the brand that you represent in the way that you would like to be perceived, either clean up the site or take it down. Be aware that traces may remain on your friends’ pages.

Don’t Forget About the Good Old Days!

Go back through old history that you may have forgotten and delete comments and pictures that project you in a less than favorable light. You may still appear on your friends pages so if there is something particularly bad, contact your friend and ask them to remove it for you.

Training to Protect Your Digital Brand

When setting up social networking sites for your business, it is important that the people responsible for setting up these accounts realize their possible impact on the digital brand. Twitter can be one of the worst offenders as many business rush to have a brand presence on Twitter. An untrained employee can cause irreparable damage by tweeting unprofessional comments that may poorly reflect on the digital brand.

If you find untrue content on the web that is unflattering to your brand, you can ask the webmaster of the site to remove it. Many will do that just to avoid any possible legal consequences. Depending on your circumstances you may want to check the web for fake sites that are plagiarizing your content or products that can affect how people see your brand. The important thing is to stay informed so you can perform damage control.

Create a Positive Online Image

An online presence is a must for a brand to be successful in today’s competitive marketplace. A positive impact from your digital brand can be expected if you stay on top of the situation and take control. Make sure there are many positive images of your digital brand online which also helps bury any bad content that may exist.

Make sure that those who are trusted with the responsibility of maintaining these social networks are aware of the language, tone, and values that you want your digital brand to project. This is how to protect your digital brand online and make it work for you.

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.

What is Groupon? How Does it work?

Groupon – a deal a day website, brings buyers and sellers together through a web and mobile application that offers the customers a great deal, while businesses get a large number of new customers.

Groupon Picture

The idea behind it is the power of group buying. The deal Groupon does with businesses specifies a minimum number of buyers. If enough people sign up, the deal will become active. If less than this minimum of people sign up, the deal is canceled. This way, businesses can offer great deals because they rely on valium.

The company offers one deal per day per a certain geographic location. It doesn’t cost the merchant a thing, but he has to share in the profits with Groupon. There are certain businesses that Groupon is staying away from; shooting ranges, abortion clinics, plastic surgeons and strip clubs, top their list.

The company sends scouts to different cities to research the businesses, and when they identify the potential, salespeople approach the business. By helping shoppers save while letting local businesses advertise, Groupon seems to have tapped into the intersection of the internet’s social media and physical shopping.

An example – 1,600 people in one day bought skydiving lessons in Chicago, getting a 44% discount on the $229 price. The company making the offer normally sells 6,000 lessons per year.  On one day they got 25% of their yearly business. They sacrificed some profit, but got lots of new customers.

And it sure feels like they hit a nerve. Groupon’s spectacular rise since 2008 turned meteoric in 2010. What started in Chicago with the first deal – half price off pizza in the building where their office was located – turned within a few short years into an amazing success. Groupon has expanded to 35 countries, growing their subscriber base by 2,500%, from 2 million to over 50 million.

With the sign of this huge success came attempts to buy them out. In October Yahoo was rumored to try and buy Groupon for $3 billion. A month later, Google offered $5.3 billion. Google was rejected in December 2010.

They now have a few competitors:  LivingSocial, Group Swoop and Scoop Street have tried to cash in, as have social networks like Facebook, with Places, and Foursquare, with Deals.

The main market of Groupon is composed of young, educated women. Deals are often focused on health, fitness and beauty.

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.

Social Brand Visibility: Connotea (Great Academic Tool)

Connotea has been in operation since 2004, but is not widely known because it caters mainly to scientists, researchers and clinicians’ communities. It is a free management service; it is a social network bookmarking service, similar to del.icio.us where users can save links to their favorite sites.

Although it is aimed primarily for the scientific community, it is growing among other academic disciplines; it incorporates special functions for academic resources.

Connotea is linked to a number of scientific sites and collects metadata for the page or article being bookmarked, including author and publication information. When saving a page to Connotea, users tag the articles with keywords of their choice so they can retrieve the information easily.

To make it easier on researchers the site has the capability to export the references in RIS format to a citation manager program, which means it is possible to save references without bibliographic software. It also allows easy sharing of bookmarks with colleagues.

As for the social aspect of this website, it recognizes what people have bookmarked and alerts them to related material. It also provides RSS feeds that allow users to keep track of interesting articles published by the websites they have bookmarked.

Each user can comment any number of times on any bookmark in his library, and comments from different users are combined to display a chronological, and conversational, thread about a resource.

References can be accessed from any computer, and can be saves with just one click, without leaving the page you are viewing at the moment.

Essentially you can create a library of important articles for research and study. There is nothing to download to your computer and there is no need for cutting and pasting. References can be public, private or shared with a selected group.

As of November 2010, Connotea had about 40,000 visitors a month and has 6,557 sites linking in.

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.

Social Brand Visibility: Multiply, Social Media for Grown Ups

Another way to look at, and benefit from, social media aside from the ubiquitous Facebook, is a site called Multiply – a social media site that has been in existence since 2004 and is just now gathering speed, after many improvements and modifications.

While Facebook is hip, young and aimed at teenagers and young adults, Multiply’s average users range from the late 20s to the upper 30s. Facebook wants to help you increase the number of your virtual friends, while Multiply aims to help you stay in touch with your existing, real friends, colleagues and family.

This social network grew nicely throughout the years. As of September 2010 it has 20 million unique visitors. A small fraction of what Facebook has, but not to be discounted with.

Multiply allows its users an easy upload of pictures, videos and music. Each user who has a contact list on the site, gets his own page which he can customize and on which he can post text or media. It means having the capability to have your own blog among the users of the community. Another helpful feature allows users categorize their contact lists to groups like family, friends, co-workers etc. and decide, very easily, who gets to see the new post.

Since 2009, Multiply is offering a premium service. For about $10 a year, the site can be used as a digital locker. You can upload all your family photos and videos (up to 20 minutes long), in high resolution, to safeguard your family memories and other important pictures. That service allows for easy access and sharing. You can import all your photos from Google’s Picasa and Microsoft’s Photo gallery.

Of course the social side should not be forgotten. Easy access to friends, family or schoolmates. Easy sharing of videos and links.

Multiply has a Social Newsreader. This is a collection of not only the user’s posts but those of his contacts and groups. It is customizable, so users can set filters to show specific posts only.

There’s a section for reviews, recipes etc. and a marketplace to showcase items people want to trade or sell.  You can have your own business page on the site, easily upload photos of your products and connect to your website.

A social media site for adults who don’t feel their co-workers need to see all the baby’s new pictures. But grandma will surely be delighted.

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.

Can you buy Reviews? The new marketing tools to beat the system?

There are many sources for reviews on the web to help your product or service get the attention it deserves. It is also a great way to find out what the public thinks about you.  Some are well known like Amazon.com but there are many others that can be a valuable resource too. Some of the sources for reviews are targeted towards specific products but most are varied.

If you are an author of a self published book you might want to check out Kirkus Discoveries reviews. This can help your book get noticed by readers and includes a review of your book on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. If chosen your book review may be featured in a monthly newsletter that is read by journalists, school librarians, publishers, and booksellers. To have your book read and reviewed can be quite pricey, starting at $425, but the rewards can be great.

Another site that is recommended by many people is ReviewMe.com. They do not allow advertisers to require positive reviews but note that at the worst case most reviewers will only give constructive criticism even if they are not particularly pleased with the product.

SponsoredReviews.com is another well rated source for reviews. They have a great selection of blog writers and start their pricing at just five dollars per post. Smorty.com is another source that has strict requirements for their participating bloggers which should ensure that reviews draw in the right traffic to your product or service.

Many of the sources for reviews pay bloggers to write about your product and post it on their blog. There is also the opportunity for link backs through the information posted on the blogs. The more popular the blogs the more traffic you should receive from link backs.

There are many other sources for reviews that might be of interest; BuyBlogReviews.com, Linkworth.com, and ReviewParty .com are just a few of them. Reviews can add to your brand image so you want to connect with reviewers that will review you in a positive light.

There are many marketing tools on the web today and product and service reviews are one of the best. There is also a market for blog writers who don’t mind writing a review of products and services that they have tried and use. These sources for reviews will help you connect with people who want to tell people what they think about your company.

Beware:

Customers are not without intelligence, if you get caught with false reviews they will leave honest ones, especially with companies like yelp that have strict protocals to et your name be dragged through the mud.

Take A One Up! Lets look at how someone is using reviews in a positive light and pushing away the chance that you think its a fake review.

Petri Plumbing & Healting uses scanned copies of their review cards that have been hand written by their customers! It doesn’t stop there as they also have text copies of some of the reviews, likley for SEO purposes.

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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.

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