How To Brand Your Social Media For The Holidays

 

How to brand your social media for the holidaysIt is time to plan your social media branding for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Seeing as how the holidays are creeping up on us, you need to make sure that you have a rock solid plan for what to do to get your sales on over the coming months.

Branding Your Social Media For The Holidays

The first thing that you want to start with is doing a custom header for your social media properties. These pictures are a great opportunity if you are actually selling something that is appropriate for Christmas buying!

In this one we just added fun Christmas lights to the regular banner we use for our EbookNerds Twitter account.

Tips:

If you are just having Christmas lights added to to your normal design, head over to Fiverr.com and pay just $5 to get them added!

Cute Christmas Lights For Twitter

Marketing Branding Christmas Social Media

Tips:

Make sure to click the photos and make a call to action with a link

See some in action: Cleans Green Facebook Page & Tara Jacobsen Google Plus (click the pictures to see the links)

Take Advantage Of Native Social Media Properties

Some of the sites like Twitter and Facebook allow you to “Pin” a picture to the top. Make sure that you are taking advantage of this opportunity by keeping one of your Christmas sales messages at the top!

Social media for christmas - pin it where you can

Formatting Your Ads

Make sure you have both versions of each picture to share on sites that like horizontal pictures and also vertical pictures.

You need to have both horizontal and vertical versions of pictures

Get LOTS of Ads

It is nice to have a good mix of different ads that you can share over the course of November and December.

Have a nice mix of all kinds of different marketing banners

* * *

How to brand your social media for the holidays

The Best SEO and Social Media Tools

The Best SEO and Social Media ToolsWe find all kinds of great social media tools and SEO analysis sites, but I am not sure we have ever shared them with you!

There are literally thousands of tools that can show you all different aspects of what is working and not working with your internet marketing efforts. We have broken them down into different sites with various functions.

If you have one that I missed, please feel free to send me a message or leave a comment below. I am happy to find new tools myself and would definitely consider adding it if it really helps!!

Quick Sprout – SEO and Social Shares

four-stars

Quick Sprout - Social Media and SEO ToolsSprout social is a free SEO and Social Media analysis tool. Functionally, you put in your website and up to three competing websites. They return three kinds of data.

Website Analyzer: Speed, SEO warnings including that my descriptions are too long (they all say that, I am fine with it), backlink counter, social media shares (this seems pretty neat but the numbers for Facebook and LinkedIn seem low and the Pinterest number (0) is factually incorrect), top keywords and SEO recommendations.

Social Media Analysis: This is pretty cool! You can see each of your posts, pages and category pages, seeing where you might want to share more socially or find out which of your content has the best social reach.

Competitor Analysis: A general overview of how your SEO and other bits stack up against your competition. Not that helpful BUT you could do the main search for each of your competitors and then compare to see where they have chinks in their armor that you could exploit.

Neatest Feature: You can download your report in PDF or Excel format.

>> Check out Quick Sprout

Buzzsumo – Social Media Sharing

five-stars

Buzzsumo Social Media Monitoring ToolsBuzzsumo allows you to put a keyword or domain in to find out what has been shared the most in the category you have selected. I started with “Marketing” and that was absolutely too broad a term to produce any sort of actionable results.

“Social Media Marketing” returned more targeted results BUT they were all from the top players in the industry (Social Media Examiner, Entrepreneur, Mashable) but there were 63 pages of results and by going to further down pages I was able to find some new places to get content to share and find out what the social communities where interested in.

It is really interesting to note which are popular on LinkedIn (10 ways to generate media buzz for your startup) and which are Twitter darlings (A social media myth debunked). Depending on your main social site target, you would want to title your posts in very different ways to attract the attention of the various networks.

You can search both by keyword and find the top influencers in that category.

Neatest Feature: There are some really neat filtering tools. Sort by date, type of post and even see “regular people” instead of just the usual suspects.

>> Check out Buzzsumo

Hashtagify.me – Twitter Tool

five-stars

Hashtagify Twitter ToolsThis is one of my all time favorite Twitter tools. It has a similar technology to what google used to have with showing the connections to various keywords, just this time with hashtags.

Functionally you put in a Hashtag and it shows the most related hashtags. For “marketing” we got leadership, branding, advertising, SEO, socialmedia, social, sales, and business. Clicking socialmedia I got SM, SMM, infographic, facebook, seo, twitter. It is a really great way to find out which hashtags are related!

The top influencers section shows the top 6 people ranking for the hashtag and has a great little flyover that shows how many followers each has. This is great for finding out who to follow on Twitter and to have rock solid data for who to use in your targeted Twitter paid marketing efforts.

>> Check out Hashtagify.me

Ritetag – Twitter Tool

Three Stars

Rite Tag - Social Media ToolsTo log in you use the open auth login through Twitter. They then rate each of your posts as to how likely they are to be shared.

X – if you don’t have a hashtag. This is why they got three stars. If you have no hashtags it is always an X, even if you are mentioning someone with authority. I get it, it is important to have hashtags but not helping with any data if there is no hashtag it doesn’t actually mean that “this tweet has no chance of being discovered”.

! – are infrequent or overused tags. The nice thing is they give you a drop down recommendation of other related hashtags that would be better to use next time. I used “podcasting” and they recommended that I use “podcast” instead.

✓ – is the best one! This is a post that is using a good hashtag that is not overused or under represented.

>> Check out Rite Tag

Click To Tweet – Twitter Tool

five-stars

Click to tweet social media toolsAlright, I gave Click To Tweet a five star BEFORE I looked around and found out that they have a wordpress plugin. Now I am sort of wishing that I had a six star graphic.

Functionally what happens is that you pick a phrase that you want people to tweet out and the super snazzy plugin builds the tweet automatically. You can include hashtags and encourage the sharing of your content.

If your content is good and you have a good community that likes to share your stuff you can get some good reach by using Click To Tweet. This is the code that you use to insert your tweet into the “text” tab of your wordpress site.

[Tweet “AWESOME READING :: The Best SEO and Social Media Tools #SEO #SMM”]

BEST “do one thing” plugin or website ever!

>> Check out Click To Tweet

Retweet Lab – Twitter Tool

four-stars

retweet lab - social media and twitter toolsRetweet Lab, provided by Hubspot, has A LOT of data to help analyze your tweets to see what is working and what is not. You can see:

  • Which day of the week is best
  • Which hour of the day is best
  • Tweet length
  • Reading grade level
  • Sentiment
  • Capitalization percentage (how many words have capital letters)
  • Most retweetable words
  • Hashtags
  • Quotations
  • Links
  • Calls to action (asking for “please retweet” “please RT” or “retweet if”)
  • Questions

Neatest Feature: There is a graph that shows which of your words are retweeted the most. Mine are #1, conversions, wrong, #smallbiz, resource, and practices. This is powerful data to find out how to generate even more retweets to your content!

>> Check out Retweet Lab

Trending Sites

There is a value to know what is trending now on search and the social sites. You may be able to jump into something that is happening right now. That said, avoid adding to conversations about disasters, deaths or other bad things. More so, think about when the lights when out for the Superbowl a couple of years ago and Oreo jumped into the conversation.

  • Google Trends – This is great for finding out what is trending across the Google-verse.
  • Trendsmap – Pretty cool tool for seeing what is trending on Twitter geographically.
  • Twitter.com – You can modify your Twitter trends a bit changing your location to get more geographically targeted trends. Simply click “change” on the left hand side box.
  • Google Plus Explore – A really good look into what hashtags are trending on Google+.
  • Popular on Pinterest – See the movers and shakers among the Pinterest pins.

Social Sharing Sites

  • Bufferapp.com – We cannot recommend any site more highly for sharing to your social networks. There is a free version but we do pay the $10 per month to have 12 accounts.
  • Hootsuite – When we have to have date control of our posts we use Hootsuite.
  • Social Oomph – Schedule tweets and other social posts.

MISC Sites We Like For Data Analysis

  • Uber Suggest – Super tool for figuring out related keywords. Could possibly use Google search for this but they do a nice job of grouping them together by category.
  • Google+ Ripples – Great for seeing how content is shared across Google+.
  • Pinterest Web Analytics – We haven’t used this one yet (because we are using Pinterest as personal accounts) but looks like it could have some amazing data.
  • Social Searcher – Kind of a fun search engine that returns results from Facebook, Twitter and Google+ side by side.

New Media Marketing

New media marketing ebook

New Media Marketing Strategies: Oh The Tangled Web We Weave

There is a lot of information out there about how to set up your social and websites, but very little about how to actually work them to increase your brand reach and sales funnel. This book is an in-depth guide on how to dominate your niche.

Throughout we cover the background for each topic so you know what worked before and what you should avoid now, tips for using the sites including universal best practices and in-depth marketing strategies.

get-it-now-amazon

Social Media Marketing Success – Using Lists To Stop Driving Yourself Nuts!

Social Media Marketing Success - Using ListsI have to say that the amount of content that I am exposed to daily is overwhelming. My day starts with checking the news on my USA Today app, going through email (not much news there, mostly spam I have to delete) and then I head over to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Klout and Pinterest. If I spent just 15 minutes doing each one, I would  have wasted 2 hours out of my day right off the bat (and 15 minutes would be a low estimate for some of them!)

So how do I make sure that my time is spent productively? Using lists makes it MUCH easier to fly through my day! On each of the social sites, I add people and companies to lists of things that I want to see and interact with, cutting my social time down to about half an hour and providing ONLY the content I want….

…which leads me to a question that you MUST ask yourself. Are you producing content that someone would add to a list? This is different across social media and here are a couple of things to think about:

Facebook – FB, being inherently social requires that you share a bit of yourself, your hobbies, funny bits and maybe some good quotes. FB is NOT the place to go on a rant, post provocative info or blast the other political party. You HAVE to remember that half of the county is Republican so sending out a snarky Sarah Palin post will make about half of your friends unhappy. Thinking of posting a “funny” gay bashing cartoon, most people have a friend or family member that is gay and while they may chuckle along with you, it doesn’t do anything for either of yours’ social standing. Something to remember…they may not unfriend you for doing this and you may have the feeling that everyone agrees with you. This can be because the people who have grown tired of your rantings have hidden you from their wall and now only people who agree with you entirely are seeing your posts.

Twitter – Twitter is simple. People are not necessarily wanting to see your whole breadth as a person, more-so they are looking for great information about single topics like marketing (YAY!), weight loss, business, camping, goal setting and the like. We have found that having a TIGHT Twitter timeline can be a very powerful thing. One of our Twitter accounts has gained over 500 followers in a little less than 2 months by focusing exclusively on the topic of Search and Search Engine Optimization. Having such a tight account makes it easy for someone to feel good about following us, they KNOW that they will get only information that they would be interested in.

LinkedIn – This one is a enigma to me. Generally all I see is recruiting, nationally recognized figures and large corporation content. So roll with it! Figure out how to post things that they might find interesting AND share the great national content that they produce. ALL posts on LinkedIn should be business related in some fashion.

Google Plus – Google Plus is for search! You can be a little more free wheeling with Google Plus because mostly people are not interacting with you on the level that Facebook requires. The main benefit of Google Plus is to grow large networks and then share content from your website or blog with keywords attached in the comments. This will make your posts show up in the “regular” Google search and is a super powerful tool!!!

Pinterest – The blessing of Pinterest is that you can have as many boards with varied interests that you like. The only thing that I make sure is that I have business related boards at the top and bottom of my profile. I feel like personal people (say people who follow my scrapbooking board will be more likely to “dig” for relevant info while business people are looking to look at the top and scroll to the bottom to see if they “like” me enough to follow my profile.

This is all great, but how can using lists for your social media marketing increase your effectiveness? I told you about all these social sites because I think it is important to know the FOCUS of the social media property before developing lists! Having a great list on Facebook will not automatically translate to a great list on Twitter!

Lists On Social Media Sites

Facebook – Let’s start with 800 lb. gorilla in the room! Facebook is nice and can be a really good site to build relationships and get referrals from. That said, I think that there is a really strategic way to increase your influence on Facebook with lists…

  • Profile lists – Your friends and family. If you are using FB for business, it can be VERY had to find the posts that you “really” want to see (like those from your Daddy and husband). With this in mind, you need to make a list of Friends and Family that you can check at will without waiting for Facebook to show them in your timeline.
  • Profile lists – Business friends. Now this is still a list of real people, not businesses. These would include key influencers you are targeting, clients, referral partners and basically anyone who you want to connect with business-wise.
  • Profile lists – Pages. Now this is where it gets powerful. Facebook thinks that comments from humans are more important than comments from pages so you can really help boost and make an impression on the page owner if you have a targeted list of business pages. Just remember, A LOT of these pages are managed by social media managers so you may not get as big a bang for your bucks as you might on say, Twitter. But still worth-while!
  • Profile lists – Groups. Same as pages, just groups.
  • Page lists – Pages. As your page, you can make lists of complimentary businesses, other local businesses and industry leaders who are using a page instead of a profile (pages can only interact with other pages – they can’t talk or comment to people although they could share a post). It is really powerful to interact as the page as this is one of the primary ways you can get likes now-a-days.

Because Facebook limits what you see on your wall, it is extremely important to have these kinds of interactions available through your pages and posts lists.

Twitter – AMAZING! Okay, I am biased because I like the Twitter so much, but Twitter lists are GREAT for finding and sharing (retweeting) information from your key influencers (again, industry peeps, clients, prospects and referral partners). Here are some reasons to do Twitter lists…

  • Filtering – There is SOOOO much information flying around on Twitter that without making lists, you cannot possibly find the great needles in the haystacks.
  • Retweeting – This is the highest compliment that you can give on Twitter. Sharing someone’s post is a great way to attract their notice.
  • Real People – Many Twitter accounts are actually the real person! This is a way to get access to people that you might never have a chance to talk with in “real life”.
  • Finding Content – There is A LOT of great stuff on Twitter that you can save to share for later on your social networks. That said, without having lists of types of content you will have a hard time finding anything good.

Pinterest – The cool thing about Pinterest is that lists are kinda-sorta built right in. By following boards instead of people, you will get only the “stuff” they post that is of interest to you. That said, there are no lists on Pinterest yet which is a real bummer. Moving right along…

Google Plus – You can easily make lists in Google Plus – they are called Circles and Google has made this easier than any of the other social networks. One thing to note about Google Plus circles is that you should try to limit them to 99 people or pages so that you retain the ability to email out your posts when you have something important. Sharing content works much the same as on Facebook with some notable exceptions:

  • Profile lists – You can mix up pages and people in these lists although I try to make Biz Page lists and people lists to keep my lists cleaner. I definitely look at people stuff before I look at business page stuff.
  • Biz lists – One superior thing here is that pages CAN like and circle people.
  • Engagement – Like and share from both lists to your profile and business pages!

LinkedIn – The most disappointing lists. Sigh. So on LinkedIn you can make lists in your contact book to email out to your contacts but you cannot make true lists of real people that you are connected to. What you can do is use Interests > Pulse to get easy access to industry leaders and people who LinkedIn as deemed as “Influencers”.  These can include journalists, best selling authors or industry titans. You can also add “channels” like marketing or innovation and companies that are big enough to attract LinkedIn’s notice. It is a good way to get content to share, but honestly, I doubt that many of these are real people, more likely they are being managed by Social Media Managers and are not a great way to reach key people.

There you have it! Lists for the top social media sites (I also have lists for my feed reader and Klout but seriously, how long can this post get?) If you have any great info about making lists on social, please make sure to leave me a comment below!

The Biggest Social Media Marketing Mistake, Bar None

So today we are going to talk about the biggest social media marketing mistake companies are making, bar none. If you are one of those that wants to know the answer and move on, it is not including pictures in your blog and social posts.

For those of you who want more, I think this post is going to be a big eye opener today. I am going to show how people are using photos well and how some are crashing and burning.

No photos in Facebook intended posts:

MIT Facebook pageMost of you know about MIT (the technology school) and they have GREAT info, but according to this article, Sharing fast and slow: The psychological connection between how we think and how we spread news on social media by www.niemanlab.org, this is how their Facebook page ALWAYS looks. Full of the MIT Magazing logo. Sigh.

No matter how brilliant your “stuff” is, if you don’t have a picture in it for sharing purposes, you are going to be fighting the inertia of most people’s overwhelm. You need to have something snazzy to grab their attention.

How you post to Facebook

I was talking to a gal the other day who did not want to have to use the native platform (logging into Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and preferred to use a service like Bufferapp.com or Hootsuite.com to schedule ALL of her posts. The problem with that is that the photos pull in differently depending on HOW you post them and the size of the image in the post. Here are four different posts, which I tried valiantly to maintain in their actual size comparison.

the size of photos in facebook

The first one was posted the same way that the second one was (with Bufferapp.com) the only difference being that the photo in the post was SO tiny that it could not be pulled in as a large photo (it would have pixilated).

The second post is actually not all that bad, it is big enough to attract notice in the news feed and the photo in the post was large enough that Facebook could pull it in easily!

The third one is a good example of how Facebook crops photos. I would have been better off to move the words to the middle instead of having them at the top so that they would be more centered when FB pulled it in.

Lastly (and obviously the best), I hand posted this, uploading the photo and then adding the link and words. Using the native format (logging into Facebook to post) makes a huge difference and should be used when possible!

The mother of all photo sites, Pinterest

Before Pinterest, we all had sorta-kinda okay pictures in our our posts that matched what we were talking about. Smart marketers today though, know that having a call to action when a photo is shared will make a BIG difference in how much traffic you get through Pinterest.

How to make interesting pinterest photos

As you can see, photo one was from the old days and was marginally close to the topic of the article, Is Honest Affiliate Marketing An Oxymoron. That said, because Pinterest is a visual and sharing site, NO ONE has bothered to read the words below it. They do not know that this is a blog post and really the only sharing opportunity I have is if someone likes spiders – which will NOT help to get traffic to my marketing blog!

Both the other photos have a strong call to action and let the reader know what the accompanying site and photo are about. These get shared very well and currently Pinterest is the fourth largest source of traffic on my website.

Google Plus Photos and Posting

Last but not least photo-wise is Google Plus. The same holds true that uploading a photo directly to Google+ makes it big and beautiful (good for people). That having been said, I have heard around that if you post a picture and put a link in the comments it will not show up in Google search as this is a tactic they recognized that the spammers would use to game the system.

With that in mind, it is good to post your important posts a couple of times to Google Plus, once with the link pulling the photo and once with the photo loaded separately so that you can take advantage of both types of benefits.

Videos In Blog Posts

You may follow some of the big names in marketing like I do and one thing that I notice is that they have a screen capture of the video they are including AND the video. The reason for this is that they can then post and pin the photo, pulling directly from the post. If all they have is a video, that will not pull in when posting to Facebook and the like.

Pictures and videos in blog posts

thanks to MarieForleo.com for doing such a good job at this!

Why Photos Matter

The Biggest Social Media Marketing Mistake - It's All About The PicturesIf you are a pinner (using Pinterest) please click the “pin it” link. If I had just used the photos in this post, you would have been able to “pin” them BUT would not have had the option to pin the picture that tells what the post is actually about! That would have greatly decreased the number of shares I would get on Pinterest and would have hurt my efforts across all the social media sites.

Never have pictures been so important to marketing as they are today and I fully believe that the biggest social media marketing mistake people are making is to not take advantage of the power of photos or pictures in their posts.

>> If you are a small business owner and would like some help with your marketing, please check out our social media marketing services page!

Social Media Marketing For Small Biz FREE Email Course

Free Social Media Marketing CourseHave you ever scratched your head and wondered how the heck everyone else knows about social media marketing when you are just struggling to keep up with the latest trends. And forget marketing, you are just flailing around hoping that one of your posts will “go viral” and make all this hard work worth it.

Stop right now! Social media marketing involves strategy and you CAN learn how to make the social sites work for your business.

We have put together a course that will help you to understand HOW social works, WHY it is so important to your business and WHAT you should do to make the most of your time.

What this social media marketing FREE email course is not:

  • A how to set up your sites…you can get that on YouTube
  • A lame-o fluff piece…it is pure content that will help you figure out Social Media once and for all
  • This is not for using social media, well, socially…all emails and videos will show you how to use social to market your business

When you take this course you will get advanced marketing marketing concepts that marketing pros usually charge between three hundred and three THOUSAND dollars for!

How it works

Every other day you will get an email with another aspect of social media marketing. We stagger them so that you will have time to do a little work on each property before going to the next one!

What the course covers:

  • Why Social Media Is Important
  • B2B or B2C
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Website Integration
  • Drive To Email List

Sign Up Now!

we respect your privacy and never sell our list…please don’t forget to confirm your email address so you can start the course! (it can take a few minutes to come in and you might need to check your spam folder!)

Photo Sharing Sites and Apps – Small Business Internet Marketing

Photo sharing sites and apps are a big deal in small business internet marketing! These are the wave of the future so grab your board and let’s get going!

My prediction is that within 2 years and 9 months (used to say 3 years but gotta move the bar!) ALL initial contact with your company will be through a video or a photo first. Now, I am not one of those who say that tablets and phones will take over laptops and computers BECAUSE I am WORKING on a computer. Love to surf on my tablet, dabble on my phone, the portability of my laptop, but for hard-core, bang it out and get it done, I have to sit my happy ass in a chair and WORK. Not on teeny tiny screen but on a dual monitor, giant processor computer.

So what does this mean for me and using photo sharing apps on my phone? TODAY I draw the line in the sand and figure out which photo sharing app I will use! Here are the criteria:

  • Is it easy? This is my NUMBER ONE criteria. EVERYONE thinks I am a techy doll but I can’t even hook my mouse to my laptop so I need ease of use!
  • Can I get it from the phone to the other social sites I need (for this experiment I am considering primarily facebook, pinterest and google+ – just to let you cats know, NONE of them shared to either Pinterest or Google+ at this point so focused instead on facebook, twitter, flickr and email)
  • Can I take pictures on my phone and NOT have to email them to myself to access them online for other uses like blogging or posting later?
  • Who has recently been bought by whom? Instagram has recently been brought into the Facebook fold so this is where I will start BUT want to consider other options because I am not only interested in how it works with Facebook!

As with all of my experiments, this one will be highly unscientific and biased! I will be taking pictures in relatively bad lighting of a duck. SOOOO sorry to my actual social media friends who have to see this on my various walls! Let’s get started!

Instagram Photo Sharing App ReviewPhoto Sharing Sites and Apps – Instagram

I did not have to research to check this one out. Instagram was bought by Facebook and so will obviously be a good choice for them, BUT are they a good choice for my other needs?

First off, I downloaded the app to my phone. Rats, had it but forgot my login, heading to the website to see if I can reset it…yup! Easy peasy, they gave me my password AND username…score! No picture…I’m sure they want a picture picture but really, just use an avatar (clients could use a logo), not digging this so much but moving on (later was able to pull in my Facebook picture so it worked out okay after all).

Leaving the website and heading to my phone to take a picture of a duck! Push the camera button, bunches of style options come up,picked one, check mark, heads to screen to enable caption, twitter, facebook, email, flickr, tumbler, foursquare. Hooked up twitter, facebook, email and flickr for now. A note, facebook’s authorizer was in french (ack), I did NOT hook up foursquare because it hooks to my Facebook already.

DOH – forgot a caption so it said “just posted a photo” instead of what it is…trying again! Perfect.

Instagram Review – Okay, I like that I can tooggle on an off the the different services and there is an email with the picture as well as being able to pull it down from Flickr. BONUS – the instagram put the picture into my photos on my iPhone so I can upload it Pinterest from there if I wanted to! Seriously two thumbs up.

SUPER BONUS – if you are playing the Empire Avenue game, then one picture adds like a gagillion points (not sure how the points work so my numbers may be inflated).

TruHDR

Okay, this is an artsy fartsy one. It makes pictures look dimensional and I like to think that it makes me look like a brilliant photographer (I have ACTUALLY brilliant photographers all around me so I am a little touchy about this!).

So I took a picture of the duck, then went looking for the sharing bit, NOTHING! Hmmm maybe get creative? WOW!!! I could upload my artsy fartsy photo TO the Instagram and then share it on the ones that I had set up. Holy Buckets batman, have to see if I can find a good competitor to make this a fair race!

Photo Sharing Sites and Apps – Photoshop Express

Okay, take a picture of a duck…:) I am getting good at this! There are MANY more editing tools that I am used to from Photoshop like hue, saturation, cropping, etc. Have to say that I am not good at using a little tiny phone to edit pictures, if I was going to be manipulating them a lot, would probably take them down off the internet and do it on my computer.

Okay, BIG downer here!! I set it up so that I could share to facebook, email and flickr (no foursquare or twitter available like there is on Instagram although you could send it to TwitPix but damn, how many sites do I need?!?!!?) So all happy, hit the share button and I have to do them one at a time. Share to email, share to flickr, share to facebook, are you kidding me?!?!?!

For an editing software, I think this one is hand’s down, the winner. BUT for a click and go photo sharing app? Two thumbs down on this one.

Photo Sharing Sites and Apps – Wrapup

Okay, I am in. Instagram it is. Took a little over an hour to write this post and check out ALL of the different photo sharing app places and take pictures so if you budget an hour to learn it, you should get out the door super easy! The ONLY thing I can see ruining this commitment is if Facebook shuts off the other sharing features and turns Instagram into a Facebook only photo sharing site, but will keep the faith for now!

Advanced Social Media Marketing – How To Post To Facebook Timeline

As an advanced social media marketing whiz, I often say all chirpy, “it is so easy, it will just take you 5 seconds”. Well learning how to post pictures and links to the new Facebook timeline so they look pretty and attract attention REALLY is easy and shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to comprehend and a couple of minutes to do!

Advanced Social Media Marketing – Posting Links and Pictures To Your Timeline

Okay, this is not just a recap of what I talked about in the video, although I do think there are some good points there. When you are taking the time and energy to post to your Facebook Timeline, it can seem like doing ANOTHER step like pulling a picture is just TOO MUCH HASSLE!

So here are some REAL reasons to do it beyond just, it seemed like a good idea:

Advanced social media marketing - Timeline PhotosEngagement on pictures is MUCH higher than if you just post a link – as you can see in the picture, just the real estate you get for a photo rather than pulling in a link is amazing.

I timed doing it both ways…way one, finding a link and posting it from a past blog post on my website, 47.1 seconds. Finding a link and posting it from a past blog post, saving the picture and uploading it from my desktop instead of letting Facebook pull it in, 66.0 seconds. This amounts to a difference of 18.9 seconds (you don’t have to do the math…I used a calculator!)

So let’s say you are slower than I am and it takes you THREE TIMES as long, the minute that it will take to post a picture to your Facebook timeline instead of doing the pull in post can make a huge difference in how often it appears on your friends wall, in addition to how often they notice it and engage in your postings.

Looking for more advanced social media marketing help? Keep your peepers open for our advanced social media marketing training coming soon!

Vitriole and Hate On Facebook – Not Good For Small Business Marketing!

The level of vitriole and hate on Facebook is amazing to me as a human, let alone as a small business marketing expert. The reason for this post is to maybe let some business types know how their comments look from the other end of the Facebook AND to offer some suggestions about how to promote your agendas and beliefs in a positive way.

Hate on FacebookNotes about this post…1. I TRY not to be mad on the Facebook as it looks bad, that being said, I have occasionally (like yesterday) vented my anger at people who do not put their email address on their business cards or further back, people who spam on Facebook. I am not a saint, just a little more judicious about who I want to alienate on the Facebook and 2. No names were used and this is not about civil liberties, free speech or any other thing. This is about how you are perceived on social media by potential customers who would like to buy things from you or your company.

Hate On Facebook

So I took a little walk around the Facebook block today after seeing a post denigrating witches (a group I have some friends in). Now I know that this person is not thinking this is hate (because I know him well), but…heck it is hate. Here are some of the other things I found on Facebook this morning…

  • Last night, at Bible Study, I was thinking Islam is against homosexuality. Islam is against abortion. Christianity is against homosexuality. Christianity is against abortion. I’m totally confused about just what religion, if any, oblahblah really follows!
  • I will never pay any taxes to support abortion in any form. It would have to be over my dead body! I use to wonder how these things happened in red china ,the ussr, and nazi germany. I have not lived this long to ever give in to that. I have worked all my life helping and saving lives, not only as a nurse,but volunteering as a red cross nurse and helping pregnant girls etc. How can this evil be growing in our once beautiful country????
  • Criminalizing abortion again? Let’s not let this country be run by over-zealous bible thumping bigots with no sense of practicality and flexibility.
  • This is a little old but someone needs to tell me that they agreed with this. 1.2 Billion of our tax dollars given to black farmers only! How come this was never reported in the Lame street liberal media?
  • Bill O’Reilly – #1 among the most misinformed people in America. The perfect love story.
  • Gays are demons, swine-bandits and crocodiles. In a sane society, they would all be hunted down by the police and brought before a court of law for prosecution. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case in Europe and America, but virtue still reigns in Africa. Perhaps it is not too late for the west to return to the path of righteousness?
  • your representative is leading the charge to get those queers in uniform back in the closet where they belong.
  • For somebody to say this is repugnant enough, but to take away our rights by law and claim to be doing it FOR us, shows once again the hypocricy of the GOP party.

Those were just a few of the comments I found and they represented the opinions of people who…

  • hate gays
  • hate republicans
  • are anti abortion
  • are pro abortion
  • think the liberal media is biased
  • think fox news is the worse network ever
  • truly believe the GOP is killing america
  • or think democrats are killing america
  • god is good, if you are not following his teachings you are going to perish in the fires of hell
  • say that bible thumpers have no place in america
  • actually said that blacks and women should go back to their place
  • want the world to be how it was when they were young
  • or think that there is some kind utopia where we could all live in peace if big business would just go away
  • keep the guns, shoot the unwilling
  • lose the guns, they are the root of all evil
  • execute all rapists and child molesters immediately
  • work to fix the problem of child abuse by spending money on programs to help the needy

Whew…that was…well disturbing to say the least. So what EXACTLY am I trying to say here? I am saying that as small business owners, doing small business marketing, you CANNOT afford to alienate potential customers by sounding off with hate filled rhetoric on your Facebook wall.

I KNOW, it seems like everyone agrees (or disagrees) with you. I KNOW you have the right to have opinion and voice them. But here are some fun statistics….there are a little more than 300 million people in the United States, in the last election (2008), 49% of the men in this country who voted voted for Obama (our Democratic nominee) and 48% voted for McCain (our Republican nominee). A poll done at the end of 2011 showed that 78% of the respondents self-identified themselves as Christians. Some women are pro-choice, some are pro-life. Some people are gay supporters, some are anti-gay. To my uneducated eye, it really seems to be about 50-50 on just about every issue out there.

As a small business marketing pro, I can tell you that most of my customers cannot afford to alienate half of the potential buying pool for their product or service. Image you are a plumber who works on pipes. Are you going to turn down a job because the client is against your political idealism, is it even going to come up or do they just need their dishwasher fixed.

Believe me, I DO understand idealism and sticking to your beliefs, but do you really have to share them with the buying public?

So, how would you be able to share you viewpoint and beliefs without running afoul of what I am starting to feel like, the marketing nazi? BE POSITIVE!!!! And I mean positive without that snarky thing after, so no, “dogs are great! and all you cat lovers who think you know the right kind of pet are stupid and uneducated”.

Two of my favorites who do this AMAZINGLY well are GodVine and the World Wildlife Fund.

GodvineGodvine

What I think they do well is spread the good parts of Christianity, the love and acceptance and GREAT THINGS HAPPENING, without judgement and stating that their way is the only way. While I have not seen the inside of a church in a while, I do visit Godvine almost every day, watching a great coming home story or a dog rescue. They epitomize how to share a message without having to hit people over the head with it! (PS – I shared the story about the dog and his military dad on my Facebook wall).

Klout For Good WWFKlout and WWF

Okay, this another favorite, Klout and WWF (World Wildlife Fund) paired up (IE – the WWF did a marketing campaign with Klout). I LOVE that this has a real marketing component! So the thing that jumped out at me was the free FB Timeline photos you could download. Happy pictures of polar bears and pandas without one dying or starving animal in sight (I KNOW, shock and fear sell, but not to me, I am all about the positive!) The idea is that Facebook peeps can use the photos with the WWF logo on the picture, a subliminal reminder to help and support the WWF.

So now I feel like I have written war and peace about the subject of HATE ON FACEBOOK. I am really hoping that getting this off of my chest will make a difference in how my small biz peeps post to their Facebook accounts! Happy, not hateful. Sunshiney, not snarky. Just remember that no one wants to work with someone who is perpetually angry so be aware of what you look like from the other side!

Social Media Marketing – What You Should Be Doing Now

Social media marketing is HARD! I have never worked with a marketing platform that changes more than this giant kerfuffle of sites and places that you need to have a presence on, oh and they change it constantly so that you have to be on top of what you should be doing now!

A little bit of social media marketing background. I just checked the “when did you join Twitter” website and it says I started my Taradactyl twitter account on November 30,2007. WOW, That is going on 5 years now and over that time I gathered well over 10,000 followers. The reason I start there is that this was my first foray into using social media as a marketing platform. According to facebook, I started over there July 21, 2008 after talking with a friend who said it might have some further marketing implications than posting pictures of kitties and puppies.

Upon discovering that social media marketing would work for me, we decided that we would take our mad marketing skills and start doing social media for clients. At the start, this was relatively easy as it was just a dorky LinkedIn profile, a Facebook Profile and a Twitter account that was fed by a blog. BOY did we think we were cutting edge, and dang, looking back was it easy-peasy compared to today. Basic graphics and post some stuff, and BANG you are done.

Today I have to say that if you are NOT a graphics artist or video maven, social media, website design and blogging are out of the reach of most small business owners. We have targeted for our clients the top social media sites that are effective for small business marketing today (I will break out what we recommend below, just remember that if you are reading this tomorrow it may have changed again by then…:)

Blogging for social media marketing

Blogging for social mediaI am a HUGE proponent of blogging for social media marketing. I have this site and get SCADS of opportunities from having a big robust site with lots of content. People find us through SEO (search engine optimization), I have a place to put my speaker stuff, talk about entrepreneur marketing and discuss small business and social media marketing. Because I take the time to write good content and have a strong opinion, people read what I write and I have become an expert in my industry.

Now let’s talk about blogging for the small biz owner. Seriously, who has the time to post 1-2 times per week, getting “pinable” pictures in there for your additional social media sharing (more about “pinability” later)? Additionally, aggregator sites like networked blogs and rss graffiti no longer have the impact of posting so you need to pop over to Facebook and the like to post your entry.

Having a blog means having graphics, the overall look and feel, marketing buttons, and blog post pictures.

Facebook for small business marketing

Social media marketing facebook page and profileOkay, I go back and forth on this one. Originally, we used the customer’s profile (human) to do marketing, then we switched when Facebook launched business pages, and now I am in a quandary. I REALLY like some of the new features of the business pages and you HAVE to have one like the old yellow page ad was mandatory, BUT…and I think this is a HUGE but for our small business people (not corporations, small biz owners) people don’t like to talk to your brand, they like to talk to YOU.

What does this mean marketing-wise? We manage lots of different types of social media, restaurants, resorts, doctors, realtors, art sites, etc. Some of them have great results talking as a page (our restaurants are especially effective this way), but the realtors, spa owners and the like bomb as pages. If you are considering hiring a new hairdresser (ladies, you KNOW what a big deal this is), you don’t care as much about the salon as the service and personality of hairdresser right?) This makes it hard. How much personal information to share while still keeping a professional demeanor.

I share mostly marketing on my Tara Jacobsen profile but do have pictures of my puppy after having tater tots. The tater tots post got a lot of likes and comments, while some of my marketing posts fall on the floor with a thud. Seriously, most people are on the Facebook for socializing and learning more about people, and not so much for buying stuff.

Does this mean you can ignore a page and only use your person, nope! It could change again and you would be WAY behind the curve AND it is just a cost of doing business today. You have to have a presence, both as a person and a business.

Twitter for small business marketing

Social media profile - taradactylEveryone who loves twitter, raise their hand. Okay, the two of you can put your hands down now. But seriously, twitter is a GREAT platform for social media marketing. It allows you to post your message, target specific geographic or cultural users and computers love twitter.

WHAT? Why would computers like Twitter? Twitter has what is called an “open API” which means developers can make programs that pull from twitter. You can hook your blog directly to Twitter and there is nothing to stop it from appearing to all your followers. You can use hashtags (#) to mark your posts as being in #denver or about #marketing.

It is also easy to connect with people on the Twitter. I have “talked” with best selling authors, my marketing heroes and even a politician (accidentally) once.

Google+ for social media marketing

google plus small business marketingGoogle+ is still in it’s infancy. The thing to know about it is that THE GOOGLE owns it. Seriously. Right now, that is all that we need to worry about. You need a business page, you need a profile and you need to post on there.

The other thing you want to do is to start circling people (same as adding friends on the Facebook). You can have 5,000 people in your circles and can target different industries.

As a business tool, right now, it is not that great, but it will be!

YouTube for small business marketing

Videos, that’s right, videos are going to be half of the backbone of the new internet within a few years. People do not have time to read anymore, they want to watch a quick 2 minute video that gets the point across. Think about it, what if I had a video right below here where I TELL you my top pics instead you reading them. I can tell you that I had to CRAM all of this into 2 minutes which was not easy BUT now I will have a place to put a backlink to my blog and you get to “hear” my picks instead of reading them!

Pinterest for small business marketing

Social Media Marketing - PinterestAgain, this is a rather new entry to social media marketing scene and I have heard from more than one person that Pinterest is for women. Not so and I will tell you this one or one like it will be a hot player in the next few years.

So what is pinterst? It is a visual photo sharing site. You can make “boards” with your interests and save things to look at later. So let’s talk about this. I have a board with marketing (of course), a board for good website buttons for future reference, a board on crafting and a board on bees. Most of my repins (sharing on Facebook) come from my success quotes, but I am building a circle of friends on here just like I did on Twitter and Facebook in the past.

WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP

Okay, I know for many of you who have reached the bottom of this page, doing this type of marketing is out of the question time-wise and ability wise (believe me, I KNOW, I was sad this morning thinking about all the changes we would have to make our clients new Facebook business page timelines next week!!!)

That having been said, if you think this is too much to handle and would like to find out how to hire a top-notch social media marketing company, give us a call today to find out more!!! 727-415-9165

Social Media Marketing Mistakes – Not A Good Start

Social media marketing mistakes come in all shapes and sizes but one the major pitfalls is have a (REALLY) bad start! This paired with having your security settings dialed so far back that no one can see anything will really hurt your social media marketing efforts!

social media marketing mistakes - no photoSocial Media Marketing Mistakes – No Photo

When you first set up your accounts, they want you to use a photo of yourself, an avatar that you use frequently (like I do) or even in a pinch your company logo.

If you have no photo uploaded on your profile, you will show the default for that website (this picture is of my FourSquare account and the people who want to be my friends). If you were looking at this, what would your impressions be? I connected with the happy gentleman, Robert B. and did NOT connect with the one that was blatantly marketing their logo (badly) or the two people who didn’t bother to have a photo or even a bad logo.

Social media marketing mistakes part 2Facebook and photos. Okay, we have LOTS of clients and many of them do not want to use their own photo on Facebook. They use a picture of their dog (strange), a picture of their child (creepy to be friending a 5 year old), a quote or other things that give no indication of who they are. BELIEVE ME, I hate every photo ever taken of me so years ago I started using an avatar of me for everything. Not the best answer, but at least branding-wise I am consistent and there is a human face for people to gravitate towards.

As you see in this picture, the two top people did not have a photo so I did NOT “friend” them.

Small Business Marketing Entrepreneur Doodle

Social media marketing servicesOkay, most small biz owners are overwhelmed, disgusted or confused by social media. What is it, why do they need it and how should they fit it into their already busy schedule?

We work with small biz owners to help implement a social media marketing plan that will work for their company! Find out more about our social media marketing services or call today to talk with real live human being! 727-415-9165

Small Business Marketing Entrepreneur Doodle

People who are approving your friend requests make these types of decisions in a split second, one at a time so Step 1 – make sure your social media profile has a photo, preferably of a person.

Starting Your Social Media With No Info

Social media marketing mistakes - no info

Okay, this one really hit a nerve with me for the blatant problems I see. While his identity has been hidden to protect him, I do not consider him innocent of the crime of bad social media!

  • First off, he looks like serial killer! The picture taken from his computer with the light behind him is TERRIBLE and threatening!
  • Secondly, he hasn’t added any posts before circling me so there is no reason for me to add him to my circles (a real missed opportuntity)
  • Finally, I checked his about us page and there was nothing on there except his home town – fail

Okay people, I have been doing this internetty thing for a while now and was fortunate to start early when it didn’t matter if you posted good stuff or had good pictures or even that you were interesting, but times have changed and you have to put at least a little effort to get any results.

Social Media Marketing Mistakes – Bad Privacy Settings

Social media marketing mistakes - bad privacy settingsI KNOW you have heard all the “stranger danger” talk on the Facebook about how if you don’t have all of your privacy settings dialed back to the nth degree murderers and thieves will be able to steal your identity, plunder your home and ravish your wife.

Okay, a little dramatic but seriously, the other day someone sent out a “DANGER, DANGER” message that people could see your phone number on Facebook if you didn’t set your privacy right. Okay…my phone number is on my website, my business cards and my marketing materials. Having some Facebook people see it too is not that big a deal. (in fact I wrote a whole post about this you might want to read Small Business Marketing and Facebook Privacy Settings if you would like to find out more)

Seriously, does this lady think that I will just approve her friend request with knowing anything about her. No hometown, no interests, no work, no nothing? NOT!

So in conclusion, don’t be “that guy” and make these social media marketing mistakes. If you are using social media for your small business, make sure you take a little time, look over your stuff and see if you need to make some tweeks to increase your effectiveness!

Facebook New And Improved Friend Lists! Social Media Marketing

SO glad Facebook rolled out their new and improved friend lists! Social media marketing is hard enough without fighting the network’s algorithms to see content and have people to interact with!

Facebook Improved Friend Lists - Social media marketingSo what does this mean to us as marketers? For me, it means getting to see MUCH more of what is going on with people who are important to growing my business, keeping clients happy and more!

Client Example - I have a “Clients” list, knowing that their child had a great day at soccer may not be vital to our business relationship, BUT sometimes they do post things that are important to acknowledge. Being able to pop in and check what my clients are talking about is one of the things I like about Google Plus!

Additionally, I can keep and eye on what prospects are talking about and jump in with helpful ideas, which COULD lead to them hiring my company for their social media marketing services.

Check out Facebook’s Improved Friend List Post

To me this is a gamechanger for Facebook IF the majority of the 500 million users figure out how to use it! Because Facebook so severely limits the posts that show up in the recent wall, views of client’s posts have dropped dramatically. Here is a great post about how using Hootsuite can decrease your posts edge rank.

As with everything new on the social networks, we will have to see how this works for increasing interaction, BUT I have to say that it is definitely a step in the right direction. I am SERIOUSLY PRO the new Facebook Friend list changes!

Do Bad Social Media Marketing “Tricks” Actually Work

I am a honest to goodness marketer, in the trenches every day and working hard to do the best for our professional clients. But every now and then I think about putting a black hat on and seeing if any of these social media marketing tricks actually work!

Bad social media marketing tricksDisclaimer: These are actually “black hat” techniques, and I DO NOT recommend you do any of these things if you are a professional business person growing an internet empire. Just nice to look at some bad social media marketing tricks from time to time so you know what NOT to do! Black hat means that spammers do them, with no regard for “burning accounts” which is why we do not recommend them for business people.

Frequently I get emails from readers or someone who has seen me speak with a great new idea that they learned in a class. Some are WONDERFUL (keep them coming) and some are downright guaranteed to get you banned from whatever social media platform you are using at the time!

Twitter Trending Hashtags Twitter Trending Hashtags

If you have spent any time at all on Twitter, you have probably noticed that there are trends that show up on the bottom right hand side. These are the ten or so topics that people are talking about the most on Twitter currently. They change frequently and you can find out what is happening in different areas of the world based on those words. Hashtags are user generated keywords that start with the pound sign (#) so for today, the term #towelday is trending which is a reference to the author of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, an obscure book loved by a small-ish group of rabid fans.

So if you were black hatty, what would you do? Send out a tweet that looked something like this:

All you #towelday fans, get your bed and bath supplies at http://spammersareus.com

Do marketing tricks actually work?Basically, you are hijacking everyone’s joy at a book reference and trying to game it for personal gain. Which leads me to this joker! This morning #askjustin (as in the Beiber boy) was trending. Young girls world wide were asking why Justin wouldn’t love, talk, follow them. In the midst of all this Bieber fever was a tweet that read:

Got any tips for other kids marketing online? What about their parents?

So what was that person trying to accomplish? They were trying to push into a conversation that really was not about them but that was trending highly for that day. I checked and they commented on the #towelday hashtag also. At the end of the day, who would they get to follow them and would those people actually be interested in what they had to say when it was all garbage? (note: their twitter account has 97 followers at this time so I have to say that I think this tactic is a FAIL)

Twitter @ Tricks

On twitter you can talk directly to someone by using the @ symbol right before their user name (so to talk to me you would say @Taradactyl). These posts will show up on that person’s feed and the thought is that someone who likes that person will see the post and then follow your name and you will get a new follower or two.

This happens A LOT to a fellow that I follow @garyvee who writes about social media. Gary Vaynerchuk is a best selling author with a huge following (880,000 plus today). People will post something that has NOTHING to do with him but add the @garyvee hashtag, hoping that he or his following will notice them. Lame!

Fake Facebook Likes

This is an ongoing battle for us! We want to get as many “likes” for our clients business pages as we can BUT we want them to be real people so the numbers tend to be lower than we would like. That having been said, having a thousand “Fake Likes” doesn’t seem to be a benefit to real business.

So what are fake likes? When a marketing company offers to get you 5,000 fans to your page, most (if not all) of the ones that they generate are feople (fake people) that they have set up accounts for. These feople are nothing more than a free email address with a photo and accomplish nothing other than helping them to sell more fake like programs. Feople have no friends, they are not going to share your information, they are not going to comment or build a community around your page. Stupid Feople.

Posting A Link To Your Business Page When You Make A New Friend

This is a biggie right now! Say you ask someone to be your friend on Facebook and they say yes, nice! Then you go to their wall and say “hi” thanks for being my friend, you are still on the side of the good guys. Then say you post a link to your Facebook Fan page with a paragraph about why it is so great – DOH, just stepped over the line to icky and could get a “spam comment” which could lead to your account being disabled.

Posting on someone’s wall without their permission is VERY invasive. That is where they post things that THEY like, it is not a marketing platform for YOUR business. We take these off of our clients walls as soon as they arrive and generally might unfriend that person.

Note: The “rules” are a little different for pages, oftentimes you can post a link to your page on another business page if you see that this is acceptable to them and you are not a direct competitor!

To me, this one is just common sense. If you owned a roofing company, you would not go stick a sign in the yard of a new friend advertising your roofing company without their permission. They would feel REALLY weird if you did that without asking, same thing on the social media!

Tagging On Facebook

Tagging on FacebookI am hoping this fad has come and gone, but it was HOT, HOT, HOT for a while! The plan was to post a picture with a link to the product that you were selling and then “tag” someone with a lot of friends in the photo when you don’t even know them!

So in this example, I have a picture from my website posted in my Facebook Photos for my Small Business Marketing Facebook page. I then say “tag this photo” and add someone to it that has NO connection, they are not in it, they are not sponsoring my product, nothing. The hope is that this will show up on their wall and someone will see it and either like my page or buy my product – REALLY?!?!?! This goes back to the creepy, doing things that don’t feel right to sell your product. I KNOW the spammers were getting banned right and left for doing this, but their goal is to get in and get out, not build a business.

My take on all these bad social media marketing tricks is that providing great content and information, over time will win for small business owners! It is truly the old turtle and the hare, slow and steady wins the race.

What Social Media Marketing Is Not!

Social media has become the buzz word for small business marketing. Everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and get a piece of this new media channel, without realizing that there is a huge amount of time that needs to go into their efforts.

What Social Media Marketing Is NotAt first, when small biz owners decide to use the Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to grow their customers and prospects, they are all shiney and happy. They are going to get a piece of those 600 million people, all ready to buy their product or service TODAY and all it takes is a little tweeting, right?

They set up their profiles, but don’t want to give TOO much personal information because, really, what does it matter, they are just here to SELL, SELL, SELL! Then they wait for the orders to roll in. Tick, tock, tick, tock. No orders.

What happened? Social media marketing is the promise that all you have to do is show up and great things will happen, right?

The Real World of Social Media Marketing

I liked when social media marketing was originally called social networking. That is truly a more descriptive term for what happens on the different internet properties. I KNOW, you have heard that it is like a real-life networking event and you get it, BUT…

There are no buts about social networking, it is JUST like real world networking. You “meet” someone through Twitter or Facebook, say something nice about what they are doing, talk back and forth with them and establish a connection that will hopefully lead to a sale or referral somewhere down the line.

You would not attend your first networking event with new people and start by handing out credit card signup forms, would you? Not if you want to be invited back! When you are getting started with social media marketing, dip a toe into the waters and offer something of value to the people who are considering increasing your relationship.

Setting Up A Social Media Strategy

So what exactly SHOULD you do to increase your likability on social media? Here are some of the things that small biz owners can do:

  1. Post relevant industry information that would be interesting to readers (for a painter, this could mean posting the new colors for the season with a comment about how that translates to their geographic location)
  2. Make Friends, Likes, Followers and Connections in your geographic area and share interesting events and information (for Realtors, this could mean posting area happenings, links to attractions and only then, open house events and new listings)
  3. Find complementary links (for an exercise guru, posting healthy recipes makes sense)
  4. Share your clients and prospects triumphs (if someone has something great that they post, share it or retweet it to your following!)

What Is A Good Sales To Information Ratio

We get this question A LOT! A good sales to information ratio on social media is at least 5 to 1. Five non-sales, non-selfish posts to one salesy, or self serving posts. Again, this goes back to real-world networking! If you are at an event and introducing a friend around to everyone, talking her up to the crowd and generally helping her business, when you do slide in a request to sit down and talk business, she is more receptive to hearing what you have to say.

Some Final Tips

First, don’t try to be fake on social media. If you are a nerdy, engineer type in person, your online friends will like you for that on Social Media. Outgoing and crazy in real-life, you have much more latitude to cut it up online. Remember, at the end of the day, if you are successful at getting a sale, you are still the one that will show up to work with them!

Second, unless you are truly passionate about politics or religion, keep it off your Social Media radar. Talking too much about left or right wing politics can turn off roughly 50% of the people who might have wanted to work with you. Having EVERY post reference your religious preference can be off-putting to the online people you connect with. That having been said, if you live and breathe these topics, it will show up when you do anyways and being fake won’t change that!

Third, get ready for changes. It used to be that we could buy a yellow page ad once a year and be done with marketing. Now-a-days, you have to be willing to roll with the changes that happen, sometimes on a daily basis. Something that works great for you on Facebook may change overnight and you must be willing to adapt. Accounts get frozen or canceled, groups come and go, but once you have the ability to build big networks, you just move on and start building again. The one company that I always think of when I start to get complacent is AOL. If I had told you in 2001 that AOL would out of the picture by the middle of the decade, you would have been astounded. Networks change, sites change and it is the bold marketer who takes those changes and makes a great impact!

New Facebook Profile For Marketing

The new Facebook profile seems to have a much better application for marketing than the old one did! Some vital demographic data is front and center now – YAY!

New Facebook Profile for MarketingWhen FB launched the new Facebook Profile yesterday, I was initially horrified (like everyone else) at the changes. I had pictures up there, sigh, I hate pictures. It was cluttery and I found it hard to see what people are posting to see if I will like them. Then I noticed some good things and realized that the changes were GREAT for marketing so I am solidly on the new profile bandwagon.

Things To Do Marketing-Wise On Your New Facebook Profile

Okay, this is going to mean looking at your profile information, AGAIN, but take a peek at what you are showing when someone visits you for the first time and decides whether to friend you. Is you message something that will make them stand up and take notice, OR is it blah to the point of being a detriment.

Following New Friends

Okay, this was where Facebook won my heart. Instead of having to dig down into someone’s profile to see if I want to “friend” them, I can see exactly who they are and if they are someone that would be a good fit for me. I tend to focus on Realtors around the country, MLM marketers, small business owners and people who live in Denver or Tampa Bay. These are all potential clients for me and I have set up lists to cover these categories. NOW, I do not spam these people on my facebook profile BUT I do ask them to be a fan of Marketing Artfully’s Facebook Page so I want to make sure they are someone who fits the customer demographics that I have set for my company.

Additionally, I think that this will hurt the spammers who are making ghost accounts on Facebook. We had a client who paid good money for more “Likes” and got a whole bunch of non-humans from the wrong part of the country. Having this new profile will make a HUGE difference in this respect. ALSO, it is vital that you set your privacy setting to show EVERYONE EVERYTHING. Think about it, when someone asks to friend you and it says their information is blocked, don’t you wonder if they are real. If you are using Facebook for marketing, know that you need to keep your information available to potential clients!!

Additional Resources

If you want to know HOW to do things instead of what to do, here are some helpful links on some of the new facebook profile tasks!

  • Great description about how to get the New Facebook Profile from PC Magazine
  • The “official” Facebook Launch Page
  • Here is a really fun post about messing with your facebook profile pictures (I am not using it for fun BUT this could be effective for some companies)

We are going to have some additional posts over at the DIY Marketing for Small Business Membership Site later today if you are signed up!

How To Find Stuff To Post On Social Media

Finding “stuff” to post on social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can seem like an overwhelming task. Here is a GREAT way to find things that you can use to add interesting items to your social media properties.

Finding Stuff To Post On Social MediaWe have lots of clients and I can tell you that finding interesting items to post on their Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can sometimes seem overwhelming. Mostly we do a search on Google for the industry that they are in, find some relevant news item and then post it, starting from scratch everyday.

Well my favorite computer pal, Twitter, has come to my rescue! I have been telling my social media classes for the last 6 months that Twitter is gold for getting your content picked up and distributed on services like FlipBoard for the iPad and now my new darling paper.li. Paper.li will allow you to set up a newspaper that lists the best posts posts from the day on three different criteria:

  • A twitter user and all his or her followers – this one is not great for me because I have thousands of followers and they may not be in the correct categories to help me develop my marketing content.
  • A specific twitter hashtag – for example the marketing hashtag looks like this #marketing – I am not sure that this will get you the most content as we often do not use a hashtag when posting blog posts or articles. You could wind up with a lot of sales and affiliate links.
  • A specific twitter list – okay, here is the MONEY idea! Just make a list of the best twitter-ers in the marketplace talking about your subject and then every day the paper.li people will aggregate the posts from twitter on that subject and spit you out a newspaper that you can use for content ideas!

Here is my “newspaper” on Marketing, The Marketing Junkies Daily if you would like to see how this works!

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If you would like to find out more about using hashtags and how to set up your newspaper and incorporate it into your social media empire, I recommend getting our DIY Social Media Marketing Videos! They are only $47 for a lifetime membership!

Social Media – Facebook Changes Business Pages

Social media marketing is a moving target. Just when you get something done, they change the rules. This time Facebook has changed the size of the area you have to use on your custom business pages!

Social Media Marketing Facebook Changes Fan PagesThis update is not news to those of us who follow this kind of thing. Facebook has been talking about this since the spring and now it is officially going to launch as of August 23.

By using an HTML-like website code, FBML (Facebook Markup Language), you can make a website-like page that you can direct new viewers to on the first visit to your business page (like the Marketing Artfully page to the left). After they “Like” your page they see the Wall instead of your custom page. You set this page by going to “edit page” and then selecting your custom page tab.

Social Media Marketing Changes Business PageHaving a custom landing page allows you put links on your Welcome Page, or to have a great graphic looking page that drives people right to your main website hub like Largo Home Staging Pro, Kelly McFrederick’s landing page. If you are already her Fan, check out the “Welcome!” tab.

Here is the official word from Facebook, “To make your Page easier to browse, we’re simplifying a couple things: 1. Boxes are going away (including the Boxes tab); 2. All custom tabs will be narrower (520 pixels). Read full announcement from Facebook.

Facebook Marketing Making Lists

Facebook marketing becomes MUCH easier for small business owners when you have lists of your friends segregated. These are all practical working suggestions for what to do on Facebook!

Facebook Marketing Making ListsSuper basic Facebook Friend Management Overview

Once you have added your friends to Facebook, getting them sorted out can be an overwhelming task. I can tell you that it takes about 2 hours when you have a couple of thousand as I did last night. To get started, log into Facebook and on the top right hand side select account and then “edit friends”. There you can see your current lists of Friends, which ones you have recently added, who in what list and more general information.

How to make lists of Facebook friends and sort them the easy way

This to me is one of the most powerful pieces of having Facebook friend lists. At the top you will click on “create new list”. Then you will want to add people. You will only have to do this one time for your current friends, then after that you will be able to add new friends to the lists a few at a time.

To find people by city or job, select browse and then use the second dropdown to narrow them down.

Some types of friend lists you might use are:

  • City (plus) friends – I have Tampa Friends and Denver Friends
  • Job type – I work with small business owners, MLM (multi-level marketers) and Realtors…I have a list for each of these types of business owners
  • Groups and Associations – if you belong to a leads group, networking group or even your alumni association, you might want to have them in separate list
  • Mega Networkers – I have a super special list of mega-networkers who have big networks like I do…occasionally I send things out to them to get out their groups

Do not make too many or they will be hard to maintain.

How and why to make an everyone list on Facebook

The most counter-intuitive thing I heard was to make an “everyone” list. It seems like you ALREADY have everyone on a big list BUT it is neat to have so that you can suggest pages or invite people to events all at one time with the “select all” feature.

How to invite people to your Facebook Event

Once you have your lists, inviting people to your events is easy-peasy! If it is a local event just pick your “City Friends” list, if it is a national event you can use your everyone gang.

If you have extra questions about how to any of these things, we have a GREAT social media training videos for just $47 lifetime membership!

This post is a work in progress, please feel free to add your suggestions to the comments.

Local Marketing Facebook and Yelp and Gowalla

Local marketing on sites like Facebook, Yelp and Gowalla took a huge leap forward today. More practical applications for small business owners seem to be on the horizon!

Local Marketing Facebook Gowalla Foursquare YelpLocal marketing is really coming into its own with sites like Yelp.com, Foursquare.com and Gowalla.com for local small businesses. I have been telling everyone I meet with to get on there and the first question I get is “why”. Sigh. Why not guys? If it takes off, you are out ahead of the curve, if it does not, you are out 5 minutes of your time.

Facebook also announced their somewhat local marketing play where you can “like” something on the local site yelp.com and it will be added to your profile, allowing marketers to target you for advertisements on the Facebook PPC network. Ed Dale wrote a passionate and interesting post about the “facebook bombshell” this over on his blog. Also make sure to check out Facebook’s Connect with your friends on your favorite websites.

Another neat thing I saw was how gowalla and the New Jersey Nets partnered to provide free seats to a game, attempting to increase fan awareness, concession sales and sports apparel sales at the venue. The super neat thing is that they did not use any traditional media like radio, tv or banner ads to drive the campaign, just social media. One of the reasons I am so interested in gowalla specificially is that Gary Vaynerchuk of Vayner Media and bestselling author of Crush It, is a Gowalla investor and advisor. This may give these guys an edge BUT don’t miss out on hitting all the other ones too!!!

These are big things that you should be aware of marketing wise whether you are a local company or even self employed, a work from homer, realtor or loan officer. I am getting my clients set up for these services to test the waters on how to maximize their presence creatively and will have tutorials over on the membership site in the DIY small business marketing areas later this month so keep your eyes out for them!

Facebook Marketing How To Get More Referrals

Facebook marketing is all about keeping in touch with people in a very friendly kind of way. Getting and giving referrals becomes SO much easier because of the low technology barrier and connections that you have within Facebook itself.

There are three kind of business owners I find out there in regards to Facebook Marketing:

Facebook Marketing Social Media

  • The ones that think it is stupid and a time waster – If you read my blog with any consistency I doubt you are one of THOSE people but if you are, leave now!
  • The ones that do not get it but understand that it is a marketing channel and who at least take a little time to chat there, play games or even have a business page.
  • The last group is people who are dedicated to using every marketing trick in the book and who understand that any good marketing program takes time. I LOVE these people!

So my buddy and client Brian P. Forrester of Tri County Mortgage sent me an email today from Facebook. A client he had not spoken with for over 8 months said her nephew needed to be pre-qualified for a loan and could he give her a call. Digging deeper, Brian said that, “She knew me from before, but I am not sure I would have been top of mind if not for FB.”

Click the link if you would like to keep up with Clearwater Mortgage man Brian P. Forrester on Facebook…:) Make sure to “friend” him!

Now I KNOW all your clients and past customers are referring machines for you and that you tell them at the end of every phone call that “you are never too busy for their referrals” BUT, and this may come as a shock to you, most people are not great at recommending ANYONE. They do not want to seem pushy or recommend someone that is a bad choice for their friend.

When you are doing Facebook Marketing and are out there with a bunch of friends or fans, there is a good chance that people will be more willing to refer to you. You may already be friends with that person through a contact or they can suggest you as a friend so the new person can see you are a normal business person dedicated to providing great service.

Additionally, they are already using Facebook so they do not have to search for your phone number or email, they can just type in your name and then message you.

SO, if you are not on Facebook, at least check it out today. If you ARE on Facebook, find some new ways to get your message out so that you can get more leads!

If you would like to learn to use Social Media Marketing like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to grow your business check out our social media videos. I am going to be adding a video today on some practical Social Media Marketing tips! The cost is just $47 for a lifetime membership but as I add more it could go up so get in early!!!

Boulder Social Networking Workshop – March 23

RESCHEDULED FOR APRIL!!!

Small Business Owners, Social Networking is Not A Gimmick, Hype Or A Fad … It’s Just A Smarter Way Of Generating REAL LEADS!

Boulder and Denver Small Business Owners come out and learn social networking like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter the easy way! You will leave class with all of your systems set up the right way AND with tools to use that will make managing your social networking a breeze!

Every Small Business Owner knows that social networking SHOULD be part of their marketing toolbox, but who has the time to spend weeks (or months) getting it set up? What if I told you that you could have your entire social networking empire (including facebook, linkedin and twitter) set up in just four hours, with no stress?

Marketing Expert Tara Jacobsen can show you how to make the most of your time using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

Workshop info:

Intelligent Office
4450 Arapahoe Ave. No. 100
Boulder, CO 80303

Dates & Times – March 23, 1PM – 5PM
Class Sponsored By Your Marketing Voice
Call Amber Montel of Your Marketing Voice with any questions (720) 338-6996

Seating is limited to the first 15 people to respond – don’ t miss out

Social Networking Hands-On Workshops

Here are just a few of the things we will cover….

How social networking works – there is a lot of confusion out there about how to get actual business from social networking
· Why it matters to google
· How it can increase your website traffic

Twitter – simple secrets to automate Twitter entirely while still getting results!
· How to set up your account the right way!
· How to find followers (even in your town)
· Tools to increase your followers
· Hook up your blog

Facebook – pages, groups, profiles, what really works to get more customers!
· Facebook overview
· How to set up facebook the right way
· How to set up your facebook business page
· Adding events
· How to get friends

Linkedin – how to make the most of the opportunity to connect with past friends, clients and customers!
· How to set you your account
· How to get connections the right way
· Linked in groups

How To Track Your Social Networking Progress
· Numbers of followers, friends and connections
· Number of incoming hits
· Setting up a plan for social networking success

On Purpose Networking:
· Goal setting and tracking
· What to write about (hands on idea generating) So how exactly do you get all this great hands-on help?

Social Networking First Responder Advantage

It seems like everyday someone invites me to join a new social network. From Facebook to Twitter to Google and about a gagillion more. So, is it worth your time to fill out all those profiles and does filling them out obligate you to actually USE the site?

Twitter BirdThis is a purely subjective answer based on my experiences, if you find that I have not mentioned one that works great for you or that you feel is awesome, please feel free to post in the comments!

While I don’t participate in every site I sign up for, I do think that there is first responder benefit to joining social networks as early in the process as possible. If I join when there are only two thousand people and it takes off to have fifteen million people later, every person who joins after me has a chance of finding me. If I join at the fifteen million person mark, I have to go find all those people myself.

Additionally, there is a tipping point to everything. Once you have about 500 Facebook friends, suddenly people start asking you to be their friend instead of you having to go find them. The same thing happens on Twitter and LinkedIn, making building large networks easier.

That having been said, I generally only use Facebook and Twitter with any regularity. They have lots of users and are the current media darlings. BUT (and this is HUGE but), do not get complacent and think that if you grow a huge Twitter following that you are set for the next five years. These things come and go in a matter of months or years!

That is why being spread out over a number of different networks can really make a difference to your small business or entrepreneurial online marketing success!!!

Here are just a few of the places that you can post your information online:

Facebook Marketing Getting Personal

Marketing Artfully was recently featured in New Business Denver for social networking (more about that coming later!) I have been getting some great questions about Facebook from the readers and when I answer them I will share with you, my loyal readers. The first question is one I get A LOT, can you keep your Facebook personal profile separate from your Facebook Business Pages? My question back is, should you?

Facebook MarketingHere is the question…

I just have a question for you – you recommend joining facebook, but you specified NOT to create a business account. I already have a personal facebook account that I’ve been intentional about keeping separate from my business. Can I create a personal account for my business instead of a business one- how do I go about this? I’m feeling so confused!

Facebook’s terms of service say a personal profile needs to be a human and that each human can only have one personal account. So in my case I am one human (www.facebook.com/tara.jacobsen) with one personal profile. Right now I have 1,532 “friends” of Tara Jacobsen. You should absolutely NOT set up your business as a person since it is not a human…:)

Facebook allows you to set up multiple Business Fan Pages, so since I have multiple sales channels I have one fan page that is my Marketing Artfully general fan page and one that targets Realtor Marketing. I also have ones for my other interests like Western Decorating and Photography Marketing, but since those are more personal passions I don’t spend as much time on them.

Now to be totally honest with you, it is VERY hard to find out that my pages are associated with my profile unless I deliberately try and show people. I can share my page posts on my personal profile BUT it doesn’t do it automatically and I don’t share every marketing post with my general friends, just the ones that I think will benefit the general population.

So if you are concerned that your “friends” will be inundated with marketing messages from your business page you are wrong. That having been said, it is VERY hard to get fans for your Business page if you are adamant about not combining the two pieces. It is SO much easier to make friends than fans and many times your friends are aware that you are passionate about your business anyways and probably would not be surprised to know that you like things related to your profession.

Hope that helps clear up some of the questions. My take on it is that the line between your public and personal lives are blurry anyways and the internet has made that ever more evident. If you are going to be successful marketing your business with Facebook I would just hang your love for your business out there and let the chips fall where they may. My husband (a programmer and FABULOUS photographer) keeps threatening to “unfriend” me because I talk about marketing all the time!

Small Business Marketing There is no set it and forget it!

This post about small business marketing is a follow up to “There is no one marketing thing that works“. In that post I gave small business marketers the bad news that there is one marketing thing that works like the old yellow page ads used to. Well get ready for more bad news! If you would rather that the world go back to the way it used to be, then this may not be the post for you.

Loudspeaker SalesmanI LOVE the infomercial pitchmen! They are brilliant at separating you from your money with catchy taglines and REALLY strong call to actions. The best tagline I ever heard was “set it and forget it”. This was for a product that cooked an entire meal for you using one appliance and the salesman had the audience chant that over and over during the commercial.

Neato kitchen appliance notwithstanding, there is no set it and forget it for your small business marketing. Buying a website and blog, then ignoring it for a year will not get you top google rankings. Just setting up a business Fan Page will not grow your sales by thousands. BUT worse than that even, learning to use Facebook or Twitter will not carry you over then next 10 years of marketing.

If you had asked about the biggest social networking site a couple of years ago you would have been talking about MySpace, which has now fallen off the face of the earth marketing-wise in favor of Facebook and Twitter. If you built a state-of-the-art website 3 years ago, you may be surprised to find that an affordable blog may be the best way to drive traffic to your sales page.

Nothing stays still and if you are thinking that you can just “set and forget” your small business marketing, you may find yourself losing ground fast!

Social Networking Workshop February 2nd

Small Business Owners, Social Networking is Not A Gimmick, Hype Or A Fad … It’s Just A Smarter Way Of Generating REAL LEADS!

Tampa Bay Small Business Owners come out and learn social networking like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter the easy way! You will leave class with all of your systems set up the right way AND with tools to use that will make managing your social networking a breeze!

Every Small Business Owner knows that social networking SHOULD be part of their marketing toolbox, but who has the time to spend weeks (or months) getting it set up? What if I told you that you could have your entire social networking empire (including facebook, linkedin and twitter) set up in just four hours, with no stress?

Marketing Expert Tara Jacobsen can show you how to make the most of your time using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

Workshop info:

Where – Snookers – Best Restaurant Tampa Bay
606 North Pinellas Avenue
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

Dates & Times – February 2, Noon – 4PM
Class Sponsored By Personalized Marketing
Call Stacy Hansen of Personalized Marketing with any questions 727-505-5384

Cost: ONLY $100

Seating is limited to the first 15 people to respond – don’ t miss out

Social Networking Hands-On Workshops

Here are just a few of the things we will cover….

How social networking works – there is a lot of confusion out there about how to get actual business from social networking
· Why it matters to google
· How it can increase your website traffic

Twitter – simple secrets to automate Twitter entirely while still getting results!
· How to set up your account the right way!
· How to find followers (even in your town)
· Tools to increase your followers
· Hook up your blog

Facebook – pages, groups, profiles, what really works to get more customers!
· Facebook overview
· How to set up facebook the right way
· How to set up your facebook business page
· Adding events
· How to get friends

Linkedin – how to make the most of the opportunity to connect with past friends, clients and customers!
· How to set you your account
· How to get connections the right way
· Linked in groups

How To Track Your Social Networking Progress
· Numbers of followers, friends and connections
· Number of incoming hits
· Setting up a plan for social networking success

On Purpose Networking:
· Goal setting and tracking
· What to write about (hands on idea generating) So how exactly do you get all this great hands-on help?

Internet Marketing – Making the most of your marketing efforts

internet marketing successWhen you start internet marketing, or real life marketing for that matter, you are all fired up. You are going to tweet, and facebook and get a blog and free websites and and and…. Then one of two things happens A) nothing works because you did one thing on each of those mediums or 2) you get lots of business so you stop doing what worked!

The other thing I hear is that small business owners, entrepreneurs and realtors don’t have the time to do this kind of marketing. They are too busy running their businesses to do lead generating to get more sales. Sigh. Their ONLY business is getting more customers and prospects! If they have no customers they have no business! So what is a smart marketer to do?

First – Determine what you like to do!

If you like to sit in front of the computer, make sure you are spending your time wisely…

  • Watch TV and follow more people on twitter
  • Take the time to write thoughtful blog posts instead of watching HGTV or Spike
  • Set up multiple twitter accounts in the niches you would like to target
  • Set up multiple blogs in the niches you would like to target
  • Answer your emails
  • Stop removing yourself from lists
  • Set up google alerts to get the latest information and inspiration on what to talk about
  • Get a database like aweber or constant contact and learn how to set it up

If you hate sitting in front of the computer, take 15 minutes a day and do these things

  • Answer your emails from the night before (if it will take more than 1 minute to answer them then put them on your list of things to do and move on)
  • Follow 50 people on twitter using twellow.com
  • Go into Facebook and accept your friend requests then post your status and “talk” to a couple of people on your live feed
  • Add a link from google alerts about something interesting to your fan page

(membership site gang – watch out for a really neat video later this week that shows how to pick your best marketing opps!!!)

Second – Stop Whining

This one is going to be a little bit mean so if you are having a bad day skip it…:) I do SO many things on the internet. I do everything I have suggested and more. I have client work to do, I have articles and blog posts to write, for goodness sake I have over 20 blogs, 5 twitter accounts, 4 Facebook pages, the list goes on and on. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and think that there is too much to do – then I look at the time I am actually spending working. I mean nose down, no phone, no emails, no nothing, just work. It is about 8 hours a day.

Can you say that you are actually working 10, 12, 14 hours a day. Really? When you are honest with yourself, couldn’t you carve out an extra hour (or even 15 minutes) a day to schedule dedicated time to growing your business?

Third – Get help!

Okay, back to being nice..:) When I say help I mean whatever help YOU need. I don’t need much help with setting things up because I am good at it. I have been doing it A LONG time and some things that may seem overwhelming to you are not hard for me. That having been said, balancing my checkbook is too much for me. All those numbers, ick. So – here are some ways you can get help!

  • Hire an assistant (virtual or real) to do some stuff for you. An assistant is only as good as what you need though. I need someone who can make sure I am doing my client work in a timely manner, enter all the people I meet in my database and add people to my membership site. I cannot expect an assistant to fix my blogs when they break (I hire a programmer for that), I cannot expect my assistant to be an accounting wiz (I hire my CPA and bookkeeper for that). DO NOT give your assistant more than they can do technically and DO NOT try to farm out your internet empire to them. If you do not know what to do hire a marketing person to SET UP the systems for your assistant to manage.
  • Learn to use tools – All those twitter accounts I have, most of them update themselves automatically when I post on any of my blogs via twitterfeed.com. Updating all those Facebook pages is super easy with hootsuite.com. I use writers to help with the heavy lifting of content for my niche blogs. I use my database to talk with people all at once. I automatically follow people using socialoomph.com. All these things make it easy to manage multiple accounts BUT I had to set them up first. Get your online empire built the right way and managing it is easy for you or your assistant!
  • Schedule time – Do you see a theme here? If you do not put time in your calendar to do these tasks you will never get them done. Take the first 15 minutes or hour of your day, shut off your phone and do your online marketing (or if you are having an assistant doing it, stop bothering them with “real work” while they are doing it..:)

Anyways – if you are down here, you are probably interested in REALLY starting to do some internet marketing. Congratulations! Your business will thank you and your bottom line will thank you.

Social Networking Workshop – January 14th

Last Social Networking Workshop Until June!
JANUARY 14TH FROM NOON-4PM

Small Business Owners, Social Networking is Not A Gimmick, Hype Or A Fad … It’s Just A Smarter Way Of Generating REAL LEADS!

Marketing Expert Tara Jacobsen can show you how to make the most of your time using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

Every Small Business Owner knows that social networking SHOULD be part of their marketing toolbox, but who has the time to spend weeks (or months) getting it set up? What if I told you that you could have your entire social networking empire (including facebook, linkedin and twitter) set up in just four hours, with no stress?

Workshop info:

Where – ASK Training International
18 Garden Center
Broomfield, CO
United States
80020

Dates & Times – January 14, Noon – 4PM
Class Sponsored By Your Marketing Voice!

Cost: ONLY $100

Seating is limited to the first 12 people to respond – don’ t miss out

Social Networking Hands-On Workshops

Here are just a few of the things we will cover….

How social networking works – there is a lot of confusion out there about how to get actual business from social networking
· Why it matters to google
· How it can increase your website traffic

Twitter – simple secrets to automate Twitter entirely while still getting results!
· How to set up your account the right way!
· How to find followers (even in your town)
· Tools to increase your followers
· Hook up your blog

Facebook – pages, groups, profiles, what really works to get more customers!
· Facebook overview
· How to set up facebook the right way
· How to set up your facebook business page
· Adding events
· How to get friends

Linkedin – how to make the most of the opportunity to connect with past friends, clients and customers!
· How to set you your account
· How to get connections the right way
· Linked in groups

How To Track Your Social Networking Progress
· Numbers of followers, friends and connections
· Number of incoming hits
· Setting up a plan for social networking success

On Purpose Networking:
· Goal setting and tracking
· What to write about (hands on idea generating) So how exactly do you get all this great hands-on help?

Learn how to use Social Networking from Top 10 Internet Tools

Social Networking for Small Business

Social Networking for Small Business

This is not a “how to use social networking” post. It is more a why social networking can help your small business and how you can set up systems that will allow you to use it the right way – not as a stand alone marketing magic pill but as a stable part of your small business marketing plan.

What Kind of Effort Will You Have To Make For Your Social Networking Marketing Success

If you are looking for a get rich quick scheme to do 5 minutes of social networking a week and getting major benefits, you are going to be disappointed. That having been said, it doesn’t take much time to get your social networking set up and then minimal time a day to keep it going.

It should take you about 4 hours to set up Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter plus your other programs that make using them easy. There are some tricks that make a real difference but mostly you need to make sure you:

  • Pick a hub to drive everything to! I drive people back here to Marketing Artfully from Facebook but send people from LinkedIn and Twitter to my Facebook page sometimes instead of right to my site
  • Include a link to your website, blog or whatever you are using as your Hub to send all of your people to
  • Fill out anything they ask you to – many times they use the information in past jobs and volunteer activities to find connections for you
  • Remember to use a call to action that benefits your readers like “check out our information to help you..” or “find out more about making the most of your..”
  • DO NOT try to overtly sell on Social Networking sites, do that by driving people to your home page and then sell there

I offer a social networking how to video series that will help you get up and running fast if you like to do it yourself. NOTE: We offer lifetime updates and will be raising the price to $47 starting January 1st so if you think you are intested in it, please buy now before the price increase – you will get all the new videos too!

What Kinds of Leads Can You Expect To Get

Social networking leads are strong leads! They are from people who have some kind of relationship with you, not just people who stumbled upon your website and filled out a contact us form. Some leads that I got recently are:

  • Digital Pickle – a digital conversion for photos and vhs tapes company to set up their social networking
  • A social networking class attendee who found me through Facebook
  • Blog prospects and LOTS of website hits from twitter!

If you have any great recent social networking success stories, please make sure to leave them in the comments!

What Tools Should You Use To Make Social Networking Easy

The two primary tools that I use to make my social networking easier are Twitterfeed and Hootsuite. These two tools allow me to spend about 15 minutes a day and get great results.

  • Twitterfeed.com – sends all of my blog posts to twitter.com automatically
  • Hootsuite.com – allows me to update all of my social networks at the same time AND also allows me to schedule tweets for later

Overall, it should not take more than a couple of hours a week to keep your social networking updated regularly!

If you would like to have your social networking empire set up for you, we do a $250 social networking setup that makes getting started effortless!

How To Use Email For Marketing | Learn How To Make Hyperlinks

Realtor Marketing – FREE Social Networking Workshop

This is quicky because there are only a few seats left! Join me Friday afternoon in Largo, FL for a FREE Marketing for Realtors Social Networking (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) Workshop.

You will walk away with your social networking sites set up (the right way) and tons of information about how to use these FREE tools to get more buyers and close more deals.

Super Secret Realtor Marketing Info About The Free Workshop

Twitter Day – How to use twitter for your small business!

So I am determined to get some value out of twitter and social networking for my business! With that in mind I have set out on a mission to figure out how to make twitter work for me and my tribe…:)

These are my twitter numbers right now (I did follow a bunch of people this morning so that number is a little skewed!) 963 Followers, 1060 Following

Now I have to say to start, if you are just getting into twitter this will be a little harder for you. I have been on twitter for a while and so have updates that people can see and decide to follow me. If you are new make sure you (1) set up a twitter account, (2) post some updates relevant to your business and (3) follow some other people (they will probably follow you back!).

Here are some of the things I have done to get more followers and actually make twitter work for me!

  1. Followed a bunch of people directly from Twitter – FREE
  2. Signed up for Xavier Media’s get more followers program – FREE
  3. Signed up for Tweet Later which sends a message out automatically for me to ask people to be my Facebook friend also (if you would like to learn more about this, I wrote about it on my marketing artfully facebook page, while you are there, make sure to become a fan!) – FREE
  4. Signed up for some groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that allow you to post your twitter link (it looks like this http://www.twitter.com/taradactyl) – FREE

If I do anything else I will make sure to post it here but for now I am all tweeted out!

Absolutely Free Ebook – How To Pack An Event

Here is the link to a totally free ebook on how to get people to attend your event. Whether you are holding a seminar, workshop, party, open house or anything else, you will find some gems here to help get people in the door! I cover using meetup.com, facebook, linkedin, email marketing and some other really great ways to get your message out.

http://marketingartfully.com/How_to_pack_an_event.pdf

How come it is free?

Well, I moved to the Denver area 2 months ago and I was having my first big event (my internet mastermind in Denver) and wanted people to come. I also wanted people to sign up to say they would come to the event, even if they never showed – WHY!?!??! Because people like to go to things that other people are doing – genius I know…:) So anyways, I was in the process of writing a Ebook on how to get people to come to your events and I thought to myself, “how can I get people to sign up even if they aren’t coming?” Then cam a flash of brilliance – bribe them!!!

So, long story short, (too late I know), I am giving this book away, no questions asked, no email required, share it with anyone you want (Seth Godin would be SO proud!). If you like, please comment. If you hate it, don’t bother to complain, it is free…:)

Happy speaking…Tara

PS – I had 10 people who were very interested in internet marketing show up (thanks guys!!), two people who called to say that would have come but heard about it too late, one person on facebook who said the same thing and all the people at the mastermind said they would share the goodness with their friends and colleagues. Can’t ask for any more than that!!!

Social Networking and Blogs – How Do They Get You More Business?

Join Twitter and get a tons of money, be a Facebook user and get a million clients, get LinkedIn and EXPLODE your business, or build your blog and get a gagillion readers!!! If that is how you think it works then this is probably not the post for you! You WILL be disappointed. Using the internet is just like real life, getting new customers and growing your business is hard work.

So how can you REALLY get new business on the internet using blogs and social networking? I am going to tell you some stories from my experience, you can then extrapolate them to your business!

GETTING AN INTERVIEW WITH WOMENOF.com

So I blew into town (Westminster, CO) with my marketing roadshow and decided to re-build my marketing business here in Colorado. To meet people I joined the Elle Group – a networking group for small business owners. I have met close to 100 small business owners face-to-face thus far. At one of those sessions I got invited to another networking session and said “yes I would go”. I met a girl named Tara there who is big on Facebook. I became her Facebook friend. 

that is the first online thing – you CANNOT grow your business sitting at home in front of a computer, sometimes you have to meet humans!

She posted a message telling us to ask about marketing opportunites with WomenOf.com. I asked. She had a fellow call me and, long story short, I am being interviewed for an online video on Monday! WHOO WHOO – how fun!!! The three pivot points in this story are “friending” Tara, being open to talking with her about opportunities and having a great blog. When they went online and checked me out to see if I should be interviewed, they found this blog and validated their decision because of the information that I have here about marketing!

GETTING BUTTS IN THE SEATS AT MY EVENTS

When I speak I like having humans there! In the past when I wanted to invite people, I would make a flyer, send some emails and wonder if anyone was showing up.

Now I use Facebook and LinkedIn to send a messages about my event to people who are my “friends” or “connections”, who have already raised their hands and said they are interested in hearing from me. The amazing thing to me is that is just the tip of the iceburg! Once a person who is in my sphere accepts, the programs tell everyone in their sphere. 

Last month I taught Social Networking in Clearwater and my buddy Brian P. Forrester, the mortgage man, said that he was going to be coming. One of his connections saw that and came too! It was amazing that on a Wednesday afternoon in Clearwater I could get about 25 people into a room to hear me speak! 

So what is the moral of the story? Social networking will not make you a galillionaire overnight. You will still have to network with humans. BUT there are tools out there that exponentially increase your message and if you are not taking advantage of them, you are leaving business on the table!

Want to save yourself time getting started? Check out our social networking how to videos!

Building A Community – How it helps your social networking, email list and life!

How can you build a community, online and offline? According to Miriam Webster a community is “the people with common interests living in a particular area”. In the past your community was limited by proximity and by who you could meet face-to-face. If you wanted to meet someone new you had to ask a friend for an invitation or hope for a chance meeting.

The internet has changed the definition of community! With social networking, blogs and email we are able to have a MUCH bigger community that is not limited by proximity. That having been said, meeting humans face to face is still a great way to build community and your online influence!

Ways to build an in-person community

  1. Your family and friends - when you are thinking of community you sometimes forget your closest connections. During the days when I was a (successful) realtor, my husband generated many of my leads through his work friends. I asked him to find out who would let me send them info about the real estate market in Clearwater and then contacted them through email, direct mail and popbys (fun treats I sent into work).
  2. Networking with humans - I recently moved to the Denver and Boulder area and had zero friends or contacts. I checked on meetup.com for local networking events that were related to business and have been able to add close to one hundred new contacts to my database and found a few really great contacts that may turn into friends. In the past this process would have taken YEARS instead of about 8 weeks. One note – don’t jump on new networking friends with your message…meet them, show them you will continue to come back and then ease into your message. No one likes to be SOLD HARD when they are networking!
  3. Teach classes - I teach social networking classes to anyone who will listen. I am setting up an internet mastermind group that will teach all kinds of online money making skills. I teach realtors how to service their listings. Basically if I can get 5 people to hold still I will start up a class…:) So how does that help? I add them to my database, I am an authority in whatever I am teaching, AND I stay in contact with them through my bi-monthly newsletters.

Ways to build an online community

  1. Join social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter! These allow you to add people from your real-life networking AND will let you connect with new people that are not geographically desirable but who are interesting and a potential client or referral source for your business.
  2. Start a blog – A blog pushes information about your business to potential clients. NO ONE will read repetitive sales ads but LOTS of people may be interested in learning more about your specialty. You are reading this post (I assume) because you are a small business owner who is interested in growing their business. If you are looking for cooking tips sign up to read updates from a cooking site, if you are selling mortgages, health care products or lawn furniture start an informative blog and find people who are interested in that!
  3. Start an email list. These are people who expect regular communication from you. Again, I cannot stress this enough, they expect information that is helpful to them or interesting NOT sales ads! It doesn’t matter how often you communicate with them, some do once a day, some do twice a month like I do. Make sure you send them relevant info AND include a call to action – sell something, grow your facebook page fans, ask for an appointment, whatever as long as you have a REASON for communicating with them in addition to the info!

Well that is it! Do that and you WILL succeed. People will be in your corner and will want to help you grow your business AND you can help grow theirs!!!

Free Marketing – Small Business Owners Best Friend

What a time we live in! Marketing is free, I am SO happy about that and so confused that more businesses are not leveraging these channels.

Some history…in 1999 I worked at Digital Chainsaw, an internet company, where we built websites for small businesses. Many of these companies had no online presence and were trying to be early adopters. The cost to do the blueprint for the site (NOTHING was built) was $1,000 and the cost of building the site was from $20,000-$40,000. Now don’t get me wrong, there are still some businesses that have to have professionally built websites with big back-end programming, but most small businesses do not. The last thing about that time to tell you, it was deep in the heart of the tech boom and small business start-up money was flowing freely!

Fast forward 10 years to a new business start-up (if you are not doing marketing you are a start-up no matter how old your company is). I talk to more and more small business owners that do not have ANY resources for marketing. And THAT IS OKAY! I can’t even believe I can say that but it is true.

Today we are going to talk about FREE MARKETING! Upcoming posts will talk about low cost marketing and then big money marketing  – which still will not come close to the $20,000 that used to be the norm!

FREE MARKETING IDEAS!

  • Blogs – today you can have a blog set up in minutes for free! I suggest starting with www.wordpress.com but www.blogger.com works and is my geeky husband’s favorite. You can add widgets, customize the blog with your logo and get your marketing message out there! The drawback, for me, on free blogs is that it is hard to put contact forms on free blogs which will be part of our moderate pricing marketing. If you want to skip the free blog and go to the medium priced blog. I recommend a self-hosted wordpress blog for as low as $500!
  • Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – These social media sites allow you to put up a profile, communicate with your customers and friends, post links to your blog posts and set up FREE event notifications. They allow you to build a community around your brand and I can’t tell you how many referrals I have businesses get while watching my “friends”. If you would like to find out more, check out our social networking video series (not free but VERY affordable!)
  • FREE Websiteswww.wetpaint.com, www.squidoo.com and other sites will allow you to put a free page on the subject of your choice. When I was a realtor in Dunedin Florida a few years ago I put up this page, years later it is still there AND if you do a search on Squidoo for Dunedin real estate, my page is the only page. Do a search for Dunedin screen printing and NOTHING comes up, same for Dunedin Lawyer, Accountant, and cleaning. Imagine if you had the Tampa Bay area sewn up for your local business? What would that do for your bottom line? AND google LOVES these sites!

So these are my three best FREE marketing ideas. They cost you nothing but time and provide BIG results! If you have some other free ideas let me know in the comments…:)

Social Networking, Blogging and Sanity

How do you keep up with all your social networking and blogging? I use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, digg, Plaxo, Thrive Contact System, Marketing Artfully and Active Rain often. It drives TONS of traffic to my websites, adding more people to my email database which means more people to talk to about my services and speaking gigs!

Here are some of the easy things I do to make all of that a little easier – commonly known as a system!

SOCIAL NETWORKING
It is VERY fun to watch what your friends and business associates are doing and finding new information on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo and Twitter and I check most of these once or twice a day. BUT if you are using these to lead generate for your business it is also important to be “on purpose” when you are using these sites. Here are some do’s and do not’s that I follow:

  • DO – Make sure to post links to your blog posts (see below)
  • DO – Update your status with new products and services that you are offering
  • DO – Make comments on your friends’ and business partners’ status
  • DON’T – Spam them with self-serving updates multiple times a day (putting links to great information is NOT spamming, posting every one of your products or listings over and over is)
  • DON’T – Put ANYTHING on there that you would not want your best customer to see – the internet never forgets!

BLOGGING
My goal is to blog on one of each of these everyday. I am not always successful BUT the goal is there and I generally get an email everyday that some kind of lead – either for a marketing consult, a referral to one of my business partners or just someone who wants more information about a service I offer. A lead a day is 365 over the course of the year and helps to feed my pipeline!

  • Marketing Artfully – My main site and the one that I spend the most time on. It has all my product offerings, my shopping cart and is where I send the most people. WHAT I DO: When I write a post here I then add it as a link on Facebook, I often write a mini-post over on Active Rain to drive people back here to read the full post, sometimes I digg it and it automatically goes to Twitter and from there to Plaxo.
  • Thrive Contact System – This is one of our products and I post info on Database Marketing, Systems and (surprisingly enough) client contacts. I am not as vigilant about this one as I should be BUT it still gets some good organic search traffic and is on the list. WHAT I DO: When I write a post there I then add it as a link on Facebook, sometimes I digg it and it automatically goes to Twitter and from there to Plaxo.
  • Taradactyl on Active Rain – This one sends LOTS of people my way. It is full of Realtors, Mortgage Pros and Title people (one of my target markets) and I should be WAY more aggressive about posting there! WHAT I DO: Because it is a feeder for my Marketing Artfully blog I don’t tend to do more than write a post BUT it does automatically feed to Twitter and from there to Plaxo.

Hopefully this will help you get your arms around all this work and you can see that it does not have to be overwhelming AND can help generate more business for your business!

Marketing Planning for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are strange creatures! We hop from great idea to great idea, often not stopping to dig into how to actually DO the last great thing. Well I have the secret to stop the entrepreneurial madness – do the first thing first!

I know, that is not glamorous. There are no shiny pieces or exciting opportunities. All that will happen is that you will get something done! 

Here are some first steps for different marketing opportunities I know entrepreneurs are interested in (I talk to lots of them EVERY day):

Starting a Blog for Entrepreneurs

Starting a blog is NOT hard, there are tons of free platforms for people to use like www.wordpress.org and www.blogger.com. These are GREAT for business owners if all you want to do is have a brochure site and interact with people. The thing that it will not let you do (easily) is generate leads. It is very hard to integrate forms to feed your database.

You guys know I am all about feeding your database, right? SO if you are going to use your blog for business, I would recommend a self hosted wordpress blog! The cost of having someone set one up for you is about $500 including 5 blog posts and all your normal pages written for you (About us, contact us, etc.). There are also hosting and domain costs, I like godaddy.com for this – they cost about $75 for both for a year. So for under $600 you can have a fully functional blog up in a couple of weeks. If you would like to learn more…visit www.businesswritingink.com and talk with my friend Mary Dado about how to get started! That is your first step!

Social Networking for Entrepreneurs

Everyone keeps hearing how using social media will grow your business but how do you get started? Sign up for an account at Facebook or Linked In or any other site and start making friends! I have included links to ones that I am a part of and, since I am a friendly girl, will ALWAYS accept your request to connect if you are a business person!

So how do you get people to join your networks? Here are some ways that I use!

I will be talking about these more in the coming weeks, BUT if you like what you see here, make sure you sign up for my Marketing Newsletter for Entrepreneurs – my readers got this info days ago and got about 5X as much of it!!