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!

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!)

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!

******

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 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?

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

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!