Social Media Marketing Firms – How They Can Make Your Business A Success

Social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn among others have literally transformed from simple social network sites to major business / product / service marketing platforms. This is simply because of the large number of users accessing the sites on a daily basis. Like with any other marketing process, social marketing is a process that businesses / marketers employ to attract attention or gain traffic to their traditional business websites.

A common feature of social marketing is creation of relevant content that not only attracts but also encourages social networking users to share the same with their social networks. As users share content, a business / marketer gains what is referred to as "earned media" instead of "paid media". Transformation of social networking sites to business marketing platforms has made it possible for a good number of firms to specialize in social media marketing, offering their services to millions of small, medium-sized and large businesses across the world.

There are several ways through which social media marketing firms can make your business a success story.

Business Reputation

Just in the same way that you strive to gain good reputation among your local clients, it is also very important that you have the same with social networking users. This makes it necessary to know what the users say about your business / product. A dedicated social media marketing firm will normally have what is referred to as Client Center, a nerve center that gives you information regarding what is said about your business / product on social media sites. A firm will normally gives you access to the center with valuable reputation management tools for your own use.

Monitoring / Reports

Monitoring the performance of your marketing campaigns on social media sites can be a big challenge considering the fact that you need to focus on your business. Monitoring and reporting is one of the most important services that a social media marketing firm will provide you. A dedicated firm will continuously monitor the performance of your marketing campaign and report to you what is good about it and in case of poor performance, advise you on what needs to be done to improve the campaign.

Customized Marketing Campaign

Engaging the service of a social media marketing firm can be of great benefit when it comes to directing your campaign to a specific population in a geographic area. Although you may manage to gain a huge following on social media sites out of your own efforts, driving them to your traditional business website can be very difficult. A social media marketing firm will go the extra mile to keep your followers engaged through updated and encouraging content to attract them to your website.

Regardless of how small your business may be, having a presence on social networking sites is something you cannot ignore when you need to expand your business. However, engaging a social media marketing firm for the purpose of marketing your business on social networking platforms requires that you research carefully to identify a reputable firm that will take your business to the next level.

7 Business Development Marketing Tips For Social Media

You would have heard so many marketing experts telling everyone to use social media as part of their promotional marketing mix. The Internet is flooded with information on using Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. Numerous articles have been written on how using social media can help promote your brand image and how it can generate web traffic for your main business website.

Keep in mind that that social networking is a marketing tool and it is only effective when used properly to promote your business.

The key question for a business is "How is social media harnessed to generate real revenue and customers?" In today's digitally connected society your customers regardless of their age, gender or economic status will be active on social networking sites.

Here are some of the latest usage statistics on social media use that will make a business take notice:

  • 68% of small businesses will increase their social networking marketing efforts in the next year
  • 56% of Twitter users say they use the micro blogging site for business or work related purposes
  • Over 40% of people have become 'friends' with or 'like' a brand / company on Facebook or MySpace
  • 20% of tweets are about business products
  • 46% of Facebook users say they would talk about or recommend a product on Facebook
  • 44% of Twitter users have recommended a product
  • Social media played a major role in holiday shopping – 28% of shoppers say social media has influenced their purchases

On the Facebook site alone:

  • More than 400 million active users
  • 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  • There are over 160 million pages, groups and events that people interact with
  • Average user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events
  • Average user creates 70 pieces of content each month
  • Males and females almost equally use social sites (47% vs. 53%)
  • 61% of Facebook users are middle aged or older, with the average age being 37
  • 18-to 24-year-olds don't dominate any particular social networking site; They spread out all over
  • More than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month

The participation of your business in social networking should be self-evident, however, many businesses will go on to set-up social media sites and make no effort to participate and engage in the groups that their potential customers use.

To be successful in using social networking your business must find out where your potential customers spend time on these sites so that you can engage with them where they prefer and not where you prefer or are comfortable with. Participation and engagement with their social networks will form a platform from which to build relationships with communities of interest. This in turn will provide a new customer acquisition channel using the share and like capabilities of the social networking world. This "sharing" is the equivalent of word of mouth in traditional marketing.

Here are the 7 Business Development Marketing Tips for using Social Media:

1. Go where your customers are and not where you are comfortable

To find your customers on social networking sites consider the following:

  • Conduct a survey among your customers or potential customers.
  • Analyze and monitor traffic on social sites to discover how and where customers are sharing information about your business and your competitors.
  • Review marketing research or statistical information on the usage and demographics of the different social media sites.

2. Engage and interact

Social-media engagement is a conversation and your participation in the social network groups and communities is core to building relationships. Your value as a participant is judged by the value that you provide to the community as a whole. You can achieve this by freely sharing relevant, interesting and useful information

3. Research your competitors' activities

You need to gather competitive information that can help your efforts. Conduct a competitive analysis of your top five competitors' use of social media for the following:

  • The social networking sites that they actively participate
  • The type of content they publish
  • The number and type of followers, fans and views
  • The products, programs or events promoted

4. Release offers and programs that are exclusive to your social networking channels

You must give importance to your social media with exclusive offers for these promotional channels. This will entice potential customers to share with their networks the offer that is not available from other marketing channels.

As an example, provide offer an exclusive offer for your social media channel, such as discount coupon or voucher.

5. Social media participation requires authenticity and transparency

The words "authenticity" and "transparency" are a bit overused today, however, these are cornerstones to be successful with social networking. Be a real human being in your interactions. This is the foundation to build trust and connections with real people on social media groups and networks.

6. Look for value opportunities in selling through social networking

Take the opportunity to leverage social media in selling your products and / or services by offering relevant items that are of value to your followers. Make it easy for them to make the purchase from these social media channels.

7. Always test and refine based on results generated

Social media programs as a marketing channel are not exempt from testing and refining your messages and offers. You must make the effort to test, gather results and analyze how it can be improved before launching the program to the entire channel.

Apply these 7 Marketing Tips for using Social Media to give you the foundation for success building and growing your business using these communication channels.

The Business Card: Discussing Their Purpose and Relevancy in the Age of Technology and Social Media

It’s 2017, and with minimal effort, you can find a significant other, purchase and have delivered groceries, and fully perform a day’s work without ever leaving the comfort of your home. In an age where social media and technology are king, many practices of the past have lost their significance and fallen by the wayside. The importance of the business card is no different. Or is it? I look to explore the purpose and relevancy of the networking tool in the age of social media, determining whether it’s a practice here to stay, or one to throw away.

So, what is a Business Card?

Perform a quick Google search and you’ll discover that a business card is a small card printed with one’s name, professional occupation, company position, business address, and other relevant contact information. They’ve been around for ages, originating back to 17th century England, where businesses would use them for advertising, as well as maps, since street numbering systems didn’t exist at the time (Ward).

Why are Business Cards Necessary?

In Japanese culture, business cards are treated as an extension of the person and are always to be treated with honor and respect (the balance). It’s pertinent to make a continuing impression, even after you’re no longer physically present, and use of business cards make this possible. It’s this elements that constitutes the continued need for business cards and why they surpass social media in certain situations. Although social media provides various ways to locate and keep up with who is important, there’s just something about the physical exchange of a business card that solidifies a connection. It’s this genuine connection we all seek that still finds 88% of American’s finding their significant others offline despite the increased popularity of online dating (Smith and Anderson 2016).

I recently received advertising in the form of a card for a free 6-month subscription to a music service from a concert, and although I’ve utilized the purpose of the card, I have yet to discard of it. I simple love the look and feel of the card, and admire the great care that was taken in its design. It’s this appreciation that allows this card to linger on, now serving as a memento of the occasion. Had this advertisement reached me via text or an email, the lasting effect good design provides wouldn’t be present, and I would no longer be shouting its praises. This effect is what we all strive to have in our day-to-day interactions, so wouldn’t it be beneficial to have this effect with a potential customer or employer?

Social media has its benefits, the ability to streamline and compile contacts to a click of a button being a huge upside, but fails to consistently create connections we can hold on to. We only have once chance at a first impression, and in business a business card is the tool that can successfully carry that impression, long after you’ve departed.

The business card is either the first or last thing you give to people when meeting them, and as a result is the item that they will remember you by (Schussler & Karlins 2011).

Sources:

Schussler, Steven, and Marvin Karlins. Its a jungle in there: inspiring lessons, hard-Won insights, and other acts of entrepreneurial daring. Union Square, 2011. (p.115 – 117)

Smith, Aaron, and Monica Anderson. “5 facts about online dating.” Pew Research Center, 29 Feb. 2016, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/02/29/5-facts-about-online-dating/.

Ward, Susan. “Why Business Cards Are as Popular as Ever.” The Balance, http://www.thebalance.com/business-cards-2947923.

Marketing With Social Media: Using Leverage In Your Social Media Marketing

Strategies for marketing with social media are fairly common. Unfortunately, high quality strategies are few and far between. As an author an online marketer, I have every reason to use leverage in my daily marketing activity. Well-meaning contractors abound on crowd sourcing sites such as Fiverr, but their tactics often leave something to be desired. Some can even hurt your business.

If you’re looking for leverage in your social marketing efforts, there are a few steps you can take that will dramatically improve your efforts without impacting your schedule.

The first thing to do is get a Posterous.com account. Posterous is great – it’s free and extremely powerful. Your account comes with a hosted blog, which is always a plus. But the reason to use Posterous is that it is the ultimate in social media marketing leverage. You can create blog posts by email and distribute them to your entire network of Web 2.0 properties. This includes other blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and a complete array of top social networking sites.

If you don’t have an account, you can set one up yourself. There’s no need to hire a contractor or have your assistant get you through this. In fact, handing off this task would take longer than doing it yourself. It’s really easy to do, and it’s quick.

Choose a user name that relates to your business or area of expertise. This user name will be the name of your Posterous blog, the URL for that blog, and the email address you use for posting content remotely to your blog.

For example, let’s just say I have a blog called Marketing Power. I don’t really, but let’s say that I do. The fictitious URL for that blog on Posterous would likely be something such as <a target=”_new” rel=”nofollow” href=”http://marketing-power.posterous.com”>http://marketing-power.posterous.com</a>. The fictitious email address would be <a href=”mailto:[email protected]”>[email protected]</a>. Do you see how your user name gives you leverage here? The next time you want to dispense advice to a customer or client by email, simply cc them. Address the email itself to your Posterous account, and will post to your blog. Now you’ve got a marketing asset that you can refer to in the future again and again, as well as backlinks and eyeballs on your intellectual property.

The next thing to leverage when marketing with social media is to link your Posterous account to your other social networks such as Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. This creates a feed to these social sites, and your content will automatically be published, posted and tweeted.

Here’s what that looks like. If I send an email to my Posterous blog from my regular email account, my email will post as content on the blog. The subject line will serve as the article title. Everything I write in the email will be posted, including photos, so it’s important to include only the material I want to publish. The content is then re-posted on my other social sites that I’ve linked to my Posterous account.

The thing is, once I’ve taken the 3 minutes to get set up on Posterous, working this way doesn’t take any extra time at all. The only thing I’ve changed in my work flow is the addressee on the email. I’ve moved my client’s email address to the cc line. See? Leverage.

You can have more than one “space” on your Posterous account. In addition to Mind Power, I have spaces for Leadership and Success, Local Business Tips, and Wordcraft. These all correspond with the topics of my published books and audios, currently selling on the top online retail sites. Using Posterous allows me to publicize my work and help more people.

Give a little consideration to how you’d like to use this social marketing strategy for your own efforts. If you’re planning to do marketing with social media, there is magic in using this strategy. Google loves to see open-ended link wheels with high quality content. If each of your web 2.0 properties is tightly focused on a specific topic, adding content regularly will only help your ranking in the search engines. Adding a touch of leverage will help your social marketing process run smoothly – and get your content noticed.