Tag Archive | "social media marketing"

Five (5) Things I Didn’t Learn At Social Media Marketing World Conference

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Five (5) Things I Didn’t Learn At Social Media Marketing World Conference

You know how sometimes we learn more from what’s not said than what is.

Well, at the recent Social Media Marketing World conference in the beautiful San Diego here are five (5) things I did not learn.

Click video to hear and see:


What are some things about Social Media you would like to learn?  Comment in the box below or email purplecowmkt@akbsmallbusinessmarketing.com or call 647 449 6760.

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Market Your Small Business With Pinterest

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Market Your Small Business With Pinterest

Unless you have just emerged from the Dark Ages, by now you would have heard about Pinterest.  Call it the ‘hot’, young darling of Social Media.  

Pinterest is a virtual pin board. Think of it like a scrapbook with lots of your favourite photos and mementos, only, its digital. 

With Pinterest, you “pin” or “like” images of items that you’re interested in or really like.  This could be images and/or videos of ‘stuff’ you like, you, your work, your colleagues, your clients – just about anyone or anything in your world.

Considered another way, Pinterest is a great way to tell your company’s story and spotlight it’s personality with photos and videos.

Here’s why Pinterest should not be ignored:

  • Pinterest has more than 26 million unique visitors per month.  Once you have a Pinterest profile, it is easy for clients and vendors to find you by conducting searches within your industry.  You may also network with other businesses in an easier format than Linkedin.
  •  Pinterest  is fun.  The site allows you to organize images, maybe beautiful flowers, invitations , delightful dishes,  funnies, into boards for specific categories.  Some popular categories include food, clothes, jewellery,  crafts, interior decorating, etc.  When you “pin” something new, your followers automatically see it. They can like, comment or re-pin it to their boards, And like ‘Facebook’, your Pinterest pins can go viral. With Pinterest you can also add videos.
  • Pinterest allows you to tell your brand’s story visually.   You are able to create a virtual catalogue of distinct images that speak to your particular brand.  This will keep customers and prospects visiting your page, and naturally increase the amount of followers. Approximately 80% of Pinterest users are women within the 25 – 34 age bracket.  Is this your demographic?
  • Pinterest visitors are more likely to buy your product.    According to AllFacebook.com, 69% of online consumers who visit Pinterest have found an item they’ve bought or wanted to buy, compared with 40% of Facebook users.
  •  Small businesses such as graphic artists, photographers, designers (just to name a few) are now able to showcase their work for free, and you can too.  Displaying your creativity and personal style on Pinterest, will give prospective clients the opportunity to view your work before making that purchasing decision.

        Here are a few ways to use Pinterest effectively

  • Outline your company history with images. E.g show the iterations of your logo, share past and present ad campaigns (the good and bad), retired products and/or retired employees.  Showcase awards and recognition.
  •  Pin ‘behind-the-scenes’ images of employees and other internal stakeholders.  How about clients experiencing your products and services.  Consider ‘a day-in-the-life of’ series of photos.  Powerful images like these would really help to tell your story.
  • Showcase the charity involvement or causes that matter to you.  Your customers and prospects would be thrilled to see how you are giving back to your community.

Pinterest  can become a great marketing tool for your small business. Lean in. 

Having great success with your Pinterest marketing? Please share with us in the comments below.

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Videos:  The Best Kept Secret of Social Media

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Videos: The Best Kept Secret of Social Media

  I believe videos are the best kept secret of Social Media marketing, yet many small businesses ignore its importance as a marketing tool and feel it’s not for them. Well, nothing could be further from the truth.

With videos, you sell more, improve your search engine ranking, provide better product exposure and provide your audience with another engaging way to interact with you.

Over the last few years, there has been an exponential increase in the use of videos for business purposes.

If you are still sitting on the sideline and wondering how it will help your business, the next five reasons should give you valuable insights.

  Top 5 reasons to consider video marketing:

  1. 85%  A visitor who watched a product video is 85% more likely to make a purchase than if they hadn’t.   Internet Retailer, April 2010
  2. 200-300%  click-thru rate. A recent study by Forrester showed that video increased email click-through rates by 200-300%. Forrester, 2010
  3. 30% higher conversion rates    In a recent study, it was found that eCommerce sites that display video increased conversion by 30% and increased average ticket sales by 13%. L2 Specialty Retail Report, September 2010
  4. 6-30%  more sales. Zappos achieved a 6-30% increase in sales after implementing product videos onto their website. ReelSEO, December 2009
  5. 53x with proper optimization , video increases the chance of a front page Google result by 53x. Forrester, January 2010

 (Stats by Animoto)

Here’s how I say it with video http://video214.com/play/Tk1gg81Ec1HKZIr78XJULg/s/dark

If you are still not convinced and need help understanding the benefits of video marketing contact me @   purplecowmkt@akbsmallbusinessmarketing.com or  647 449 6760

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How The New Facebook Changes Will Impact Your Small Business Page

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How The New Facebook Changes Will Impact Your Small Business Page

Like it or not, your Facebook Fan Page will change on March 30, so the countdown begins.  Think this won’t impact your Facebook presence? Think again.

The fact is, Facebook has decided to make the format for Pages very similar to personal profile. This means your old Facebook Fan Page will now have a Timeline format with a cover photo at the top of the Page.  Landing or Welcome Pages will become a thing of the past.

Instead of moaning, complaining or whining, here are a few ways your small business can take advantage of the new Timeline format.

1. Create A Compelling Cover Photo and Profile Picture

Cover photos are in; photo strips and Welcome or Landing Pages are out.  Big, big change here.

Think pictures and storytelling to communicate your company’s message and brand.  Pictures are always worth a thousand words, so it’s time to get your creative juices flowing and your strategy refocused.

The good news, is that you can take advantage of the large cover photo to make a great first impression. Maximum dimensions of the cover photo are 850 pixels by 315 pixels which is a big piece of ‘real estate’ on Facebook.

If you are creatively challenged, a good graphic artist can help or if you are a photographer why not ask your clients to submit their favorite photos and select one for your cover photo.  What about an upcoming event? That could be a cover photo. Keep in mind you can switch your cover photos as often as you like.  Compelling visuals can be very impactful.

A word of caution, you are not allowed to have a Call to Action on your cover photo.  You are also not allowed to include your website address, phone number or mailing address. Gone will be the days when you asked a visitor who landed on your Welcome or Landing page to ‘Like” it or Share it.

Before you start throwing a temper like two year old Johnny, you can include company details in your About section or you could have a ‘Like” app as one of your app buttons.  Just no call to action in your cover photo.

Profile pictures are now 180 pixels by 180 pixels.  This is good news, because you can now size your logo or picture in a bigger square.  Your profile picture is usually what appears beside every post in the news feed.

2. Tell Your Company Story With Milestones

Here’s where your storytelling can really shine. Use Milestones to tell about your company’s history, provide interesting facts and figures, firsts, launch of a new product, talk about a special award or anniversary, whatever provides a history and story about the company. The more visually engaging you can make your timeline the greater impact on your fans.

Here’s how to fill out your Milestone information. Click on the line that runs down the middle of your Timeline and select Milestone.  Fill out the company information as shown and start your story telling!

3. Feature Pinned Posts and Starred Posts

With the absence of a Welcome or Landing page, featuring a “Pinned” or ‘Starred” post is the only real way to highlight a story, a comment, a status update, a video, a promotion, a video or whatever content you want highlighted or featured.  A “Pinned” post is expanded to display the full width of the profile.

“Pinned” or “Starred” posts can be kept on the timeline for up to 7 days

To do this, click the pencil icon in the upper right of the post and select Pin to Top

Take a look at how Starbucks highlighted their Kona promotion by using the ‘Pin’ post feature.

4. Create a Call To Action With The New App Buttons

The Welcome or Landing tab will disappear. You will now have twelve applications (apps) you can showcase, however, of these twelve only four will be promoted on your page.  The rest will be hidden but still can be viewed.  This is where you need to think carefully about the apps you want front and centre.

Please note that you cannot change the position of the photo app which will be the first position in the row.  The other three you can choose and switch around however you want. If you so choose, you can maximize ALL twelve apps (but remember only four will be visible).

Some of the apps could include videos, a welcome app, a current promotion, a contest, another social media channel and so on. Consider using one of the app buttons to create a call to action.

These are just a few of the changes that are coming to a Facebook Page near you on March 30.  Change can be good, so consider how your small business can use this as a big opportunity to shine and tell your story.

Will you be ready?  How do you plan to make your Facebook Timeline stand out?

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The High Price of Social Media

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The High Price of Social Media

Remember when your mom cautioned you to “watch your mouth”.  As it turns out, she was really onto something. I guess, she was desperately trying to impart to us a greater sense of restraint, diplomacy, decency, and sensitivity.

In these days of tweeting, blogging, and even ‘citizen journalism’, it might seem that anything goes: just speak your mind. Well, not quite.  As we’ve been seeing, opinions can be risky business, even costly.  Spilling your guts and saying whatever you feel might not be the wisest thing especially if you are a public figure or a big brand with a lot at stake.

Take the case of Chrysler, who decided to part ways with New Media Strategies, an agency that handled its Twitter account. An employee of the agency decided to post a comment that read, “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the Motorcity and yet no one here knows how to (bleep) drive.” Between “to” and “drive” was the F bomb.  Oops was little too late.

Yeah, you guessed it – the Chrysler machinery went in to damage control mode. Comments erased, agency apologized, Chrysler licking wounds, agency contract not renewed. As one would expect, Chrysler had to reach out to the Detroit community to win back their trust and confidence.

Then there was the Gilbert Gottfried/ Aflac blunder. Comedian Gilbert Gottfried the voice behind the squawking duck in most of the Aflac commercials posted at least 10 jokes about the earthquake and tsunami after the tragedy struck in Japan on his personal Twitter.  Suffice to say, Japan accounts for 75% of Aflac’s revenue.  Go figure Mr Gottfried!

Again, the PR machinery had to go into damage control mode and Mr. Gottfried’s contract was immediately terminated. Aflac pulled all television commercials with his voice and issued a statement decrying the insensitivity of the jokes.

So when you hear the squawking duck in the Aflac commercial, you know it’s not the voice of Mr. Gottfried.

Insensitive tweeting has had many a victim – private citizen to public personas. “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work,” tweeted “theconnor”.  Needless to say the offer was rescinded. 

You see, “theconnor” didn’t quite get it when mom chided (him/her) to ‘watch your mouth’.  In today’s warp speed world, when everything is social and public, tread carefully and watch watch you put out there. It could be costly!

What about you? Have you ever tweeted something you later regretted and had to retract?

By: Dorothy Vernon-Brown

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Excuses Be Gone! Why Small Businesses Should Embrace Social Media

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Excuses Be Gone! Why Small Businesses Should Embrace Social Media

If social media has reached its tipping point why does the adoption rate seem low?  Once considered the domain of the ‘younger’ crowd and used only for sharing personal info; social media is growing up and trumping traditional marketing as a low cost, highly effective marketing tool. 

The social media stats are staggering; 400 million users on Facebook; 60 million on LinkedIn and more than 50 million tweets per day on Twitter.  If Facebook was a country it would be the fourth largest in the world.

With these staggering stats and growing evidence of the effectiveness of social media, I go back to my original question – why does the adoption rate seem so low among small businesses?  If I were to guess, I would sum it up with one word – FEAR.  Yes, FEAR of what is unknown and unfamiliar.  

 The adoption rate among small business in the US is approximately 24% which means 76% are yet to venture therein.  In Canada the adoption rate is around 19% which means that 81% of Canadian small businesses are yet to adopt. Fear of the unknown is the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind says renown horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. 

If all the experts, pundits, gurus or whatever you want to call them are right, social media is not the Next Big Thing. It is The BIG Thing.  It follows then, that if your small business is not involved in social media in some way, shape or form; your business will become stale and outdated, and maybe, just maybe your competitors will leave you eating dust.

Do you realize that Google is now a verb?  These days if you are looking for information what’s the first thing you think or do?  That’s right – you ‘Google’ the search term. Most consumers now ‘Google’ a company or a product before a purchase decision is made.

Customers and prospects are turning to their peers for recommendations often looking to online communities and sites like Yelp.ca to read user reviews and then make a decision.

Want proof?  Consider the role social media played in getting President Obama elected. One of the most unlikely candidates in the early days, his use of social media is now a case study for the marketing books.

 Then consider the role Twitter played in June 2009 when those protesting the official outcome of the Iranian election used it to co-ordinate their actions and spread the word to colleagues and supporters within and outside Iran.

 Still unconvinced? How about Lucky Bucky Clothing in Tennessee who after using Facebook ads for only 4 months received over 40% of their click through on their website from Facebook pages. Naturally this converted to increased sales.

While it might be too late to be an early adopter, now is good a time as ever to get your small business found online and engaged in social media.  Why not start a blog and provide relevant content about your industry? No sales pitch please. How about tweeting on Twitter?  No problem if you are not chatty, the micro-blogging site only allows you 140 characters to say your thing.  Tweet about a coupon, discount or sale you might be running.  Not your style? At least join the 60 million professionals around the world who are connecting with each other every day on LinkedIn.  Why not tryout being a ‘fan’ on Facebook?  Once you see how engaging it can be  set up your own Facebook fan page for your business.  Bottom line ‘Just Do It’ as Nike says.

Every medium might not be the right fit for you but at least give one or two a try and see what works best for your business.  If you are still uncomfortable, research, ask or hire a social media consultant to guide you through the process; like traditional marketing it’s all about testing and refining.

If you still decide to sit on the sideline and play ‘hands-off’ here’s are just a few ways you could be potentially hurting your small business:

  1. 1.    Your competitors have the edge. YOU DON’T

Other savvy small business will jump in and leave you eating dust.  They will engage your customers and prospects and eventually win them over. How costly is it to regain a customer?

  1. 2.    Your customers and prospects are online.  YOU ARE ABSENT

Remember that saying “out of sight, out of mind”?  It’s true. If you are absent from the social media scene you leave that void to be filled by your competitors.  Fill they will. Your competitors will now have their finger on the pulse of your customers and prospects.

If they fill that void they take your share of voice, if they take your share of voice, eventually they’ll take your share of wallet.

  1. 3.    Everyone else has a voice. YOU DON’T

Social media seems to be the great equalizer now.  Consumers have more power than ever before as they tweet, blog or Facebook about their preferences and positions; their rants and their faves.  Customers and prosects are taking back; they now have control of the conversation. If your voice is absent how then can you engage and listen? A shift has taken place; consumers have more power and voice. Jump in or become a dinosaur.

 4.    Your market is changing.  YOU ARE NOT. You seem irrelevant

 It’s true that the future belongs to those who will embrace change.  Make no mistake; the landscape is changing at lightning speed.  Your audience is changing and the market is shifting.  Do you realize that some Gen Ys might not recognize a typewriter or a cassette player?  If you market to the Gen Xs and Ys social media is not optional. How dated and irrelevant do you want to be?

 Jump in!  Social media is not that scary.

 This is just the tip of the iceberg. You might have some to share. Please do here.

 By: Dorothy Vernon-Brown

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