Tag Archive | "Social Media"

June 30 is Social Media Day. Join the digital revolution.

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June 30 is Social Media Day. Join the digital revolution.


Today, June 30 is being celebrated as Social Media Day in cities across the world.

Social Media Day recognizes and celebrates the digital revolution and the way it has changed our lives for the better.

Started in 2010 by Mashable, a leading website covering topics on Social Media , business, technology, entertainment, and more, Social Media Day events and Meetups are taking place right across the world today.

Since the launch of Social Media Day in 2010, vibrant social media platforms like Vine, Instagram and Google+ has taken the connected generation ‘by storm’.

If you are still not a Social Media convert, I am almost certain you will find yourself on the wrong side of history. The stats are staggering, as nearly one (1) in four (4) people use Social Media with Asia-Pacific having the largest social network user base of seven hundred and seventy-seven (777) million people. (Stats: eMarketer report).

Now that you know, how will you celebrate Social Media Day today? Hashtag #smday

Connect and let me know.

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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:

http://www.viewbix.com/frame/004b30a6-f02b-45aa-be4e-adaa58ac2e61?w=398&h=300

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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Breaking Down Social Media Terms

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Breaking Down Social Media Terms


There are over 200 well known social media sites out there today including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to name a few. But these are just the ones we seem to hear about the most. What about the rest? There are so many questions surrounding social media, it’s hard to know where to even begin:

  • What is social media?
  • What’s the difference between them?
  • Which sites work best for me?
  • Where do I even begin?

Finally, someone has helped us all and created a social media glossary. This document includes several popular terms to help you understand the ins and outs of social media. Here are some popular terms to get you started.

  • Hashtag
    • The use of a pound symbol (#) in front of a word to emphasize it and start a conversation. It’s a keyword, something that links conversations and begins a dialogue between contacts. Using a hashtag helps that word become more searchable as well.
    • For example, “@AKBpurplecow can help you plan your social media strategy, #gettingstarted”
  • Gamification
    • Applying gaming principles to non-games to get people involved. Points, trivia etc all are great ways to get an audience to return, keep playing and be engaged by your site.
    • For example, collecting product points and linking customers back to their social media channels to enter contest and engage in conversations.
  • Trending
    • A topic that a large amount of people are talking about through their social media channels, in real-time. News, information, pop culture, anything! To combine terms, hashtags are often used for trending words.
  • Tweet
    • A verb used to describe the 140 character message users post on Twitter. It’s the message you share with your readers and followers – your thoughts, inspirations, news updates, or posed questions. A tweet sparks a conversation and engages users.
    • For example, “Thanks to @AKBpurplecow, my small business marketing plan is complete!”

To view the entire glossary of social media terms, click here.

http://www.iabcanada.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/SocialMedia-Glossary-English.pdf

For help getting started with social media and developing a strategy for your small business, email me at  info@akbsmallbusinessmarketing.com

 

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Run Your Small Business Like A Motorcycle: How To Boost Your Company’s Marketing With Focus and Direction

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Run Your Small Business Like A Motorcycle: How To Boost Your Company’s Marketing With Focus and Direction


While driving on the highway this past weekend I saw something that caught my attention. While cruising behind a motorcycle for some time, I noticed that every time he passed another motorcyclist he made a gesture acknowledging his fellow rider, expressing a kind of shared respect. Whether it was a flash of the peace sign, a quick wave of the hand, or a simple head nod, there was almost always some sort of positive interaction between the two.

Which got me thinking…what is it about owning a motorcycle that makes people feel this innate bond with fellow hog riders? A deep culture has been created somewhere along the lines that doesn’t judge people by their age, race, paint job, brand of bike, or any other form of minutia. No, it’s strictly tied to a similar passion shared between two people, regardless of how similar or different they might actually be.

There’s something that can be learned here by small business owners, such as myself. It’s the importance of creating something long-lasting and meaningful with your brand. What are your customers interested in? Where do they socialize? What will make them become raving fans?

Whether there are thousands of people in your target market that could rally around your brand – like motorcycle enthusiasts – or hundreds, it’s important to truly understand your market, cater to their needs, and speak to them with the same passion you had when you first opened up your doors and decided to start your business. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but it will help you realize where your business needs to be to create that stronger connection with your customers.

Having a well thought out marketing plan often goes a long way in understanding what you need to do in order to have a closer connection with your customers. The key is expressing your brand message with a genuine passion.

Developing a marketing plan will force you to answer the tough questions you’ve likely been putting off and, although it may not solve everything, it will likely help you hone in on what you need to do to have a more desirable product or service.

You may not receive a rewarding peace sign flashed at you from oncoming traffic for your efforts, but you might just find a new outlook for your business and have a better understanding of what you need to do to be more successful.

For advice on how to get started on your marketing plan and create your own group of followers, send me an email at info@akbsmallbusinessmarketing.com or call 647 449 6760.

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Be a Rock In The Sand: Four Easy Steps To Make Social Media a Key Part of  Your Business Marketing

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Be a Rock In The Sand: Four Easy Steps To Make Social Media a Key Part of Your Business Marketing


Rock in the sandThe next time you’re relaxing on the beach, take a second to watch the shoreline and pay attention to what is taking place. The water pours up onto the sand as the waves crash onto the shore, and then roll back down into the sea. As this is happening, watch how the grains of sand move with the wave, many being pulled out to sea. But then there are the rocks in the sand, big and small, barely moving, almost unaffected by the waves.

Now, picture your business (and all other businesses for that matter) being a grain of sand; the water being your industry. The industry, much like the waves, is constantly fluctuating, while businesses are forced to react. Some grains of sand move a little while others move a lot, but the rocks almost always stay put.

Over the last few years, businesses have had to adapt to the waves that are social media and, with it, instant communication. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, FourSquare, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. have brought new responsibilities to a business’ marketing demands and while these tools have become necessities for some businesses, many are still trying to understand what exactly they mean for them.
I’m here to tell you that, if you follow these four steps, you can take advantage of social media and help turn your business into a rock in the sand.

1. Understand your business
Before you start to look at social media, make sure you understand your business’s most important messages. What is your brand message? Who is your target market? What sets your business apart from the competition? What are you best at? What are you worst at? Where are you failing and how can you fix it?
If you can answer these questions clearly, then you have a strong foundation from which to work and should be able to easily determine what message(s) you should be sharing. If you don’t know the answers to these types of questions, social media is only going to add clutter to your business and take you out to sea.

2. Pick the right tools
Plain and simple, not every social media channel is right for your business. Posting a message on Facebook won’t always translate to Twitter, and vice versa. But if you understand the differences between each form of social media and which ones are relevant and useful for your business, you can start towards creating a plan for social media success. Whether it’s to manage your online reputation, generate leads and find new business prospects, build awareness, improve your SEO, or to express your company’s personality, understand which tool is right for you.

3. Have a plan
It is one thing to be posting useful information on social media, but it’s a whole other to post relevant information on a regular basis. To keep your social media endeavours from being washed away, use a social media calendar to keep you on track and prepare your messaging. By predetermining what you’re going to talk about weeks or even months in advance, it gives you plenty of time to gather content and reach your goals.

As part of your plan, make sure you’re tracking results on a regular basis to determine what’s working and what isn’t, so you can assess what needs to be changed.

4. Stick to it
You already have the plan in place, now you just need to stick to it. Everyone misses deadlines once and a while, but if you weather the storm and stick to the plan you’ll find that social media has become an important staple to your business, leaving you with one less wave in the sea to manage.

Although there are other waves to worry about aside from social media, following these four steps will help you better position your business for future success while also implementing new and important tools in your repertoire. The rock may still move in the water (occasionally) but you will be solidly planted.

For help on how you can implement these four steps, or for more information, please contact info@akbsmallbusinessmarketing.com or call us at 647 449 6760.

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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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Social Media Series Part 3

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Social Media Series Part 3


Everyone is always “tweeting” or watching funny videos on YouTube. What is this Social Media all about?  Increasingly, it will become the way to communicate; another way to promote your business to a whole new audience, which spends hours upon hours on these social media sites. The best thing - it is all for free!

Here is the final part in our How To series.  I hope you’ve found them useful. 

Twitter
Why:
• Helps to broadcast quick, succinct messages to interested parties. 140 character maximum.
• Helps you to listen to what others are saying. Creates opportunities to fill a need.
• Gives you insight into what customers, prospects, competitors and industry experts are saying – either about you or the industry you operate in.

How:
• Set up your Twitter account.www.twitter.com
• Create a compelling reason for people to follow you.
• A retail company could tweet about a special offer.
• B2B companies could post links about relevant industry info or trends.

Cost: Free

YouTube

Why:

• A powerful medium for spreading your message
• More than 2 billion views per day. Very, very popular online activity.
• Small businesses have an opportunity to jump on the video marketing bandwagon.

How:
• Set up your YouTube Channel – www.YouTube.com
• Your account name should be consistent with your business name.
• Put your video in the right category and make use of tags. Add tags that describe your business and products as well as the video’s subject matter.
• Write a good description for your video that contains your keywords.

Cost: Free

Do you feel you can become a Social Media expert? Well, maybe not yet, but this is a great start.

By: Dorothy Vernon-Brown

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Your Social Media tool box: What, Why and How to jump start you NOW. PT 2


In my last post, I showed you Why and How you can get started with blogs and Facebook.

In this post I’ll share with you Why and How to get started with LinkedIn and Google Analytics.

I hope these small steps will help you begin to navigate the Social Media jungle with a little less trepidation and fear.

3. LinkedIn

 Why:

  •  To network with other professionals and find others with similar interests.
  • Find out about people and their background prior to meetings.
  • Monitor your competitors.
  • Find specific people in other companies that may be prospects (generate leads).

How:

  •  Create a LinkedIn public profile – www.linkedin.com  (plan to spend several hours establishing your profile and network).
  • Your profile page should reflect your professional interests, passions, and ambitions.
  •  Be sure to include a solid headline that includes keywords relevant to your industry, a business photo, how you would to be contacted and what you want to be contacted about.
  • To start building your network you can reach out to everyone you’ve emailed before and make a request to connect. LinkedIn also allows you to search for people you know to see if they are already members.

Cost: Free. Upgrades for a monthly subscription

 4. Google Analytics

Why:

  •  Monitors your website traffic.
  • Provides stats that help you monitor who is visiting your site, where they are from, what they are looking for and how long they are staying.
  •  Helps you engage and convert more customers.

 How:

  • Set up a free account www.google.com/analytics
  • Insert code that Google Analytics provides you with into every page you want tracked on your website.  Your webmaster should be able to add the code for you.
  • Set aside some time to get familiar with Google Analytics and what it can do. 
  •  Monitor your site’s performance (hourly, daily, weekly – as you like it.)   

 Cost: Free. New features added often.                

 Stay tuned for the next post on Twitter and YouTube.

By: Dorothy Vernon-Brown

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Your Social Media tool box: What, Why and How to jump start you NOW.

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Your Social Media tool box: What, Why and How to jump start you NOW.


It’s all the buzz now – Social Media. Social Media.  Social Media. Do or die, get in the game, yada, yada, yada. If your head is still spinning from the ‘chatter’  or you are still utterly confused, let me break it down into bite size pieces to help you navigate the new marketing frontier that can seem so daunting.  

 Today let’s talk about blogs and Facebook.

1. Blogs

Why:

  • An opportunity to provide free value to your customers and prospects.
  • Elevate your status as an expert in your industry.
  • Raise your website in search engine results.

 How:

  • Write original and interesting content that’s relevant to your industry or business. Write to engage your audience.
  • Do not turn your blog into a sales pitch. Remember it’s not about YOU! WIIFM applies.
  • Add value to your readers; provide interesting content. Solve a problem, ease the pain.
  • Platforms: www.wordpress.com /www.blogger.com

Cost:

Free (for basic service). Upgrades and add-ons available at a cost.

2. Facebook

Why:

  • Highly indexed by search engines. One of the most highly trafficked sites on the internet.
  • Facilitates social connections between people (i.e customers and prospects). Fans can quickly and easily share your message.
  • Can use the Events section to plan and promote a business event or meeting, invite people on your ‘Friend’ list and see who will or will not attend.
  • The Wall allows you and your fans to engage in a two way dialogue. You can post a topic for discussion and your fans can participate and express their opinions. 

 How:

  • Create a business Fan Page.www.facebook.com/page/create.
  • Customize your Fan Page.  Fill out the relevant details about your business. Upload a profile picture (could be your logo, company/team picture or a business picture.)
  • Engage your fans and invite them to share stories, ask questions, upload pictures (relevant to your business).  Offer discounts, contests, giveaways to your Facebook fans only.
  •  Focus on updating your status with company news etc, use the Events page to promote your events and post company photos to the gallery.

 Cost: Free. Facebook Ads available at a cost (similar to Google AdSense ads).

Next post LinkedIn and Google Analytics. Stay tuned.

By: Dorothy Vernon-Brown

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