Category Archives: Branding

The #N00b Guide To Using #SocialMedia To Promote an Event

The #N00b Guide To Using #SocialMedia To Promote an Event

The #N00b Guide To Using #SocialMedia To Promote an Event

Social Media utilized for businesses purposes is relatively new in comparison to traditional marketing strategies. Social media used to promote events and seminars have been compared to word of mouth marketing, which has been around for quite a while. Similar to word of mouth marketing, social media used correctly offers the unique opportunity to gain a tremendous amount of exposure for events and seminars.

One of the most important things about using Social Media effectively is to know your channels, followers and audience. The user demographic on all social media channels is very different, so when sending your message by way of social media it is good to keep this in mind.

Channels that you should incorporate into your marketing strategy:

SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS

Facebook: Is one of the most powerful social media channels available. It presents you with the opportunity to harness this power to expose your seminars and events to, not only your friends and followers, but the friends and followers of your friends as well.

Seminars and events:

  • Facebook Business Page: If you do not have a Facebook Business Page, you should create one. This presents you with the opportunity to have people “LIKE” your page AND you can now market to them. Facebook page followers usually prefer that you post two to three times per day.
    • Upon creation of your business page, make sure you add content about your business, and or what you do. If the primary focus of your business is seminars and events, make sure you list as much detail as possible about what kinds of events and seminars you conduct.
    • Creation of a Facebook Cover page is very important. This allows people that have liked your page to get an idea of what you do and what your business is all about within a few seconds, just by viewing your cover page. The Facebook cover photo dimensions are 315px x 851px. You can find a cheat sheet of all social media images sizes online. Remember to view the Facebook cover photo terms of usage.
  • Facebook Events: This is a great channel that you can use to create and promote your events.
    • Personal Page Events: If you have people that you are connected to on your personal page, you can utilize this avenue to invite them to your event. If you have never created an event you can find instructions on The Facebook Help Page.
    • Business Page Events: You also have the ability to create events on your business page. You can find instructions for that on the Facebook Fan Page Event Help Page.

 

English: Tweeting bird, derived from the initi...

Twitter: Is a very different platform than Facebook because it lends itself to a more conversational tone and followers are extremely tolerant to more sharing of content. This is especially the case if you provide information that is helpful to them in addition to your self-promotion pieces. Most of the people that are following you on Twitter are following because they are interested in what you are sharing, your events, promotions etc. So, they are very open to 140 character short bursts of information about what you have going on. Just remember to also include useful content, NOT just self-promotion content.

Seminars and events:

  • Just like Facebook, make sure you create a bio for yourself. Add your website or blog URL if you have either.
  • Create a twitter header image; the size should be 1500 x 500. If you have the ability to create multiple graphic headers you should consider using different graphics to promote each of your events. If you chose to go this route make sure you have a basic graphic to use for your header image that will be utilized after your events and perfect for general purposes.
  • Check out the Twitter Help page for more details about customizing your profile.
  • Strategy: At one time people just tweeted, but this, like any other social media activity, has evolved.
    • Scheduling Tweets: It is a good idea to start tweeting about your event/seminar a few days ahead of your event, but it is essential the day before your event. Scheduling these tweets is advisable. Find our more in the Free Social Media Tools section below.
    • Live Tweeting: Is the latest rage now and if you can arrange this and if you think it may be beneficial to your events, it is advisable. Live Tweeting encourages engagement, your followers feel connected to you. Also, most importantly, everyone that is live tweeting with you is ALSO tweeting about your event to ALL of their followers. This is a way to extend the reach of your event, with the help of your followers.

TV has started utilizing live tweeting as an avenue to increase engagement among fans and actors and it has proven to very successful. So live tweeting during events is something to consider. Twitter recently quantified the impact of live tweeting during television events.

 

Vine: Was considered rather silly when it first arrived but later people realized how powerful this platform could be for engagement and social sharing. Vine is an app that allows you to video very small snippets of video and loops them together. They are easily shared and people LOVE them. Twitter owns Vine so it is really easy to share between these two platforms. Tide is a company that has successfully utilized Vine for marketing campaigns.

 

LiveStream: Is a platform that allows you to live stream your event by way of video. This could provide a great avenue to expose your event to people while it is taking place. This platform actually allows you to engage with those that are watching your event as well. This is a very powerful channel that should be added to your arsenal of tools.

 

LinkedIn: Is one of the most power social media platforms utilized primarily for businesses purposes, and they have absolutely NO competition in this space. For business events/seminars it is essential that LinkedIn is utilized.

Seminars and events:

  • Connecting: LinkedIn is a powerful platform in which to connect and network with like-minded professionals. It started out as a platform, which was viewed as an online resume, however they have grown beyond this due to a variety strategic company acquisitions.
  • Company Page: Is an essential part of keeping your network abreast of what you are doing, your events and seminars.
  • Groups: Is an area that should be utilized to present yourself as an authority in your industry. It can also be used to promote your events and seminars.
  • Articles: Pulse is the newest option that is really being aggressively pushed by LinkedIn. This portion of the site allows you to post articles directly to LinkedIn, instead of using an outside blogging platform. This is a very powerful tool because when you have completed your article and it’s posted, everyone in your network will be notified that you just posted a new article for the LinkedIn Pulse .

 

Slideshare: Is a great platform that allows you to post PowerPoint and Keynote presentations to a social format. This allows followers to view, share and embed your presentations to their blogs, websites etc.

  • LinkedIn owns Slideshare so your Slides can also be incorporated into your LinkedIn Profile using the LinkedIn Slideshare app.

 

Seminars and events: If you utilize a PowerPoint for your event or seminar, AFTER you’ve completed your event/seminar, you could post your slides for those that were unable to attend your event.

 

Google: We all know the power of Google, so utilizing some of what Google has to offer is a definite MUST for promoting your seminars and events.

  • Google Plus: Is one of the most powerful, yet underutilized social media platforms. The biggest benefit of using Google plus is that content shared on Google plus is factored into search results and will increase your search rank. Your Google+ Page will allow your personal page, your business page and YouTube channel to work together seamlessly to help you to promote your business, seminar or event.

 

Seminars and events:

  • Get started by creating a personal Google plus page.
  • Just like Facebook and Twitter, you have an area to create a cover page. The dimensions are 1192 x 2120. This space, just like for all of these platforms is very important because it is “prime real estate.” The cover page presents you with the opportunity to showcase your talents, display your unique value proposition, and promote yourself and your events.
  • You can get started using the Google plus Get Started

 

 

  • Google Plus Events: Is a platform that allows you to create an event and invite those that follow you. To find out more about events, check out the Google Plus Events Page.

 

Seminars and events: This event option should be used at least one week before your event, if possible. You can easily post your seminar or event to this platform and share it with your followers. What’s good about inviting people to your event is that the friends of the person attending your event will also be notified about your event. This is a great way to extend the reach of your seminar or event past just the people you are connected to.

  • Google Local: IS an amazing and free way to present your business locally. This page, after created is extremely powerful because it utilizes Google Maps in search results, so your business can be found.

 

Seminars and events: Make sure your contact information is up to date so you will be found in search locally. Start by verifying your business with Google Local.

 

  • YouTube: Is the second most searched platform and one of the most utilized platforms online. People love to watch and share videos, so this platform is a “must “when promoting event/seminars and businesses.

 

Seminars and events: If you have the capabilities to create a short video about your upcoming event, you could share that on your social media channels to create a buzz about your event or seminar. Creating YouTube videos are a lot easier than they use to be, due to smart phones.

 

FREE SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS

Social Media is free if you don’t count the amount of time that it takes to fully take advantage of its benefits. If you go by the “time is money” philosophy, social media might not be considered free at all.   The key to utilizing social media to harness the power to promote is taking advantage of ALL of the available tools used to help you work smarter not harder.

Scheduling tools will become your friend and FREE scheduling tools will become your BEST friend. There are a variety of available FREE social media tools to help you manage your time, while giving you the ability to take advantage of all that social media has to offer. You can select to utilize a few or all of them depending on what meet your needs.   I use a combination of Facebook scheduling for Pages, Buffer and Laterbro.com. I use Facebook scheduling for pages to schedule my page posts, Buffer to schedule Google plus and Twitter if I have a small amount to post and Laterbro.com if I need to schedule a large quantity of Twitter posts.

  • Facebook Scheduling for Pages: This was one of the best things ever for people that use Facebook pages to promote their events, seminars and or businesses. To find out more about scheduling posts on your Facebook Page, go the Facebook Help Page.
  • Buffer: Is one of the best social media scheduling platforms available. Buffer offers a free option and an upgraded version, which includes advanced scheduling options and analytics for your posts. The free version allows you to schedule up to 10 posts on 2 different social media platforms.   I like FREE, so I utilize all free options on all platforms.
  • Laterbro.com is a FREE platform that allows you to schedule posts for Twitter or your personal Facebook page. This is great if you have a larger quantity of tweets to schedule.

BLOGS

Blogs are a great way to promote events and seminars at your own pace and timeline. Your blog allows you the freedom to post content about upcoming events weeks ahead of time to build a buzz about the event. These blog posts can additionally be posted to social media channel to further extend the reach of the seminar or event.

A few things that should be considered as additions to your blog:

  • Add a calendar of events, this allows your readers to see current and future events and seminars. They can plan to attend your event in advance.
  • Add as section/page for EVENTS/SEMINARS to your navigation; this allows your blog readers to plan for future events. In this section you could also add a submenu.
    • Include a Past Events section in the submenu of your navigation. You can add pictures, videos and other content from past events.
    • Include a Future Events section in the submenu of your navigation, which allows your readers to see what events are coming soon.

Good Luck!

 

As usual, I welcome comments good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Google plus.  So follow, circle and  reach out!

 

 

 

 

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10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

2013 is coming to an end, therefore it’s time to analyze, evaluate and make changes going into the New Year.  We all make resolutions about, health, wealth and happiness so why not include changing our employment situation. This is especially the case if you are one of the 71% that hate their jobs.

When I wrote the article, 71% of people hate their job; I was astounded by the response to the article.  I was more surprised that there were so many people that were unhappy with their employment situation.

Sometimes people can feel stuck in a situation due to a variety of reasons and they become very reluctant to make a move, so they just grin and bear it.  It seems that there are up to 71% of the population that are willing to grin and bear it.

Guess what people, we are moving into a new year so NOW is the perfect time to make changes in your life.  More people need to be a part of the 29% that LOVE their job instead of the 71% that hate it.

We are now living in a very digital world, so now we need to look at new ways in which we can gain the edge in competing for jobs. If you are a Digital Marketer, you may find yourself consulting, working for an organization or both.  Sometimes as digital marketers, we do not effectively market OURSELVES as a BRAND and that is very important.

If you are in a more traditional industry, chances are you are NOT marketing yourself as a BRAND either.  In this increasingly digital world, all people that are looking for new opportunities should start to see themselves as brands so that they can compete in this tough job market. Most people are using some type of social media recreationally. So, if you are involved with social media even socially, these ten tips will be perfect for your 2014 strategy for grabbing your dream job.

Whether you are a digital marketer or just someone looking for a new career path, it is imperative that you see beyond your present situation and come up with a creative way to change your career path.  The first step is visualizing yourself, not as JUST a person trying to get a job, but as a brand. It is very important that you think of yourself as a BRAND and you should market yourself accordingly.

A huge part of viewing and marketing yourself as a brand, is maintaining a very visual digital marketing footprint separate from the brands that you work with, if you are a digital marketer.  It is GREAT to work in this ever-growing digital marketing industry but as digital marketers we must maintain our own digital marketing persona totally separate from the organizations that employ us or that we consult with.  So, it is very important that we continue to develop and grow our own individual personal brand and digital footprint.

If you are NOT a digital marketer you should start to incorporate some branding content into your personal profiles. It is very important that all people see themselves as marketers, if only to market oneself to the world in seeking a new or better career path.  It is more important than ever to utilize social channels for career advancement in addition to traditional résumés and this is primarily due to the growing importance of our digital footprint.

I’ve read on numerous occasions that traditional resumes are very close to becoming irrelevant because our entire digital presence is available online for all to see.  More and more recruiters are utilizing the digital presence of employment candidates to get a better feel for potential employees before they even read resumes.  This is one of the reasons that we must make sure that we have a positive and flattering digital footprint and that we continue to develop our own personal brand.

Use Social Media To Improve Your Job Search
Use Social Media To Improve Your Job Search  produced by Gumtree

There are pluses and minuses to having your entire online persona for all to see. The biggest plus is that you are always visible; the biggest minus is that you’re always visible. LOL. This is the primary reason that we must be aware, more than ever about the types of content that we display on our digital marketing channels. So it is imperative that we have a strong personal brand and a positive digital footprint. Take a look at the ten steps below, to help develop your personal brand:

Anise Smith logo

Anise Smith logo

1.  Logo: Create a logo for your brand. My brand is Anise Smith, so the first thing I did when I started to develop my brand almost five years ago was to have my name created in logo form.  If you are creating a new logo make sure you have it created in 3 different formats.  Have your logo created in EPS format, which allows it to be duplicated for print and web, PNG for use when you need a transparent background AND jpg for general use.

2.  Uniform Branded Look: You should have a consistent branded look across all of your social media channels.  So create your Facebook cover, Twitter layout and other digital collateral with the same branded look.

Create A Uniform Branded Look On Social Media

Create A Uniform Branded Look On Social Media

3.  Facebook: CLEAN up your Facebook profile! I have seen some things in my daily virtual travels that would definitely be viewed as negative. If you want to promote a positive personal brand YOU MUST start with presenting a positive Facebook image.

I am connected to my father, teenage son and many family members on Facebook, so I only share information that I would share with them offline.  This is a great way to mentally keep your content clean and shareable. Don’t post information that you wouldn’t share with your grandparents, parents or children. If you wouldn’t yell it across the dinner table during a family meal, DON’T post it on Facebook. PERIOD!

Before you hit the POST button, think about how an employer would view your post. If there’s even a question of how your post would be viewed by employers or just followers in general, DON’T hit POST.  Better yet, picture your grandma peering over your shoulder while you’re writing your post. If grandma wouldn’t approve, don’t post.

Facebook is a huge part of branding yourself and you should use it wisely. Assume that ALL potential employers will check your Facebook profile, because they probably will. So it is best that you put your best foot forward starting here.  After you clean up your profile, showcase yourself. This may involve loosening some of your privacy settings to showcase certain areas of your profile.

  • Make a cover photo that showcases your talent. Facebook covers are 851 × 316.
  • Add your employment history, in the work and education section.
  • If you attended college, utilize the education section to add information about your school.
  • Use the project area to add the projects that you’ve worked.
  • Facebook just added a section for professional skills; add your skills in this section.
  • Don’t forget to use the contact us section to add your website, blogs and social media channels.

Facebook can be utilized almost as a resume if you add the right content and if you are a little creative.

Branding Yourself Using Facebook

Branding Yourself Using Facebook

4.  Twitter:  This is a great avenue to showcase your knowledge and to present yourself as an expert in your area, which is very important in creating a brand for yourself. Having a great Twitter profile allows you to make amazing connections while building followers organically, both of which are crucial to your personal brand.  So make sure you are utilizing this channel and showcasing your capabilities to your followers and potential followers.  If you are unfamiliar with Twitter start practicing keeping your verbiage short, because you only have 140 characters to make your point. So, you must use them wisely. To get started check out these easy steps:

  • Create a header for your Twitter layout, it should be no larger than 1252 × 626.
  • Create a Twitter background with your contact information. Twitter backgrounds are 1920 × 1200.
  • Display a presentable image of yourself.
  • Add a descriptive; yet brief bio using 140 characters.

The importance of Twitter cannot be overlooked in the process of branding yourself. Studies have shown that recruiters from the top employers in the country, are using Twitter as a way to recruit top talent. YOU want to be considered the top talent and you want to be noticed by these recruiters.  So Twitter is essential!

5.  Google+: There has always been some controversy about the importance of this platform. I’m not exactly sure why, since it is a GOOGLE platform. Most know that Google is pretty darn awesome.  So, needless to say I’ve been a fan since the Beta release! Another reason to get acclimated to Google +, Facebook has been losing a bit of steam recently so it is very important that you create a profile on Google+. Additionally content shared on Google+ shows up in search results. Enough said!

*Note* You can schedule your posts for Google+ and other social channels.  I’ve used a few but I find that, Buffer is the best scheduling platform available.

6.  Blog: I am really partial to WordPress but the most important thing is that you have a blog, which you contribute to regularly. So, select the platform that you are most comfortable with. [Wordpress, WordPress, WordPress, hmm, did I suggest WordPress?] A blog allows you to present yourself as an expert in your field utilizing your own content AND it allows you to provide this content to your social media channels.

Additionally you can create a page on your blog for your online resume. A web version of your resume allows you the convenience of sending a link quickly from pc, tablet OR mobile device directly to anyone that is interested.

Also, make sure that your blog is viewable by way of mobile device. So many people are mobile that it’s almost mandatory that your blog be viewable by mobile device.  This also offers you the unique opportunity to respond to emails from recruiters and send a resume link right from your mobile device, within seconds. WINNING!

7.  Triberr: If you have a blog YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST be a part of Triberr. If you are not familiar with Triberr, you need to become familiar quickly.  Triberr is THE BEST platform to utilize if you want to get exposure for your blog. This platform is second to none!

So, Triberr in a nutshell: It’s a platform that allows exposure of your blog through mutual sharing of content.  As a part of Triberr you would join tribes of interest. After joining the tribe(s) you would then connect the RSS feed of your blog to the Tribe. This allows your tribe mates to share your blog content to their Twitter followers.  Additionally all of your tribemates will have their blog RSS feed attached so that you can share their blog content with your Twitter followers.

The Triberr platform allows you to multiply the reach of your blog through the mutual sharing of content. This platform is Google Juice for blogs and if you have a blog you need to be a part of Triberr, period. Check out Welcome to Triberr and the Guide To Getting Started With Triberr.

8.  LinkedIn: Is probably the most important step you can take to meet contacts, extend your network and place yourself in the faces of recruiters searching for your expertise! Make sure you have a presence on Linkedin, make the proper connections, get endorsements, join groups and totally embrace this platform.

MOST companies in search of top talent will be actively involved with LinkenIn, so make sure you have a GREAT profile and keep it updated.

  • Use keywords in your headline and through out your profile.
  • Use an appropriate profile photo.
  • Complete your entire profile.
  • Add slideshows, links and blog posts to display your skills.
  • Share professional content that is relevant to careers or your industry.
  • Monitor your profile because you can see who has been checking you out. If you have a visit from a person of interest, visit their profile. They will now know that you have visited their profile and this may allow you to spark up a conversation.
  • Follow companies that you have an interest in because you may be able to connect with people of interest at that company.

Linkedin is one of your most valuable resources you can utilize, if you want to change your employment situation.

9.  YouTube: Videos are a GREAT way to showcase your talents. So create a 2 Minute video to showcase your capabilities.

  • Add keywords to any and all videos that you create because this will help Google to index your videos.
  • Add your video to your website or blog.
  • Share your video on your social media channels.
  • Add your video to your LinkedIn profile.

10.  BrandYourself.com: Allows you to monitor your digital footprint as it displays on Google.  You will get a report if any of your digital marketing channels have gone up or have fallen down in ranking.   This service is GREAT because it allows you to see how your brand is displayed on Google according to rank and it is FREE!

BrandYourself.com

BrandYourself.com

Are you currently utilizing any of these platforms to brand yourself? Are you using different channels? Let me know!  As usual, I welcome any comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be found on Google+, Facebook and Twitter, circle me and/or follow me.

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Why Your Brand Should Be On #Pinterest [Infographic]

Pinerest Rocks

I have never made it a secret that I am always willing, ready and able to check out new Social Media Platforms.  So needless to say I am loving Pinterest so if you are not on yet, you may want to make the dive.

A few things that I really love:

  • Image Driven: Most people are very visual and it is amazing to see what your friends are pinning and repin the cool stuff. I am developing some favorite Pinners already because they pin really cool things. You can really get a peak into the personalities of people based on things that they pin.
  • It is really fun! This is a great platform that allows people regardless of social savvy to have a bit of fun with social media.
  • TRAFFIC! Yes I admit that it is really starting to be a huge traffic boom for me. I add blog images,  link those images back to my blog and this has been really a boost for my blog traffic. I think as the popularity increases so will the traffic to my blog.

So overall this platform is fun, great for traffic and overall a For The Win Social Media Platform for all!  Take a look at the Infographic below to see how popular it has become.

Source: mashable.com via Anise on Pinterest

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Now If I Could Just Remove That White Background From My Logo

Transparent

One of the things that can be a challenge to people in technology driven fields are some of the graphic aspects especially if a person is not formally or informally trained in graphic design. Some people dabble and can get a few graphics done and some people are just plain old challenged. Sometimes you just want to quickly get a few things done and something as small as the white background on the logo can become a huge hurdle to jump.

The Video below will walk you through a few basic steps to easily remove the white background from your logo, if you have Adobe Photoshop.

 

 

 

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#Facebook: Mix Business With Pleasure And Brand It Accordingly…

Everyone has to admit that Facebook is pretty awesome. Even those that hate Facebook have to acknowledge that Facebook is pretty amazing and has really changed how we communicate, share information and how businesses communicate with customers. The people that hate Facebook would probably never admit this by I know that they are harboring a secret social media crush on the platform.

Although there are business pages for Facebook I find that a lot of people use their personal profile as a way to network, I do this as well.  Facebook started as a place to catch up with family and friends but soon turned into a place that I do a lot of business networking so I would say that 90% of my Facebook personal page interaction is business related.

Due to some of the recent changes with implementing  Facebook Timeline, tweaking of lists and the introduction of personal subscriptions it has made it really easy to use Facebook personal page as a business tool in addition to having personal interactions with friends and family.

If you select to use your personal Facebook page a an avenue of business as well, there are a few things that you should do, if you have opted into Facebook Timeline.

  • Branding Cover Photo: Use the Cover Photo as an amazing branding opportunity for your company.  I had the opportunity to work with Joshua Bevan to create an Amazing Cover photo for my Facebook page.  The blog image was created by Joshua. How much does he ROCK!! Watch his video below.
  • Tweak Your Privacy Settings: Create lists that allow you to post information for a public profile, business contacts and friends.
  • Allow Subscribers: This allows people that are not your friends to follow your public profile.  After you do this make sure you post information of value for the people that have subscribe by using the public option when you post.

 

Have fun and rock some serious business in 2012 start with having a business focus with all online channels, that’s my goal!

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2012: How New Media Works, THE 12 Social Media Platforms Explained

2012
I was having a discussion with Michael Q Todd about Social Media and platforms that are really rocking. It was a very informal, laid back but very informative discussion but these 12 platforms that have been rockin’ for me. After working to get my social media strategy where I want it, this is what i’ve come up with.

12 Platforms you should check out for 2012:  

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Facebook 

There are a lot of people that have issues with Facebook for whatever reason. STOP TRIPPIN’ people! Yeah I said it. Facebook, love it or hate it but they have around 800 million users and they are still growing. This is HUGE for your ability to build your brand. It’s not really about love or hate, frankly it’s about business, brand exposure and Cha-ching!

Facebook has now created an option to Subscribe. This is HUGE for people that use their personal Facebook page for networking, like me. This allows people that follow you on other channels to follow you on your Facebook personal page without becoming your friend. Remember if you opt to allow people to subscribe to your updates, remember to provide some information that would appeal to them and use the public option to post.

Facebook is a driving force behind social media and if you are smart you will take advantage of this to propel your brand. The new revamped Facebook Timeline with ability to offer people the opportunity to subscribe to your updates is HUGE for your brand. Add the power of the Facebook Business Page and that makes a power combination.

When you scoff at Facebook, think about which comparable platforms offer you the ability to reach up to 800 million people.  So if you have jumped off the Facebook bandwagon, I suggest jumping back on. 800 million people, there’s nothing to think about, just do it.
Twitter  

Twitter offers a HUGE opportunity to reach out to an unlimited amount of people, with 140 characters.  Things to keep in mind, don’t spam, don’t shove your marketing message and or sales pitch down the throats of your followers. They don’t care what your selling. REALLY. Twitter is about sharing content that is of value to your followers, NOT about you, your message and what you’re selling. The plus is that providing great content and valuable information will put you in a position to be viewed as an authority within your subject area. This will increase your chances of turning followers into potential clients, clients and or people to collaborate with.  Twitter is HUGE, use it.

Google +

Is the new kid on the block and is really being minimized by many. This is a platform that should be taken serious if nothing more than realizing that Google RAWKS. The Internet would NOT be the same if Google wasn’t a huge player. Google+ is not just a social media platform but a Game changer.  Google + will change the Internet as we know it like they did with the introduction of Google and the domination of the Internet since then. Google will take every platform that they own or that they plan to own and add it to Google+ to make it ROCK. BELIEVE IT! Google+ is the Game changer because it is the beginning of Social Search. Grab a Google+ Page for your business as well. Pay attention peeps.

Scoop.it

Curation is a huge part of the future of the Internet, primarily because there is an abundance or over abundance of information floating about on the millions of social media channels. People are quite literally overwhelmed by the amount of information that is being chucked at them. Curationallows the curator to compile topics of interest by weeding through the information, finding what’s of relevance to their demographic of followers and supply that information to their followers. This is what Scoop.it is all about and you need to check it out.

Image representing Tumblr as depicted in Crunc...

Tumblr

Is an extremely social media oriented blogging platform that is easy to share, easy to follow and extremely popular. I use my Tumblr account everyday. Tumblr is great for supplying small segments of information, pictures and quotes to people that are interested in grabbing quick information.

WordPress

Is one of the most powerful blogging platforms available now. I am a reformed WordPress basher that really didn’t get the big hoopla about WordPress until I used it myself. I was using Posterous as my primary blog platform of choice, they changed their format and IMHO Jumped the Shark. So, I was almost forced to look at the only blogging platform that I hadn’t tried  and that was WordPress.  I like the functionality of the free platform and I really REALLY love the self hosted WordPress.org option.  Since WordPress added the option to subscribe for most of the blogs, they are now the best in my book.  I use the Free format for everyday, uncomplicated blogging and the self hosted format for my more involved blogging needs.

StumbleUpon

Image representing StumbleUpon as depicted in ...

Is one of the most underutilized and underused formats in the social media game. Stumbleupon will give some serious juice to your content. I have included it as a sharing option on my blogs, I’ve added it to my Chrome Plugin and I Stumble every blog that I +1 and share. Use it!

Commun.it

Is one of the BEST Twitter management tools that I’ve ever used. I am usually not one for Twitter management tools;  However, I really LOVE Commun.it.  This platforms helps you to focus on people that are your most engaged members, supporters and influences. That’s huge because it allows you to know who is really in touch with your brand so you can actively engage with them. This is “For The Win” for creating an active and engaged Twitter following.  Commun.it also gives you an indication of those that have unfollowed you and those that you should consider unfollowing based on lack of engagement. This is a must in your arsenal for 2012. It is still in Beta and by invite only so if you want, grab INVITES

Empire Avenue

Is first and foremost a great way to meet some really AMAZING people, not just any people but the Social Media Elite ( my opinion) There are so many people in technology and social media related fields playing this social media stock market game.

What’s good about Empire Avenue is that it numerically rates your social media activity by  platform and assigns a dividend (div) amount based on how engaging your content is. The dividend is payed out daily to people that buy your shares, sort of like dividends in real stock market.

You can register as an individual or as a company. After you register, connect your social media channels and watch your share price and divs go up. There is a big drive to buy n00bs, because players have an opportunity to buy shares at a low price.

This game is not for the faint of heart. If you content sucks, your divs will suck and people unload your shares. The good thing is that share price and divs can give you an indication of things in your social media strategy that you may need to work on.  What’s more important than the gaming aspect, is that Empire Avenue offers players the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the most amazing, tech savvy people that they will ever meet.   Join, then chase down the Facebook Groups, Social Empire, Team Zen,  XBar and Eav Winners. Join the groups, learn the game and meet the amazing people behind the game.

Twyla

I am still learning a lot about Twyla but this is one of the platforms that I will be using more. One of the HUGE things about Twyla that I like is the POWER TWEET. It allows you to create the most powerful tweet ever.  Twylah is still in Beta so you have to ask for invites.

Pinterest

Is Image driven Google juice. It is the “New” Hot Social Media Platform, although I hear it’s been around for a while. Either way everyone is jumping on it, primarily because people really love pics and that is the driving force behind Pinterest. It allows you to grab pics from online sources, Flickr, Urls and uploaded images and add to your boards. People can then share those images by repinning them. You can also embed the images, which is really cool. I just started using this and I really like it.

Triberr 

Is the ultimate source of Blog Juice! One of the things about blogging is the ability to get your content out there, shared, Tweeted etc. You can have the greatest blog out in the world with the most wonderful content but if no one reads it,  the content is almost irrelevant. Triberr is the key  to getting readers for your blog content.

Triberr allows a user to create a Tribe and add members to their tribe. All tribe members can add an RSS of their blog which then gives the tribe members an opportunity to share  this content with their Twitter followers.  This is huge for brand awareness, blog traffic, subscribers and potentially for meeting clients and collaborators.

When a person is invited to a Tribe they can then create a new Tribe of their own and invite members. Triberr is still in beta so you will need an invite, which are not really spread around like other Beta platforms. This is primarily because to offer an invite to Triberr is inviting that person into your Tribe.

The key to being successful with Triberr is being very selective about who you invite to your Tribe and careful about Tribes that you join. I find that it is best to have similar and or complementary content as the people in your Tribe.  Also, make sure any Tribe that you join have members that are willing to share your content with their Twitter followers as you are willing to share with yours. I’ve learned these things the hard way so I am very selective about Tribes that I join.  If you join a Tribe that does not meet your expectations there, just bounce. I would, I have and would do so again.

OK, those are my 12 things for 2012. Rock on!

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Internet Marketing C.O.D.E. #SocialMedia Marketing Beyond Status Updates and 140 Characters

Social Media is quickly taking the place of traditional media, so shouldn’t there be a conscious effort to step up the INTERNET MARKETING game beyond just a Facebook post and 140 characters and link by way of Twitter.  There are so many other channels that need to be tackled if marketers are NOT to be viewed as people just playing on Facebook and Twitter.

One of the benefits of obtaining advanced training, certifications and or Terminal Degrees in Internet Marketing is having the tools and strategic ability to  provide services beyond the page update and tweet.  Social Media can be a very powerful tool if used properly to promote a brand, increase awareness and engage current / potential customers. If your Internet Marketer has more of a strategic background, they will have the ability to uphold and rock the Internet Marketing CODE:

Content: One of the first things that must be planned when creating a marketing strategy is planning the kind of content that will be provided to a particular social media channel. One thing that must be a given, the content must be GREAT. No matter what Content is still King.

  • Original Content: Creation of original blog content is a great way to provide relevant and useful information to followers. It allows a way to put a spin on a topic while providing information of value.
  • Shared Links: There are so many blogs, websites and new sources online that supplying relevant and useful content is easy to do by sharing links to friends, followers and customers by way of social media channels.
  • Curated Content: This is one of the fastest growing segments of social media and it is really growing in popularity due to the ability to supply an abundance of relevant information to followers. Additionally content curation allows the ability to share a variety of opinions by sharing different content from an abundance of sources.

Optimization: There is an abundance of different social media channels, so much so that it is almost overwhelming. When creating an Internet Marketing Strategy it is highly recommended that a selection of different social media channels are selected and the content is then optimized. This involves merging traditional SEO/SEM strategies into the social media marketing plan.

Delivery: After creating great content, then optimizing that content for social media channels the next step is creating an effective way to deliver that content to your followers.  Facebook, Twitter and Stumble Upon is a great vehicle to deliver your content.  These channels should not, by any means be the extent of your Internet Marketing Strategy.

Evolution: One of the most important thing in any Internet Marketing Strategy is to continue to evolve, grow and add more services to your company capabilities. Evolving beyond social media, status updates and 140 characters is something that we all must aspire to.

Internet Marketing CODE: Content, Optimization, Delivery and Evolution is a MUST!

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Social Media Marketing: Exposure, Brand Awareness & Increased Sales

As a small business owner and Internet Marketer with a Masters Degree in Internet Marketing the goals for the business is EXPOSURE, BRAND AWARENESS & INCREASED SALES.  When starting the business after a few failed attempts at effective marketing I knew that there had to be a different route planned for this venture. So setting off in a different direction by taking the skills learned along the way in combination with the cutting edge Internet Marketing Strategies learned while in one of the most cutting edge technology focused Universities in the country, the journey started.

 

Any person in business now understands that things have changed drastically in terms of business exposure, advertising and marketing.  Due to Social Media marketing, business will never be the same. The goals are still to increase exposure, brand awareness and sales. However the methodology behind accomplishing these goals have changed. Most importantly they have changed drastically within the last year due to the popularity of social media.

 

At one time, just a short while ago it was enough to have a website and apply SEO & SEM strategy. These methods are no longer enough. This is primary due to search and the integration of social media that have pushed its way into search.  So now we are looking at a merging of sorts, which involves Search Engine Optimization and Social Media to create Social Media Optimization.  SMO or Social Media Optimization is the art of taking aspects of traditional SEO and Social Media to optimize the entire online presence.  This is my marketing strategy and it rocks for my company.

 

This strategy is very close to being perfect and it has done well by the company, in allowing amazing brand exposure for the business.  Exposure continues to come up in conversation because that is the goal of any business. Companies can offer the most amazing services or products available and if there is no exposure it is considered a FAIL. This is especially important to a new business.

 

Social Media has opened the door to so many users, some recreational, some totally business and some a mixture of the two.  Social Media goals for businesses and individuals vary drastically. Individuals involved with social media for recreation usage have very different needs, as there is nothing riding on the outcome of their social media exposure. This is a direct contrast to the goals of business social media exposure. If individuals do not get exposure for themselves, there is no issue; however, if businesses do not meet their goals of effective exposure this could lead to the demise of a business.

 

Should companies that have businesses driven upon a high level of exposure be judged the same as an individual? In Social Media oriented industries, companies that push their message are marketing their company, which is the goal of any organization that would like to enjoy any measure of success. On the other hand people that push a message of useless content, may be viewed differently. How can the usage of social media that drives a company with the goal of increasing sales be view the same as an individual pushing useless content to gain reward?

 

The Take away:

 

The ability for any business to grow is contingent upon many factors, none of which include minimizing brand exposure, strangling the social media optimization process or silencing brand evangelist.  EXPOSURE, BRAND AWARENESS AND INCREASED SALES. 

Social Media is NOT a fad: Steps to get started

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I recently read that companies still see Social Media as a fad. I still find it hard to believe however, lets just say it’s true and move past it.  Everyone agrees that businesses need exposure, and so many avenues of exposure are no longer available. No one reads newspapers unless they are online or in ipad format. People listen to paid radio so that avenue of business exposure is out.  There are TV ads, but with cable who would even see your message.  So these things alone minimize company exposure due to potential clients and clients not even seeing the message or products that your company has to offer.

So a few easy steps to get started.

 

  • Create a Facebook Business/Company PAGE
  • Create a Twitter Account
  • Create a Blog

 
On these three channels add information about your company, what you have to offer to introduce your company to the world of social media.

 

The differences in these three channels.

  1. Facebook Page: Allows immediate interaction with the people that have an interest in your company. It can be as casual as a hang out spot or a little bit more informational. My company page is both information and casual. The key is great content for your page.
  2. The Twitter Account is to provide short bits of information to followers. It allows people to see what your company is about in 140 characters or less. I provide Internet Marketing information using my Twitter account. I talk about the world of social media, gadgets, cell phones, ipads. I talk about whatever is cool and tech related that I think my followers would be interested in.
  3. Your Blog is also information about your company and has become almost a replacement for a company website. I two primary blogs, this one and another that is mostly technology focused. There are many different blog formats to start you blog as well.

 

So that’s it! Go get started.

 

As usual, if you have any questions or comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent feel free to leave them here or post directly on my Facebook Wall. Ok stop reading this blog and get started.

 

 

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