Browsing articles from "November, 2012"

Social MEDIA Marketing: Photos and Videos are a Must!

Nov 21, 2012   //   by Netword Plus   //   Our Blog  //  No Comments

Social Media: A Real Photo Op

officepuppyYou have invested a ton of money in website design, signed up for all the social media sites, started a weekly blog, but you still don’t see as much growth for your company as you would like. Consider that you may be doing all of the right things—blogging, SEO, and social engagement are very important—but you could be running the social media marketing race at only half-speed. All forms of textual content are helpful, but generally, the more visual the content, the better the response.  The rapid success and popularity of Pinterest is a perfect demonstration of the demand and appreciation for visual content. And all of the social media sites are catching on; Facebook purchased Instagram in order to compete with sites like Pinterest. Visual content is a must-have. YouTube has, for the longest time, dominated the video content market in terms of social media, but all of the social media sites make accommodations to facilitate media sharing.

You could hire a social media marketing company to ensure your business account posts media rich content, but if want to up your game on your own, then consider these tips:

A Product to Push? Post Photos! 

Post pictures of your product on your website and on your social media profiles. Don’t assume that simply directing visitors away from your social sites to your website–where there are plenty of photos– is enough. Also, you have to cross promote the pictures. So post onto Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and then link it back to your website. You should also make sure to learn the differences among the various sites.  If you post on Facebook, sometimes simply posting an image without any text will elicit a conversation, but sometimes a catchy description will help. If you post a photo to Twitter, hashtag your product name or brand and relevant key phrases for better exposure. If you don’t have photos, you can purchase stock photography on Shutterstock, iStock, and other royalty-free sites, but a lower resolution yet engaging photo will generally elicit a stronger response than generic high-resolution images.

Throw Out Boardroom Etiquette, Think ‘Social Media’

The rules for business marketing in the corporate world don’t necessarily translate in the world of social media marketing. With traditional marketing, you probably wouldn’t share an iPhone photo of your puppy wearing sunglasses on a national commercial. People expect traditional advertising messages to be more crafted and refined.  But in the world of social media marketing for business, a picture of your puppy can be worth gold in terms of traffic that it draws to you site. So throw out the old rules–be willing to loosen up a bit. Even the most serious professionals can maintain a professional image and still have a sense of humor.  Use your best judgment, of course. If you are an accountant or criminal defense attorney, a picture of your staff drinking beer at a bar after work might make clients question your level of professionalism. But for a majority of businesses, being a little fun and a little more personal makes you more approachable. Try posting pictures of your staff, office pets, or the company picnic. This is the best way to get people to ‘like’ your page and by extension—you.

Photo Quality Matters

Try to use higher quality images. You don’t need to use a professional camera–an iPhone definitely works. If a photo is too grainy to the point that it’s unclear what you’re looking at—then yes, avoid posting it as it may make you look a bit amateurish.

Online marketing for your company is a bit of a ‘social’ dance, but if you continuously ask yourself, ‘what would my ideal client enjoy and expect to see from me,’ you will have a good gauge for the best marketing strategy for your business.

Your Social Media Marketing Strategy: Don’t Fall Behind the Times!

Nov 9, 2012   //   by Netword Plus   //   Our Blog  //  No Comments

If you are implementing your own social media marketing strategy, it’s important to constantly re-evaluate it as social media platforms are updated regularly with new changes and opportunities. Consider the following set of tools and strategies that you might not have considered when using the most popular social media sites.

Get Your Business On Google+

A Google+ business page should be a part of every basic social media marketing plan. Having a Google+ page for your business, with a verified local address, is extremely vital to making your business rank well in searches. Assuming that has been done, when was the last time you searched for your own listing? You should do this consistently. You want to keep track of how your social profiles (including your Google+ profile) are ranking in Google search results—Google, naturally, favors its own listings when giving information to people searching for your business, thus your Google+ page is likely to appear higher than other listings so this information must be accurate. Make sure your Google + profile contains a link to your website, and the correct business address and phone number.

Buying Followers is Social Media Sabotage

If you have been told to buy Twitter followers and Facebook fans and the lure seems enticing–especially when your competitor’s site suddenly has 15000+ followers–resist the urge. It will come back to bite you in the proverbial, albeit virtual, butt. Facebook has announced that they will remove fake ‘likes’ from pages and recent tools for Twitter are also ‘disqualifying’ a high volume of fake followers. So it’s really not worth it in the end. Fake followers and fans do nothing for increased social interaction or for your bottom line. Tracking the growth of your business, organically as it happens in real time, helps you take control and adjust your social media marketing plan for the most optimal results. If you have already bought fans, do not panic but do stop buying. And be prepared for those fake ‘likes’ to drop off. Not only is buying followers and ‘likes’ social media sabotage, but also in the bigger picture, it paints an inaccurate portrait when tracking your business growth and shaping your social media marketing plan.

And one thing more: If you were to buy those fakes likes and/or followers, you would likely buy them from some guy you don’t know. Who has the actual work done in a foreign country. And that person in the foreign country has link farms, and your website is now listed on all of them. And boom: Your website can no longer be found in Google results. And you can’t get undo the damage. Sound unlikely? Trust us, we’ve heard of worse, firsthand.

Are You Missing Out On Facebook’s Lesser Known Perks?

You may think you basically understand the way Facebook works, but you may be missing some of the excellent perks offered. Take an hour to really research all the options available to you. You are right if you are asking, “But I post often on Facebook. Isn’t that what I should be doing?” The answer is generally “Yes.” But most people stop there. There are so many tools available that even the average social media dabbler can take advantage of. As often as possible, cross promote your social profiles like Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter on your Facebook page. For instance, post a video link from your YouTube page on your Twitter and Facebook pages. Make sure you have “Like” and “Follow” widgets so if someone simply clicks the widget, they have “liked” or followed you. If you post a great picture on Pinterest, share it on Facebook. Also research the Facebook apps that you can add to your page to customize it. Furthermore, did you know you can get free hyper alerts from Facebook? These alerts will send you an email when there is activity on your page so you never miss a change to interact with your fans!

Why Wait for Twitter Followers to Find You?

Twitter has made some changes to their platform this year so make sure your profile is updated to this new look. Experiment with the new layout as it may no longer work for your business page. Also Twitter can be used much more aggressively than Facebook in some ways. Take advantage of this! You can virtually reach out to anyone in the world on Twitter. Unlike with Facebook, you don’t have to be friends. You can tweet anything to anyone. Now, you cannot send direct private tweets unless the user is  following you, but you can reach out. With that in mind, why not tweet at ten new people per week who might be in the market for your service, based on recent tweets they’ve sent out or information in their profiles? Simply search for terms related to your business, and if someone is tweeting about a need for your services—reach out! Also, Twittercounter is a free tool that allows you to track your twitter follower growth. If you track it and see sharp surges or sharp declines, go back and see why. This will help you rework your social media marketing plan to get it just right.

Know When to Bring In a Social Media Expert

Many businesses don’t have time to be actively involved across multiple social platforms, but they make the mistake of attempting this anyway. Often, by trying to have a presence on multiple platforms, they spread their efforts too thin, and fail to engage fans on any platform.  If you’re short on time, it’s generally better to be actively engaged and conversing on one platform than it is to have an inactive presence on multiple platforms.  So when you’re trying to DIY your social media, feel free to put the focus where your fans are, rather than waste energy trying to build a following where there is none.

To truly have an active and engaging presence across the many social media platforms these days–Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Foursquare, and more–you’ll either need to have a full time employee managing these communications or you can hire an outside social media marketing agency like Netword Plus. Social Media Agencies have the time and expertise to encourage your potential clients and followers to engage with you across multiple social platforms, and typically run your social media campaigns for much less than what you’d have to pay a full time employee.

Whether you’re handling your social media in-house, or outsourcing to a social media marketing agency, it’s important to stay current. Be sure to check back with us frequently for all the latest trends in social media marketing!

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