Makers Gonna Make

Social Media

How to use Twitter to Effectively Market Your Blog

Posted on Jul 18, 2012 in Guest Posts, Marketing, Social Media |

How to use Twitter to Effectively Market Your Blog

Guest Post by Sam Mauzy.

Today, just about everybody you talk to has a blog. The best bloggers will keep their site updated by posting regularly, from several times a week to even several times a day. Bloggers use several different tactics to get people to find their little corner of the Internet. SEO keywords and tags are a common way to make sure that web surfers find a blog post. However, so many bloggers put up the posts, add the keywords and leave it at that. They’re missing a huge part of marketing tactics for their blog, particularly Twitter.

twitter-plane-brown-iconTwitter is a fantastic way to get your blog’s name and recent posts out and about. However, every single Tweet will only capture some people’s attention, and only for a split second. The key ingredient to marketing successfully is repetition. This is the only way to ensure that your message will stick and that a large number of people will hear it.

Unless you’re glued to your cell phone even when you sleep, you can’t exactly update your Twitter every few hours of every single day. However, you do want to be bringing readers to your blog around-the-clock. The best way to deal with this is to sign up for a program that you can use to schedule your Tweets. TweetDeck and HootSuite are two programs that people can use to schedule Tweets for any hour of the day, up to several weeks in advance. You want to be reaching your Twitter audience as new people are signing on and as others are signing off. Schedule posts for every few hours during the day for several days in advance.

Make sure to rotate the times of your Tweets, too. For example, you may want to schedule links to your newest blog post for the next three days, but don’t schedule each one for 4 p.m. every day. Your fans who are browsing the Internet as they’re waiting for their work day to end will see your same post three days in a row. Next time you have something on Twitter, they’re going to ignore it because they’ll figure they’ve seen it before. If you post on even hours one day, post on odd hours the next. Also, HootSuite lets you choose five-minute intervals, allowing for even more flexibility.

Don’t overlook the importance of promoting older blog posts. As you gain new followers, they may want to read what you had to say this time last year. Obviously, this tactic will only work if you have several blog posts to choose from. Even if you’re a new blogger, however, you can start recycling old posts once you get on a regular, frequent blogging schedule.

Avoid posting the same exact thing over and over. Choose different excerpts from your blog to catch the interest of varying audiences. Repeating the exact same message multiple times is boring and akin to traditional marketing and sales methods, which people really don’t respond to anymore. Think about what your audience will find interesting and then present that information in multiple ways, even if you’re always linking back to the same blog post.

One thing that even the most frequent Twitter users forget to do is to add pictures to their posts. Pictures are worth even more than a thousand words when it comes to social media marketing. Photos get just about everybody’s attention and are one of the main things to keep in mind when composing Tweets or scheduling future posts.

Last, but not least, use hashtags wisely. Don’t overload your Tweets with them and always use hashtags that actually have to do with your Tweet. Otherwise, Twitter could prevent you from posting altogether.

Sam is a blogger who specializes in website conversion rate optimization and other online sales conversion services.

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How to Determine if Your Business Needs a Social Media Manager

Posted on Jun 13, 2012 in Career, Guest Posts, Social Media |

How to Determine if Your Business Needs a Social Media Manager

Guest Post by Melanie Slaugh.

social media logos, twitter, linkedin, facebook, google, bing, wordpress, youtubeUnless you’ve been living under a rock, your business has probably made the wise decision to incorporate social media into its marketing scheme. Social media and the Internet give you a chance to reach thousands of new customers on a regular basis and who wouldn’t want to leverage that to their benefit? Of course, it only works if you’re doing it right. If you’ve been on the fence about hiring a social media manager or not, here are five signs that it’s time to do so.

You don’t know the first thing about social media and you have no desire to learn

Easy. Hire someone to do it for you. It’s not worth the back and forth or the stress over if you should learn how everything works or not, nor the worry about if you have the time to learn the tricks of the trade or not. You would be better off hiring someone with the technical know-how so that you can focus on what it is you do best for the business.

You’re spending more time trying to figure out how to tweet than is monetarily feasible

If you’ve made the leap into social media marketing but you’re going into it blind then it can go one of two ways: either you’ll pick it up quickly or you will spend countless hours trying to learn to the point that it’s not worth it. When attempting to learn social media starts cutting into your productivity (and subsequently, company money) then it’s probably time to put that money to better use and to hire someone that knows what they’re doing.

Your automated messages aren’t generating the buzz you wanted

Successful social media is so much more than just scheduling automated tweets or Facebook posts, and if you go into it thinking that all you need to do is send out automated posts you’re going into it destined to fail. The reason social media is so successful is because of the personal interaction that it allows members to feel. Having a social media manager means you have someone who is capable of developing these relationships and building your brand.

You don’t have time to maintain the accounts

Social media success is a direct result of the time that is spent being active online and maintaining the accounts. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to the different social media then you’re better off hiring someone whose sole job is to promote and engage with customers via those accounts.

Not everyone needs to hire a social media manager, and many businesses do just fine passing off those responsibilities to employees who can pick up the slack. However successful social media does require being savvy enough with it to not only keep the accounts alive, but also to grow them. If you’re finding your businesses’ social media is lacking, it might be time to hire a professional to take it over.

Melanie Slaugh is enthusiastic about the growing prospects and opportunities of various industries and writing articles on various consumer goods and services as a freelance writer. She writes extensively for internet service providers and also topics related to internet providers in my area for presenting the consumers, the information they need to choose the right Internet package for them.  She can be emailed for follow up.

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3 Tips to Effectively Use Instagram in Brand Marketing

Posted on Apr 27, 2012 in Marketing, Social Media, Tools |

3 Tips to Effectively Use Instagram in Brand Marketing

@TrishaLyn03 on InstagramMore and more major players in various retail industries have begun using this free picture-sharing platform to broaden their consumer base. Just like other major social venues, Instagram can be a seriously helpful tool for branding your business and ultimately increasing sales. However, like all newer social avenues out there, business owners often wonder how to use this application in the most effective way possible.

Seeking reputation management is one of the best and most hassle-free ways to ensure a quality online, social presence in general, and something to seriously consider. But for those more keen on the DIY approach, here are a few tips for using this free application to effectively market your brand.

1. Unique Content

It’s important to keep in mind that while people want to see interesting pictures, they should be uniquely tied to your brand or business in some way. Take nH Hoteles for example… This Hotel brands itself well by adding unique pictures of various sunrises from their many locations, in addition to other pictures dealing with various hotel-related items like menu offerings or nearby attractions. Keeping the pictures interesting but simultaneously related to their brand keeps users coming back while making them aware of nH Hoteles offerings at the same time.

2. Consistency

Consumers like to be entertained but not overwhelmed by your presence. By keeping your picture number consistent and relatively low is the best way to ensure a continued following. Something like two or three quality photos a day is probably enough to keep followers interested without overloading their picture wall and turning them off to your brand.

3. Consumer Involvement

Brands like Levi’s are using Instagram in a uniquely customer-oriented way. In their latest campaign to find the next top Levi’s models, they have simply asked that users tag photos of themselves wearing Levi’s products with the #iamlevis hashtag. This is not only a brilliant marketing strategy, but it’s also a great way for Levi’s to leverage the free medium to find untapped potential in new models for their clothing. Genius. Getting the customer involved is always a plus in this day and age.

No matter what your brand happens to be, Instagram offers a distinctly unique and incredibly easy way to market that brand. As the retailers continue jumping on the bandwagon, it’s becoming more and more apparent that the effects are indeed positive; the platform is proving effective. Best of all, there is virtually no cost associated with this method, and therefore, virtually no reason not to give it a try.

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Tips for a Great Product Review

Posted on Apr 13, 2012 in Marketing, Social Media | 1 comment

Tips for a Great Product Review

What’s the most important way that most people find out about which new products to buy, and which to avoid? Whether it’s groceries, clothes, or beauty products, the opinion of respected friends and colleagues is a big factor. It’s how sites Amazon have increased conversions, turning browsers into buyers.  Beyond asking your friends for their advice, the second best source sometimes is an impartial product review.

Product review is an ability to express or share one’s opinion about the product, whether it is good or bad. The essential questions that need to be answered to have a good product review are:

  1. What does the product promise?
  2. How well does it live up to this promise?
  3. Is it a good value? for whom?

tips for a great product reviewTo answer these questions first you have to read the documentation to understand everything the product can do or at least what it promises to do. Of course, it always helps to have actually used the product yourself.  While you’re exploring the features, look also what the product doesn’t do – sometimes it’s easy to get sucked in with all the promises it makes, but remember that people looking to buy want honest opinions on the cons of the products as well.  Revealing the downside of a particular product won’t necessarily make someone decide not to purchase it – it just depends what their personal goals for the product are in their own life.

To avoid common mistakes when writing your review, first you have to avoid irrelevant introduction and do not recite the feature list.  Most of the time the merchant site will list the features, so you should only highlight the features (or lack of features) you feel are important towards the decision making process of whether or not to purchase the specific item you’re reviewing.  The type of online shoppers who do a lot of product research before making a purchase are the type to read your review, so respect their time.  There are usually many reviews for popular products, so keep your review succinct and include only what information might be relevant to the purchasing decision.

Keep in mind that you should also remain impartial, especially if the product was provided to you for free for the purposes of reviewing it.  Just because you got the product free it doesn’t mean that it’s a gift and you should thank the vendor by providing thumbs up review. You have to consider the matters most is the reader, who is a user group like you, and not the vendors “gift” because you’re telling someone how to spend their money. In order to avoid any compliance issues with the FTC, you need to also be sure to disclose when a product is provided to you for free.  Remember to consider, if not in the text of your review but just to yourself, you have to answer the question: would you spend your own hard earned money on this product?

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3 Essentials to Effective Internet Marketing

Posted on Mar 30, 2012 in Affiliate Marketing, Marketing, Social Media | 1 comment

effective internet marketingInternet marketing is the new gold rush in the commercial world. And it’s not just big businesses that are whole-heartedly embracing online avenues, small businesses and even single-person entrepreneurs and freelancers now view the Internet as the de facto method for sales growth, exposure, and blog allegiance. Here are a few ground rules for responsible and effective Internet marketing:

Use affiliate marketing smartly.

Don’t litter your blog with hundreds of affiliate links and then get shocked when your readers are turned off. Pick and choose your affiliates carefully, as you would colleagues or partners in any kind of business environment. When you align yourself with an online merchant, you’re in a sense tying your reputation to theirs. If you’re against synthetic chemical-laden manufacturing, for example, and you’re considering affiliate links from companies who manufacture custom water bottles, make sure the company you endorse produces polycarbonate alternative bottles. The point is to make your links consistent, credible, and ethical. Nothing will destroy your credibility quicker than completely selling out your principles over a single affiliate.

Don’t be too repetitious.

Obviously, aggressive marketing requires certain levels of redundancy. How many times have you seen a company tweet the release of a new product a thousand different ways? Or send out multiple email newsletters in a single week? But don’t keep posting the exact same link to your Kickstarter page over and over again with no new information. This just makes you seem either desperate, dense, or dim-witted, depending on who your friends are. Always provide new information or a new context when reposting your own link.

Utilize several different platforms.

If you’re stuck on just Twitter or just Facebook you’re missing the point of social media. It’s not about one application, it’s about the totality of social media sites sharing, integrating and working together with powerful Internet tools like SEO. If you’re releasing a new project combine crowdfunding, viral video on YouTube, microblogging, podcasting, Fan Pages and whatever else you can think of. A successful Internet marketing campaign is rarely relegated to a single site. Diversify your portfolio, so to speak.

Do you consider yourself a self-promoter, a marketer, an advertiser? If the answer is yes, then you’ve probably dabbled in Internet marketing and will do so again in the future. Make sure you’re representing yourself and your brand effectively without being seen as distasteful, spammy, or tedious.

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Unlocking Your Future – the Key to Working from Home

Posted on Mar 23, 2012 in Affiliate Marketing, Career, Guest Posts, Social Media |

Guest Post by James Martell

In my dad’s day, a businessman commuted from the suburbs to the office for hours each week, often traveling on business trips to meet with clients or suppliers, and spent more time away from home than he ever did with his family.  Those days are disappearing, and it’s time to embrace a new normal.

Blast from the past

Back in 1998, when I first started understanding how the internet would be the future of business, everyone was a bit leery of it.  When I did my first promotion for a company in the United States, everybody thought it was crazy for a Canadian like me to do business with someone from another country, not to mention someone I had never even met.  I must admit I had my own doubts about it, but they were all laid to rest when the first check cleared the bank.

Today’s Information Age

Flash forward twelve years and the internet is the way we all do business, so why are so many of us still leaving our homes and families to punch  a time clock in an office?  Working from home is the key to your freedom and happiness; you just have to follow some simple guidelines and success can be yours.

Create your own space

Start by creating your own work space.  Working from home is great, because it allows you the freedom to manage your own time and do with it what matters most, but you can’t treat your work time like home time.  Creating a separate space to be your work area is essential, and allows you to mentally focus on your work, as well as keep things organized.

Some people I’ve talked to prefer to create their own office, complete with a nice home office computer desk and filing cabinets.  Others prefer to make a section in their garage or a corner of the bedroom their work area.  However much space you need, or the tools you require, just make sure it is a space that is all your own, and dedicated solely to your work.  No setting up on half the kitchen the table and pretending you can eat dinner around it or the kids won’t scatter it.  It just doesn’t work!

Social marketing

Use the internet to work for you.  It’s important to realize that there’s a lot of competition out there these days, and you’ll need more going for you than just a well written landing page if you’re going to be a success.  You’re going to have to make what you’re offering look appealing to the consumer and convince them that others think it has value too.  Whatever you’re selling, whether it’s a product or a service, one of the best ways to sell it is with social marketing.

Just as our parents turned to the yellow pages or watched ads on TV, today everybody goes to search engines like Google when they want or need something.  It’s the first place many of us get our information now.

When we want to know if the information we gathered from the web is credible, we rely on people we know for endorsements.  The power of word of mouth has grown immeasurably since the advent of Facebook and Twitter. Millions of consumers are turning to these resources before making purchases and more and more of us are doing the actual buying or ordering on the internet as well.  I’m sure you’ve found this to be true in your own life just as I have. These are great tools that you can use to your advantage.  By getting people to talk about your product or service and consumers will seek you out.

Tools of tomorrow, here today

If all this sounds like a lot of work, just remember, you don’t have to do it all alone.  Working from home isn’t for hermits or the antisocial.  Thanks to today’s technology, it is as vibrant and active and social as you want to make it.

  • Increase knowledge and education with webinars.
  • Bring the boardroom right into your home by holding meetings and networking with them through business video conferencing or Skype.
  • Utilize smart phone apps or laptops to access everything you need anywhere you go.

Do all the things you want to do with your life, and still have the access to handle all your business needs and communicate with the people you need to accomplish it all.  Social networking is first and foremost about keeping social as much as you can.

Follow these guidelines and you’ll be on the path to success, and free to enjoy it when you achieve it.  Your future is just waiting for you.

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James Martell, author of the Affiliate Marketers Handbook works from his home office computer desk teaching others how to make money with affiliate programs utilizing powerful tools like business video conferencing.

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