If Fortune 500 Can So Can You – #Infographic

If Fortune 500 Can So Can You

Infographic from a new report from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center which has been conducting research on Social Media since 2008.

It is evident that Social Media is becoming a bigger and bigger part of how these companies continue to find new ways to create more awareness about their brand, products and services.

You might think that it’s easy for these giants with all the money they have but Social Media is no longer about “Pay to Play” but “Play to Play”.

Optimised Social Media is about Optimising What, How and When. If your company acquires these skills then you can have a cost effective Social Media Marketing Strategy that will drive awareness and ultimately more sales.

These skills can easily be acquired with proper training. For example our Social Media Community training program will allow your Social Media Community Manager to do all the company’s Social Media Management spending maximum 1 hour per day. Contact us if you would like to know more about our training program.

Fortune 500 Bullish on Social Media

See full study here

Check out our FREE Twitter Webinars if you want to grow your targeted followers faster. FREE 15 trial, Webinar and invitation to exclusive Twitter groups. Check out my growth here @CatalystPart Twitter growth.

Are you taking full advantage of Social Media to drive more awareness and ultimately more sales?

Posted in Facebook, Growing your business, Latest news, Mobile, Social media, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Content Marketing Kicks $SS – #Infographic

Why Content Marketing Kicks $SS

Traditional publicity aka interruption marketing have long been the way that most marketeers have attempted to attract potential buyers.

Traditional marketing VS Content Marketing

Source: Attach Media

However, this type of marketing continues to become more and more ineffective. Not only because more effective ways of marketing your company’s products and services such as content marketing are now available to anybody but also because consumers continue to implement ways to prevent interruption marketing from reaching them such as skipping TV ads automatically, pop up blockers preventing ads from showing on websites, more sophisticated spam filters and even Google is now punishing websites with too many ads.

Seldom does a visitor to my blog only read just the blog post they arrived at. They often read several blog posts and also see comments/responses which not only allows them to better understand the company’s products and services but also allows them to get more intimately acquainted with the people behind the company and to assess what other people think about the company and its products and services.

People still buy from people. Content marketing is the perfect way to personalise your brand.

With proper use of content marketing research has shown that 60% of the sales cycle is over – before a buyer talks to your sales person. A visitor coming from a Social Media site is 10 times more likely to make a purchase online than an average visitor.

Are you and your clients taking full advantage of this major shift and how?

Check out my FREE Twitter Webinars.

Posted in Facebook, Growing your business, Latest news, Mobile, SEO, Social media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ignore Mobile at Your Own Peril – #Infographic

Ignore Mobile at Your Own Peril

Business owners have ignored mobile for too long. Not only is the growth in mobile usage unprecedented but the implication for any company of this growth is serious.

In the majority of the countries more than 50% of Social Networking is happening on a mobile device.

That means that more than 50% of people on Social Networking sites are going to arrive on your website from a mobile device, be it a smart phone or a tablet. If your website is not mobile friendly because of load time or lack of mobile friendly design you will lose opportunities.

Any serious company needs to look at their website on different display devices to make sure they are optimised for the most common ones.

Nowadays there are thousands of responsive web design options aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

Is your website mobile friendly?

Mobile Usage Around the World

Image courtesy of Lebara Mobile

Check out my FREE Twitter Webinars.

Posted in Facebook, Growing your business, Latest news, Mobile, Social media, Twitter | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Top Social Media Tips – Part 2

Top Social Media Tips - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Blogging, LinkedInIntroduction

Top Social Media Tips is a weekly post of useful Social Media Tips from Social Media users around the world.

These tips are meant to help you improve your Social Media presence by picking up news tips every week.

We hope you find the tips useful. Please let each contributor know what you think about their tips.

Top Social Media Tips by Rachel Thomson

Tip 1Your Twitter Bio: Twitter allows room for not one but two URLs now? Make the most of it! I recommend my clients add their website or blog of course, but also a customized buy link (I prefer bit.ly, the publishing industry standard), usually Amazon.

Benefit: Useful to know exactly how many clicks you receive from Twitter to Amazon, since they don’t provide that info. Click to see my author account, @RachelintheOC, for an example.

Tip 2A Book Tip: If you’re an author with a book on Amazon U.S., first off, you must create an Amazon Author Central page which contains your bio, blog, social media, book trailer, etc. Secondly, you must create a separate Author Central account for each country where Amazon exists that sells your books! So UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, even Japan.

To clarify, your book automatically populate to all these sites. Your Author Central account does not.

Use the Google Translate button to help you figure out what you’re doing.

Benefit: Increased book sales.

Tip 3Read first. Then respond: Is this really a secret tip? Perhaps, not. Yet flame wars break out every day over hurt feelings and jumped conclusions.

I love Twitter (as previously discussed on my guest posts TWEET SMARTER, NOT HARDER Parts One and Two), if used in a way that engages. One of the best ways I’ve found to interact is to wait to comment on a tweet that accompanies a post until I’ve read the post. Crazy talk, I know.

Benefit: You don’t look the fool.

Learn more about Rachel Thomson:

In addition to writing, Rachel is also a social media consultant. She’s written two Amazon bestsellers: A Walk In The Snark and The Mancode: Exposed. She’s currently writing her third nonfiction book, Broken Pieces.

Contact Rachel to help you figure out the maze of social media, branding, marketing, and Amazon.

Top Social Media Tips by Christopher Hutton

Tip 1: Share industry-relevant Quotes with your audience

Benefit: Quotes are often intelligent and effective quips that present an idea. These are great for any audience, for this kind of post presents you and your label as a smart, intelligent brand that has a lot to say, and is an expert in their Niche.

Tip 2: Be something that is unique to your Niche

Benefit: People love it when others have a voice that both educates and entertains them. So, provide that edge that you know they want. My own voice always involved a mixture of unique articles, quotes, questions, and then discussing life with my followers. However, that voice might change in a few months. It all matters to the audience.

Tip 3: Engage your audience

Benefit: As Star Trek: TNG’s own Jean-Luc Picard once said, “Engage”. All websites and social media accounts need to engage and be in contact with it’s audience, in order to serve them and make them better. Thus, you should figure out what needs to be done to make them think.

Learn more about Christopher Hutton:

Chris is a blogger/freelance writer for the Liter8 Ideas blog. He writes on the Truths of the Human condition, and how they matter to us on a daily basis.

Top Social Media Tips by Mott Marvin Kornicki

Tip 1: Be an early adopter; Many formats and portals seem to crop up everyday. Naturally all are not good and some are redundant or just not necessary.

Benefit: See what’s new before it becomes old shoe. As an early adopter our peers will look to us as a valuable resource of information.

Tip 2: Use the mainstream tried and true sites like Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter and KLOUT. Become a specialist in just a few topics or subjects; Nobody can successfully be everything to everybody.

Benefit: After some time your online identity will solidify and we will be known as the “go-to” source for something.

Tip 3: Maintain an open mind and focus on interaction not just spewing out information. The conversation should be flowing with opinions and ideas that sometimes conflict. Controversy and conflict or better said- differences of opinion are what makes life interesting.

Benefit: We will all learn from each other and see the world in a new light.

Learn more about Mott Marvin Kornicki:

Your turn!! Did you learn something new?

If you want to contribute your Top Social Media Tips then please send an email to jorgen.poulsen@catalystpartnership.com with ‘TSMT’ in the subject field and you will receive further instructions about format etc.

Ps. remember to subscribe to make sure you receive notification of future Top Social Media Tips.

Posted in Latest news, Top Social Media Tips | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Top Social Media Tips – Part 1

Top Social Media Tips - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Blogging, LinkedInIntroduction

Top Social Media Tips is a weekly post of useful Social Media Tips from Social Media users around the world.

These tips are meant to help you improve your Social Media presence by picking up news tips every week.

We hope you find the tips useful. Please let each contributor know what you think about their tips.

Top Social Media Tips by Kirbi Fagan

Tip 1: Be authentic! Understand what each platform offers and write original posts or updates for each social website. Linking multiple accounts or automating can become repetitive and uninteresting.

Benefit: An original post strengthens the interest of your audience. This will also extend the amount of time your audience spends on your website and profiles.

Tip 2: It’s about them, not you! Know whom you are speaking to and always offer your audience consistent, rich content. It’s better to post less than post poor content.

Benefit: When you create interesting posts, people share those posts.

Tip 3: Get on the bandwagon. Don’t like twitter? Your audience does! Get connected!

Benefit: Joining multiple platforms is a way to expand your reach. Don’t miss out on another audience because of your resistance to the next best thing.

Learn more about Kirbi Fagan:

Kirbi Fagan is an illustrator living in the lively downtown area of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Kirbi’s artwork has themes of Americana and nostalgia in a vibrant color pallet. For more on Kirbi and her artwork visit www.kirbifagan.com or follow her on twitter @kirbifagan

Top Social Media Tips by Nadine B. Hack

Tip 1: Follow and/or connect to people and subjects you have a genuine interest in rather than indiscriminately following or friending everyone.

Benefit: You’ll be exposed to broader sources and more information on topics you care about.  Even if you believe you are an expert, you will be amazed by how much you can learn from a much larger network.

Tip 2: Share with your networks – using multiple platforms – what you find valuable in what others write about.

Benefit: By posting comments on blogs, re-tweeting and/or “liking” others’ content that you find on various social platforms, you broaden your own audience and find even more people who you can learn from and who will begin to engage with you.

Tip 3: Go for quality, not quantity so you will not be deluged with useless information and find it hard to locate what’s really meaningful for you.

Benefit: Instead of having to sift through endless self-promotional junk out there, you will begin to create your own aggregation of helpful “teachers”, “mentors” and “colleagues”.  You will be delighted by the true community you can create.

Learn more about Nadine Hack:

www.xeeme.com/nadinehack
Nadine’s Blog

Top Social Media Tips by Peg Fitzpatrick

Tip 1: Start a Twylah page for Twitter

Benefit: Twylah creates a beautiful website of your tweets. It extends the life of your tweets, helps get new followers, build better SEO for Google and it’s great branding. Who doesn’t want to send a Power Tweet? All you need to do is sign up and Twylah does the rest.

Tip 2: Give people a hat tip when you are inspired by their ideas. I use a #TiaraTip™ when I do it and give them a link back.

Benefit: It is the right thing to do and helps build a bond with the person who inspired you. Otherwise you are just stealing their intellectual property which is not cool.

Tip 3: 80/20 Rule for content

Benefit: 80% of your content should be other people’s and 20% can be your own. If you broadcast your own content no one will be interested in following you. Be generous sharing others content and you won’t have to share your own, they will reciprocate.

Learn more about Peg Fitzpatrick:

Peg’s Blog
Peg’s Twylah Page
Check out 12 Most – her other baby

Your turn!! Did you learn something new?

If you want to contribute your Top Social Media Tips then please send an email to jorgen.poulsen@catalystpartnership.com with ‘TSMT’ in the subject field and you will receive further instructions about format etc.

Ps. remember to subscribe to make sure you receive notification of future Top Social Media Tips.

Posted in Latest news, Top Social Media Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Tweet Smarter not Harder – Part Two

Introduction

If you read Part One of this series, you recall I discussed targeting and third-party applications to save you time and help you market you business and product or service more effectively.

Goals For This Post (Part Two)

  • The beauty of Lists and how they can help you use Twitter more effectively
  • Discuss branding, content tweets, and promo tweets and why you need to understand the difference
  • A note on targeted following

LISTS

I mentioned lists briefly in Part One for the purpose of finding targets but they do so much more. Here are my top ten reasons you should be using lists:

1) The number one reason to use lists: each list allows you to add up to 500 people aka tweeps. You can have up to 20 lists (public or private though I recommend public). I suck at math but even I can figure out that’s 10K people!

It can take up to a year to garner a following of 10K people (or to even follow that many), but guess what? Lists allow you to jump over that hurdle. Lists are Twitter’s worst-kept secret. Why secret? Because the List button is right there out in the open yet very few people utilize or know what to do with them.

2) Lists are a perfect way to attract followers to your stream. People are flattered you’ve added them to a list. It means you care enough to take that extra step (which takes seconds). It’s like you invited them to an exclusive party.

3) Think of lists as labels, or folders, which allow you to break down your tweeps by specific interests or categories. You curate your lists; be as general or as specific as you’d like.

Tip: customize your lists ideally by keywords, interests, client base, etc.

4) Creating Lists is really easy. Here’s an easy link that tells you how to create a list though to be honest, Twitter makes it uber easy. The Create List tab is self-evident.

The best part about Lists is that you can list someone as you follow them. If you purge or unfollow, you can easily unlist them.

Lists are very fluid. They grow and change as your Twitter grows and changes. You may start with lists of people you connect with and six months from now you may have grown in different directions, it’s easy to change and edit your lists to reflect that.

5) Lists helps you organize only those of interest to you. As your account grows, it becomes harder to keep up with your followers’ content. Use lists to read only the tweets of those followers who are of most interest to you.

6) As you peruse new followers, check out their lists. You can simply follow the list, which doesn’t mean you’re following all the people on the list (Twitter requires you follow people individually), but this is useful if you find the people on the list interesting and value their content for RTs. It’s almost like giving people a test run.

I do this a lot. Crib from other people’s lists – they’ve already done the work! Why not? If you have similar interests, follow the list and pick five to ten people from the list who interest you to follow individually.

Note: I don’t recommend following every person on someone’s list, or you’re just duplicating their work – in that case, just click ‘follow the entire list.’

7) Lists are editable. If your job or interests change, you can simply edit, retitle, or even delete a list. Twenty lists sounds like a lot but as your account grows into the thousands, you’ll find yourself editing and changing your lists.

8) Lists can help increase your Klout score. Klout now encourages you to list people and give +K for listing people. You can import your lists into Klout as well.

9) Be creative with your list titles but not stupid. I see so many ‘People who RT me’ lists. Snore. I have lists on my @RachelintheOC account such as Awesome Redheads (you can figure that out for yourself), Charming Men (Guys: What do I have to do to get on that list? Me: Not ask), and Fab Writers 1 and 2.

10) The more you list others, the more you are listed. Twitter is all about karma. Give and you shall receive. I find that the more I pay attention to lists, the more people follow me. And it takes only minutes every day.

Tip: A good way for people to find you on lists is to add yourself to Listorious, the Twitter List Directory. It’s free and easy to join.

BRANDING, CONTENT TWEETS & PROMO TWEETS

Big topic, really a whole other blog post. Suffice it to say, you need to identify six to nine keywords that encompass your brand. Broad enough that people will look for those words in SEARCH (authors, social media, SEO) but specific enough to convey your specialty (humor, editing, food services).

You will use those words when crafting your tweets.

There are two types of tweets: content and promo.

Content: no links, provide info, resources, data, expertise, discussion, even other Twitter handles. Anything where there is no call to action on the reader’s part to go somewhere other than Twitter. No click required. No http://. (Speaking of which, don’t use www. The Twitter API doesn’t recognize it.)

Promo: links. A call to action. A click that takes them somewhere else. And yes, RTs (retweets) count as promo if they have a link. It doesn’t matter if you’re promoting someone else, anything with a link counts as promotion.

The ideal ratio of content to promo is still up for discussion depending on whom you talk to, but for a personal stream, anywhere from 3 to 5 content (no links) for every 1 promo (links), is fairly standard. For a professional account, 1:1 is acceptable. Others disagree and say 8:1 content to promo no matter what type of account you have.

Everyone agrees on this: if all you do is put a link in every tweet, you are spamming. This breaks Twitter’s TOS (Terms of Service) guidelines (which state ‘you cannot use Twitter for the purposes of spamming anyone and if your updates consist mainly of links, and not personal updates, you can be shut down.’) Besides which, it’s annoying and you are fatiguing your stream.

Your mom wants good content. Not spam. Don’t disappoint your mom. ~ Copyblogger

Note: If you are a member of @Triberr the ‘reach multiplier’(as I am), you need to add in more content tweets to balance the additional promotional RTs (links). You can also separate your Triberr tribemates tweets at whatever interval you choose – I chose ninety minutes.

At a loss for tweets? I advise my clients to always go back to their keywords. This helps with a consistent message to your followers but also gets you in the habit of knowing your branding well. Using a #hashtag with these keywords increases followers as well – people will find you and follow based on this common interest.

Need market research but tight on cash? Ask your followers – they will tell you what you need to know. Where else can you tap thousands of people in your given market about a specific product or service of interest to them? Plus, people love to give their opinion.

TARGETED FOLLOWING

A final note on following. It’s important to curate an interactive following that shares common interests. Resist the urge to join in mass following trains or automate your following (which is technically against Twitter’s TOS anyway).

Following 25-50 common tweeps each day using SEARCH and LISTS will create the kind of relevant following you want, that grows with you. Twellow is a free, cool little ‘yellow pages’ kind of directory to list yourself and follow others by category.

Tip: If you’re not sure what to tweet about, ask your tweeps! We are, all of us, sometimes brain-dead. None of us is always on, 100% of the time. Just as you ask your readers at the end of a blog post to comment, do the same with your Twitter followers (though, as I mentioned in Part One, if you schedule your tweets using your keywords, hopefully you’ll have put some thought into it!).

And instead of participating in the weekly mind numbing #FF (Follow Friday) meme, ask them instead who they found most fascinating to follow that week? Who are their five favorite follows and why?

Their answers may surprise you.

Conclusion

By using Twitter more effectively with the tips I’ve provided today, you should be able to:

  • Further your niche targeting using Lists with less effort and time on your part;
  • Follow more people quickly and have more people find you;
  • Use your keywords to focus your branding in content and promo tweets, understanding better the ratio for less annoying spam;
  • Market research your product or service completely free
  • Curate an interactive, targeted following.

What are your thoughts about lists now that you’ve learned more? Do you understand more the types of tweets and how to balance content versus promo?

Please share you thoughts below.

Rachel Thompson aka @RachelintheOC is the #1 bestselling Kindle author of two nonfiction humor books, A Walk In The Snark and The Mancode: Exposed. She also cowrote Dollars & Sense: The Definitive Guide to Self-Publishing Success. Rachel is also the founder of BadRedhead Media aka @BadRedheadMedia, where she provides social media consulting and management for clients ranging from authors, chefs, toys, and even a rock star.

She loves Nutella, hates walks in the rain, and questions coconut’s place in the universe.

She welcomes your questions and comments. Email her anytime atRachelintheOC@gmail.com.

Posted in Growing your business, Latest news, Social media, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , | 32 Comments

Tweet Smarter not Harder – Part One

twitter tips and tricksIntroduction

I adore Twitter. I discovered Twitter in 2009 and found it to be much more efficacious when it came to interacting socially with my blog followers than Facebook.

I’d started my humor blog in ’08 and kept reading about how I should develop my ‘author platform,’ not really understanding what that meant. Now I’m a published author and social media consultant and I’ve learned how critical Twitter is as part of both my writing and business marketing platforms.

If you’re on Twitter, you understand. If not, you’re missing out on one of the best free market research tools out there.

Goals For This Post

  • Help you understand how to use Twitter to interact with targeted people important for your business
  • Show you time-saving secrets behind the Twitter Curtain

Tarketing

Twitter isn’t rocket science, but can be confusing at first. Many people ask me why more people don’t follow them right away. It’s quite simple: you need to follow them first! But don’t just follow anyone. If your interests lie in social media, follow social media folks. If you’re an author, follow other authors.

But is our focus that narrow in real life? No. You want customers. As an author, I want to find people who are book buyers. It would be great if they could just find me with a SNAP! but the world doesn’t work like that. So I use the SEARCH function to look up related terms (think Google search): book bloggers, book reviewers, book clubs…you get the point. And I follow all those people. See whom they follow. Follow them. Check their LISTS. (By the way, I LOVE lists. What a goldmine!)

A word of caution regarding following: if you follow more than about 50-75 tweeps/day, the Twitter gods get a little jittery, thinking you’re a spammer or bot. This is why I don’t recommend automated follow programs.

Note: I also use ManageFlitter on a weekly business. What does it do? It shows you who isn’t following you. Why does this matter?

It’s free and like a fun video game if you use the ‘Quick Expand’ tab. It unfollows eggs, nonfollowers, and never tweeteds — important as you hit the 2K mark, where Twitter invokes 20% followers vs. following cap. You can virtually abolish that cap by using this site.

I tsk tsk when I see someone say, “Sorry, can’t follow you back. I need more followers. Stuck at 2K.” They are so not. They just don’t know they can drop the dead weight. Ask yourself this question: Does Mike “The Situation” retweet you? Is he helping your business in any way? Then why are you following him? (I mean, seriously.)

Lists: Many people don’t know about or understand lists. I’ve had clients actually afraid of them. What the heck are they? Here’s a nice explanation from Mashable: curated Twitter streams of the latest tweets from a specified set of users.

You’ve probably been listed and don’t even know it. Look on your profile page, scroll down to the left and click on LISTS. See what comes up. (Hint: See how well-branded you are by which lists you’re on. If you’re a social media consultant and you’re on a list titled “Ice Cream Experts,” that’s a pretty clear indication that you’re not communicating your brand well.)

I’ll cover lists in much greater detail in Part Two of this article.

Time savers- Third-part Applications

Besides using lists and search as we just discussed, I can’t say enough about using Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Pluggio, Sprout Social (I prefer Hootsuite but also use Pluggio), or SocialBro to schedule your tweets and messages throughout the day. This is a critical part of your time management.

Some people are against this and consider it ‘automation’ but I strongly disagree and here’s why: I may be scheduling in my tweets, but I’m still live interacting throughout the day with mentions or DMs (direct messages).

The Twitter application itself does not allow for scheduling so you must use one of these third-party apps.

  • Tweetdeck: now owned by Twitter and is free. It’s also available on mobile.
  • Hootsuite: free also (for up to five accounts) meaning you can connect your Twitter, Facebook, blog, LinkedIn, etc. and is also mobile.

I personally use Hootsuite for my accounts and my clients’ – I find the interface simple to learn and use, the analytics are terrific, and the graphics are easy on the eyes.

The beauty is you can compose, and schedule tweets days, weeks, even months in advance (say you’re planning a vacation) it counts characters for you, allows you to see past scheduled (helps for repeat tweets) etc. (don’t go over 120 to get a RT. 140 is a myth). Brilliant!

(I don’t suggest repeating exact content but we will discuss that in Part Two.)

Either app also ties into your Google Analytics so you can measure views, keywords, etc. Helpful if you’re using it for clients.

  • Pluggio: while it has many features I haven’t even begun to utilize (it goes quite deep), I like that it generates followers based on keywords you ‘plug’ in, 24 hours a day/seven days a week. So you can save TONS of time if you’re willing to pay $19/month. It also suggests purges (unfollows). Finally, their functionality with responding to those who have RT’d you is the best I’ve seen.

Note: They still require you go through each follower and approve or discard. Again, I like this because I don’t want to be following porn bots.

  • SocialBro: A very cool free app (though they offer a paid version) that offers lots of unique analytical tools, best time to tweet being the standout for me. It also analyzes lists (see, there it is again!), followers, suggests unfollows, will even tell you who of your Facebook friends are on Twitter.

What I love about each of these apps is they all do something different and offer unique perspectives on analyzing your followers.

Bottom line: you want to build a base of followers that’s tight and interactive, who are either potential customers, or can be your supportive tribe to bring you potential customers and sales.

Conclusion

By using Twitter more effectively with the tips I’ve provided today, you should be able to:

  • Increase awareness of you, your product or service, your business, freeing you up to have more interaction with potential clients;
  • Spend less time on Twitter (and social media in general) and more time on current client business and prospecting in other ways;
  • Understand basic differences between the third-party Twitter applications designed to save you time on social media and
  • Create a thriving social media platform.

I look forward to seeing you back here for Part Two! Don’t forget to follow or subscribe to avoid missing out on Part Two.

Do you currently use any of these Twitter techniques or third-party applications and if so, have they helped you in your marketing efforts? Did you learn anything new today?

Please share in comments below.

Rachel Thompson aka @RachelintheOC is the #1 bestselling Kindle author of two nonfiction humor books, A Walk In The Snark and The Mancode: Exposed. She also cowrote Dollars & Sense: The Definitive Guide to Self-Publishing Success. Rachel is also the founder of BadRedhead Media aka @BadRedheadMedia, where she provides social media consulting and management for clients ranging from authors, chefs, toys, and even a rock star.

She loves Nutella, hates walks in the rain, and questions coconut’s place in the universe.

She welcomes your questions and comments. Email her anytime at RachelintheOC@gmail.com.

Posted in Growing your business, Latest news, Social media, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , | 34 Comments

Who’s Scared of the Big Bad Google?

Google

Introduction

I believe in Google. They made the internet worth using with their hard work. They seem so human—not like Microsoft or Apple, so sincere and firm. They put out April Fool’s jokes; and try Googling askew. However, they have been toeing the line with their new policies.

Google announced their new privacy policy a few weeks ago, and it was implemented 2 days ago on March 1st. Everyone reacted. Twitter, Facebook, blogs all in a turmoil screaming at Google for being so evil-corporationish.

Goals For This Post

  • Make sure YOU know the most important parts of Google’s new privacy policy.
  • How to avoid the new scary parts.
  • Help you realize that it isn’t as bad as it sounds.
  • And, show you that it isn’t all that bad and you should still use & love Google.

Well, first of all, let me just say this: Google is reacting to SOPA and PIPA. They are trying to make it so that (if something like that passes) they won’t be harmed as much as they would be. YouTube users will find that you suddenly need to own necessary rights on every video to advertise on it. Many YouTube accounts that post illegal content are being ‘terminated’ a big scary sounding word that makes everybody want to cooperate.

But, the big misunderstanding here is this: Google has been collecting this information for years, they are just now using it differently. You have been receiving personalized search results, ads based on what you Google, and much much more for a very long time.

But, just because Google is scared of the Government  and SOPA doesn’t mean you can just ignore this change and pretend it isn’t there. So, here are some of the big things that will affect you

  • YouTube, GPlus, Gmail, and Blogger accounts will start becoming one account. You will be John Doe everywhere, not The iKnow It All on Blogger & GPlus, Calvin on Gmail, and iTutorialMan on YouTube.
  • Google’s Privacy Policy will be one, and nothing else. Google has long since made you agree to Adsense, Blogger, and other products’ Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. But now, only Google Chrome, Wallet, and Books will maintain their own policies in addition to Google’s unified one.
  • YOU WILL BE TRACKED. There will be no turning off Web History, and even if you delete it chances are Google will still have it anyway. Chrome OS will track everything you do.

But here is the thing. Google is trying to force us into doing this because we have no choice; we need Google. Maybe we should thank them; they are giving us a preview of what the world will be like in 20-40 years. Web dependent civilization. We can’t just pack up and leave; Google owns too much of the web. Think about it. GMail, Blogger, YouTube, they almost got Facebook.

If you don’t want to be tracked, then here is what you can do. Sign out & don’t save passwords in Chrome. If you don’t use Chrome or don’t mind Firefox or Safari, then just save your passwords in those browsers and sign out when using YouTube or surfing.

Conclusion

Google may be losing customers to this decision. However, I love Chrome. I love Google. I use Gmail, GPlus, YouTube, Blogger, Adsense, Adwords, Google Docs, Google Sites, Google This, Google That — is it really worth it to abandon them? I know I will continue to use and love Google in spite of what they have imposed upon us with Google’s Privacy Policy.

But, I know I won’t roll over and let Google charge past me. Google needs to here from everybody — they already see that we are unhappy, but they don’t think we will or can do anything about it.

That’s where they’re wrong. Call, email, or blog about this. Tell the world and tell Google how you feel about this. Please, don’t let this turn into Matrix.

So here is my question to you: What will you do? Will you blog? Tweet? Or something else? What action will YOU take?

Calvin is a tech blogger living in Northern Colorado with his two cats. He enjoys piano, messing around on his iPhone, and, of course, blogging. More of a kid than adult, having fun is the best part of life. See more about Calvin at www.theiknowitall.com.

Posted in Latest news, Social media | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Social Media Marketing without the Spam

Social-media-spammingIntroduction

I have been working on the Internet for more than a decade both under my own byline and as a corporate writer/copywriter. I help small and large businesses achieve their goals via writing, editing and advertising services.

I have seen the evolution of online marketing firsthand. As quickly as the Internet has grown, many tactics and techniques become outdated. In trying to keep the upper hand in this industry, you must remain one step ahead of your competition and on the cutting edge of the latest technology.

If you are not already using social media to market your business online, you are behind the curve. However, a targeted social media marketing plan can launch you into the scene successfully. 

Goals For This Post

  • To help you identify social media spam
  • To help avoid spam when conducting your own social media marketing plan

Marketing with Social Media Today

Social media is a simple and affordable way to market your business. It involves using social networking sites such as FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and more to advertise your business and build brand awareness. It’s an excellent way to boost a new business or create a social media presence for an existing business. The biggest problem with building successful social media marketing strategies is to avoid looking like spam to the people you are trying to target.

Spamming is a serious problem with many phony accounts established solely for the purpose of scamming or spamming others. Then there are those who have good intentions but just don’t know how to perform the tasks properly and they think blasting out their links and info anywhere and everywhere will help them build business.  The large amount of spam found in social media means that many of the people you are trying to target will already be turned off by anything that even resembles advertising or spam. To properly avoiding spamming, you need to understand what it is.

Definition of Spam

Spam is prevalent all over the Internet but spotting social media spam is not very hard at all. Usually it comes in the form of a social media account that does nothing but automate posts all day and night that link to a website, product or service. There is no interaction, no response and little to no indication of an actual human being behind the account. Sometimes the human behind the account will post “see my site”, “visit my page” or “Like my stuff” with these messages or on the walls and accounts of other members of the site, again spamming others for personal gain without giving anything in return.

“Spam” is loosely defined as any message that’s disruptive to the receiver but this covers a wide field. If you send out too many messages or updates to your followers or if you send them too often, it can be considered spam. So, how much is too much? How do you know when you’re providing followers with information they want and when you’re sending out spam?

Spam threatens the existence of this type of marketing by making it hard to trust businesses, especially new ones. This will make it difficult to encourage followers or to get anyone to sign up to receive information from you. So there is a delicate balance between advertising and interaction that you need to meet in order to succeed in your social media marketing.

So how do you find that balance?

Tips on Social Media Marketing Without the Spam

The first step to social media marketing without spam is to know that social media is a two-way street. It’s about interaction. For every link you send or promotional post you make, you need to balance this out with useful information, communicative posts and other interaction with your followers.

Learning how to be a part of the social media marketing without spamming your followers and friends is vital to your business and the future of social media marketing. It will sometimes seem like a fine line between keeping your business in the forefront of their minds and spam. Effective social media marketing is that which puts the target reader first. Selfish campaigns will have little gain. Instead, think about what your reader wants to hear, see or talk about. Engage the reader, ask questions and encourage reposting/shares.

Here are some tips:

Interact with Others

One of the first things that you have to realize is that you can’t just promote and sell your own services or products. It’s vital that you interact with others. After all, that is the main reason for joining a social networking site to begin with. Your goal is to reach others so you can get your business noticed and build up a client base.

You need to be willing to talk, take part in discussions and listen to others. You have to follow others and provide your comments if you want to have followers. You need to interact on a regular basis so others will want to follow you. This also helps build your reputation as a trustworthy site. The key to success is to socialize.

You might offer a help desk or customer service through social media. You might post surveys, questionnaires or feedback forms. These are all great ways to interact with your clients/ customers and also to gain valuable feedback about what you’re doing right with your company and what needs some extra work.

Be consistent

A consistent brand is essential to your social media marketing campaign and to the reputation of your business. You want to post fresh, relevant content often. Don’t post something just for the sake of posting it or to gain attention. Try to make sure every post is related to your target market and contains something they will enjoy seeing, reading or sharing. You also need to be consistent in your posting and not allow a long time to go by without posting or interacting with your fans/followers.

Log in daily and comment, like, share and answer posts and questions on your social media platforms. This activity and interaction is what shows you are a real person/company that responds to their social media accounts rather than a service set up to automate links.

Social Media Marketing Does Work

Social media marketing is perfect for the small, independent businesses looking to boost their brand awareness and interaction with clients/customers but without a huge marketing budget. It’s also very useful because it targets the people where they are already- in a social media community that they enjoy. With the right techniques executed properly, social media marketing does generate results. Just don’t expect that you can sign up for accounts in your business name, spam a bunch of links and then see miracles happen. Social media marketing is a process and the more you put into it, the more you can gain from it.

Your turn: You get what you give. How much are you giving your network today? What do you consider social media spam and what do you do to avoid it?

Lisa Mason is a freelance writer and social media marketer who uses her writing skills to help clients advertise, build brand awareness and make sales/find new clients via copy, content and marketing online as well as offline. She also provides other business solutions such as social media management, consulting and ghostwriting or editing services.

Posted in Growing your business, Latest news, Social media | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Add Pinterest to Facebook – 2 Easy Steps

Pinterest

How to add Pinterest to you Facebook Page.

This is most likely going to be my shortest blog ever.

But it is Friday and everybody loves Pinterest and Facebook so why not marry them up so all your Facebook users can view you Pinterest account. You will notice that if you have added LinkedIn, Twitter and your blog for example then those links show up as part of your profile.

If you want to add Pinterest as a tab on your Facebook Page this is how you do it.

Step One: Install the Static iFrame Tab

1. Go to https://apps.facebook.com/iframehost/.

2. Click Install Page Tab

3.  Choose the page you want to add the iframe app too.

4. Click Add Static iFrame Tab

Step Two: Edit the Static iFrame

1. Click Welcome

2. Click Authorize the Tab application

3. Click Allow

4. Select URL and enter the mobile URL for your Pinterest account (“http://m.pinterest.com/xxxx”). I used http://m.pinterest.com/jorgenpoulsen.

Make sure you add ‘m.‘ in front of ‘pinterest’ and after ‘//’ and remove ‘www‘ or it won’t work.

Note: If you only want to link to a specific board, locate the board on your Pinterest account and grab the link for it.

5. You can also adjust the height to for example 1,000 pixels instead of the preset 800 pixels to avoid having the scroll bar on the right. It all depends on how many boards you have.

6. Change the name in the Tab Name field.

7.  Go to developers.facebook.com/apps and click Create New App at the top right. This and the rest of the steps are not necessary if you don’t want the Pinterest button.

8. Type a name in the App Name box. I named mine Pinterest button.

9. Save this Pinterest button to your desktop.

10. Click Edit icon.

11. Scroll down and click on the Page Tab section.

You have to fill in 3 boxes in this section:

  • Page Tab Name
  • Page Tab URL
  • Secure Page Tab URL

a. Type the name you gave your tab in the Page Tab Name.

b. Look for your App ID number at the top of the page.

c. Type http://XXXXXX.iframehost.com/tab and change XXXXXX with the numbers you next to the App ID section at the top of the page. See mine below but don’t use mine. You must use your own numbers.

d. Type the name URL in the Secure Page Tab URL and add s after http

12. Click on the Apps on Facebook section.

You have to fill in 2 boxes in this section:

  • Canvas URL
  • Secure Canvas URL

Type the same URLs you used above but make sure you remove the word tab from the end and replace it with a / for each of the URLs.

13. Copy and paste this URL into your browser’s address bar making sure to change yourappid with your App numbers you used above.

http://www.facebook.com/add.php?api_key=YOURAPPID&pages

14. Select the page you want to add the Pinterest button to and click Add Pinterest Button.

Voila – you’re all set to go. Enjoy :)

Posted in Facebook, Latest news, Social media | Tagged , , , , | 73 Comments