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Facebook

Quick easy simple

By | Business Listing, Facebook, Online Marketing, Online Reviews, Social Media | No Comments

A few months ago the Midwest was hit by a really bad hail storm, many people had severe hail damage. Before walking into a local business networking meeting I checked my Facebook to see if anything had happened since last time I checked (being honest that was most likely 5 min).  One of my facebook friends that has moved to Florida updated that she needed a roofer to come look at their house her in Kansas City but she didn’t know anyone. I actually have a roofer in my meeting. So I shot her a message telling her I would have him call and slipped him a referral slip. It literally took place in 3 minutes time. This is just one example of how Facebook works for local business – I have hundreds!

We had this discussion yesterday about how Facebook is not a search engine, if I need a nail salon, a spray tan or a high heel fixed (yes I do fix  my favorite pairs) I don’t look it up on Facebook I will Google it. (With that being said your business HAS to be in Google Places or you are missing out on a TON of business) But Facebook is great for your business because you can get recommendations on businesses but you also get the opinion of a friend or someone you know. Let me give another example.

If my girlfriend messages out I want to get pictures taken of my kids I can share 5 different pages of photographer friends that I know. Some I can tell if I was pleased or some I would recommend because I like their work. My friends are more likely to look at a personal recommendation over someone we don’t know.

So to all you local business owners who do not have a Facebook – you HAVE to have a business page for this to even work…  Have a good day and send me your page requests so I can like your business. 😉

Juggling Your Social Media

By | Facebook, Online Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

With all of the social media networks available, it can be difficult to manage all the platforms you have chosen to promote your business. It is difficult enough to decide which networks, let alone manage them once you have. Who really knows what networks are right for your company? Without a doubt there is another blog post coming from somewhere to help you decide which social media network is best for your company.

Do you only concentrate on the “Big 3”- Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Or do you venture out to new and upcoming outlets like FourSquare and Ning? I haven’t even mentioned YouTube, Delicious, Stumble Upon, Digg, MySpace, Ping, Referral Key, Tumblr…and the list goes on and on. This post isn’t about which ones to choose, but how are you supposed to manage your social media profiles, posts, logins and passwords?  Here are a few tips and tools that can help.

Organize your Platforms

Assuming you have already chosen your platforms, the first thing you need to do is organize. Create a bookmark folder for all of our social media platforms. Keeping them in one spot will be key in staying on top of everything. You can also filter your email so that your social media emails fall into a folder. Make sure to schedule some time to manage that folder as often as needed.

Manage your Passwords

If you are still typing in your usernames and passwords or storing them on a spreadsheet, you are in need of a good password management system.  Here are three options to check out:

RoboForm – can use it for free, for up to 10 accounts and supports Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and other browsers.  I have a client that uses it and it looks pretty amazing.

KeePass – an open source solution and it is free.  It is not integrated into your browser, but you will have a secure record of all your usernames and passwords.

LastPass – has free and premium solutions to manage your passwords.  It synchronizes across browsers and you can easily restore your passwords if you change computers.

Update your Profiles

There are tools to help automate your profiles. One good one is called Atomkeep that will keep your profiles in sync on most social networks, job boards and other sites. They are currently at capacity, but sign up to get on a waiting list, it’s worth the wait.

Manage Your Posts

This is the hard one because being everywhere takes a lot of time, but there are some tools out there to help you. Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are both popular and I use both of them.  They generally do the same thing: post to multiple platforms from one screen, schedule posts, and create shortened URLs.  Hootsuite is internet-based and you can log on from anywhere but Tweetdeck has to be downloaded.  On the other hand, you can only have 5 social media profiles for free, and Tweetdeck allows for more accounts (unlimited currently) so you don’t have to keep logging out and in to different accounts. You may have a preference when you start to use them, but the nice thing is that you really don’t have to choose, you can use both!

Extras

Other tools that make it easy are the share extensions and apps. You can download Shareaholic in Firefox and AddThis in Google Chrome. This allows you to share any webpage, even if they haven’t installed the tools to do so. I use AddThis on a daily basis for email sharing, Facebook and Twitter posting, social bookmarking, and to add to my Google Reader.

I know using social media today can be overwhelming. But if you get organized and utilize the tools that are available, you can spend your time doing the things that make your business money.

Are you using other tools that help you organize your social media marketing? Let me know, I would love to hear.

Google Me on the Web

By | Facebook, Google +1, Google Me, Google Social, local search | No Comments

We have heard for over a year now about the launch of a Google social platform. The name of choice for those pontificating on this subject is “Google Me” or even “Social Circles” has recently curried favor. Is it really coming in one big launch or is it a combination of smaller pieces that will all add up to a complete social solution?

Understanding Google Social

The Google social platform will be a little different. Google is driven by relevance and openness. We believe there will not be a big launch of a comprehensive and definitive “Google” social platform. It is more likely to be a creeping roll-out like an incoming tide. Effected through the socialization of search Google Me (or something) will develop as a social medium by which users can communicate and socialize within the Google network. This slow roll-out is potentially driven by the risk to Google in the anti trust arena. Rightly or wrongly the Federal Trade Commission has recently launched an anti trust suit against Google. Googles position is clear – their search engine is focused on providing relevant results as quickly as possible for searchers (to quote from their official Google blog) “Using Google is a choice—and there are lots of other choices available to you for getting information: other general-interest search engines, specialized search engines, direct navigation to websites, mobile applications, social networks, and more.”  Google mentions social networks as an alternative choice for getting information online. So it makes sense that its probably not in their best interest to launch a massive social network. Google is socializing a little at a time. Maybe they will sneak in under the radar.

Google Social Search

The socialization of search has already started for Google. The results you receive as the result of a search are deemed as more relevant if your friends found them interesting. You will see search results where the following online interactions by your friends are reflected:

  • Websites, blogs, and other online content your friends have shared or created
  • Images that are shared by your social connections
  • Relevant articles from your Google Reader subscriptions
  • Profiles of people you know beneath results for social sites like Twitter and Flickr
  • Web content that has been recommended or shared by others using the +1 button

Google believes that reviews and information from your friends is more important than generic reviews. For example you are more likely to trust say a vacation spot recommendation from a friend online than from someone you don’t know. This trusted information is being integrated into search results.

Youtube

Youtube was purchased by Google in 2006. Its really just a social platform filled with users. Google needed to link these new users to Google and somewhere in 2009 new Youtube users were required to link their Google account to their Youtube account. Comscore recently credited Google sites with over a billion visitors way ahead of Facebook, in no small part due to Youtube.  The growth of Youtube was highlighted in march this year by a staff increase of over a third. This addition is probably the biggest single contributor to Google socialization and; of course; revenue.

Me on the Web

Google launched “Me on the Web” recently.  It helps monitor your content on the web. You can set up “Me on the Web” through a new subsection in your Google Dashboard, which manages all the different Google products you use. The new feature isn’t much different than Google Alerts, but now it’s wrapped in a user-friendly and privacy-conscious package. You could add to this Google Social Circle it keeps track of your contacts within Google. It has also spawned a potential name for the next Google social platform.

Missing Piece?

Is there one big missing piece that is going to pull it all together? Or will it be a series of individual components that when all added together will one day be a social solution from Google? We favor the latter – how about you?

Social Media Guide for Business – Part 1 of 5

By | Business Growth, Facebook, Google Plus, Social Media, social media for business, Twitter | No Comments

If there has ever been a “jackpot” when it comes to marketing your business and gaining exposure, it’s social media. With the BOOM of popularity surrounding Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and now Google+, there’s a prime opportunity to connect with current and potential customers.

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Facebook etiquette

By | Blog, Branding, Business Growth, Facebook, Online Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

When we are communicating and interacting with people it’s important to identify your audience. Once you have done that then you can pick the type of etiquette that is most approperate. Even with Facebook there is etiquette. With Facebook it is personal more than it is business. That’s not saying you can’t do business on Facebook. Business is done all the time on Social Media sites you just want to make sure you are doing business correctly.

Business Pages vs Personal Pages- You first want to create a business page for your business not a friend page. One Facebook frowns upon this, and we don’t want to upset the Facebook Gods. Second we friend our friends we don’t friend a business, we like a business. I don’t tell go to the Gap because I’m friends with it I go to the Gap because I like it.  So you make a Business page for people to LIKE.

Posting on your Personal Page- With the separation of business and personal pages it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t talk about your business at all. What we do for a living or the businesses we own make up who we are. Heck we spend more time with our coworkers then our families,  if you own a business you have most likely pored blood sweat and tears into it. So you should be proud of what you do and your product. Please tell your friends and family about it, but you don’t want it to be the only thing your do on Facebook. We are friends with our friend to see what is happening in their lives not just their business.

Postings on your Business Page-  Although it is tempting to just post business on you business page this truly doesn’t drive business to you page. Most people are not going to go to it unless they are looking for something they want at the time. But if you make it entertaining as well as informational you will be surprised by how people want to engage in your page. You can post quizzes, articles, and humours videos. People want to be entertained and this will help them remember your business.

Dealing with conflict- Sometimes you might post something and receive negative feed back or someone may just post on your wall negative feed back. How we respond to this is half the battle. People will see how you handle criticism and make decisions on if they want to do business with you. Just respond with an explanation or if you can do anything to help them and move on. Don’t take it personally and don’t be shocked when people don’t agree with you. We are all different and that’s what makes the world go round!

Hopefully some of these tips have helped you and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Facebook for business!!