06 May

Facebook Changes! How to Adapt

More News Feed changes from Facebook

I know it seems painful. But, it’s actually a good thing. Facebook is, once again, making changes to the algorithm that determines what shows up in your News Feed. They announced the changes recently in this article: News Feed FYI: Balancing Content from Friends and Pages.

Noooo, not agaaaaaiiiin!

Don’t panic. We want people to enjoy themselves Facebook.
And the new algorithm will help it become even more of a community where you can like, share and be liked and shared.
Continue Reading

04 Mar

How To Use Social Media Management Tools – 5 Tips

Twitter eating up your time? Facebook filling up your schedule? Losing track of time on LinkedIn? You’re not alone. Time management is one of the top challenges for serious online networkers.

Social media management is worth the effort. Networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace can launch your message to the far corners of the net. You can harness this power for your business.

But managing these social networks doesn’t have to consume your day. Here are five tools to take back your day and streamline your social media circle.

Social Media Management Tool: HootSuite

Schedule a week’s worth of tweets and status updates in under ten minutes? It can be done! HootSuite schedules tweets for later publication on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Ping.fm. This is my personal favorite web application for handling social media.

Plus, with a careful Ping.fm setup, you can achieve social media nirvana, scheduling updates on Plaxo, MySpace, LiveJournal, and more. Truly mind-blowing.

You can keep an eye on your Facebook and LinkedIn social media networks here as well, with separate columns for various Twitter list feeds. Their reputation management settings allow for social media monitoring on your key terms. Clever.

They make it easy to use, too! There’s an iPhone App, and a quick-post button for scheduling updates while you browse.

Bonus 1: HootSuite gives you automatic link shrinkage and tracking!

Bonus 2: The adorable mascot. Look at those big eyes!

Bonus 3: It handles pages and personal accounts separately. Yes!

Social Media Management Tool: TweetDeck

TweetDeck is an application that lives on your computer, organizing the stream-of-consciousness into customized columns. It plays well with Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace, and Twitter, and handles custom searches, @replies, and direct messages.

Bonus 1: TweetDeck is also on iPhone.

Bonus 2: It handles multiple accounts with the greatest of ease.

Bonus 3: It’s a multimedia star: drag and drop images into TweetDeck to share on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace. You can record and share YouTube videos within TweetDeck also.

Bonus 4: Interactive notifications.

Social Media Tip: Import Your Blog to Facebook

This one is a huge time-saver. Facebook has a built-in tool to import posts from an external blog! The posts show up as notes, without you lifting a finger. Facebook will automatically update your notes whenever you write in your blog.

With this setting, you can import posts from Blogger, WordPress, or any other blogging platform with an RSS feed. Choose wisely: you can only import one blog.

Bummer: Imported blog posts cannot be edited.

Social Media Tool: Posterous

From one email, create dozens of blogs and social updates. Send blogs, pictures, and status updates to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and blogs.

This service spins all forms of multimedia into web-friendly formats. Bring them your photos, audio files and links, documents, video files and links. They will even resize photos to web-friendly size.

Bonus 1: Posterous redefines “easy to use”. Attach multimedia file to email. Send to post@posterous.com. Poof! Blog post.

Bonus 2: Posterous also offers a social media bookmarklet, for your browsing convenience.

Social Media Tool: Ping.fm

Post blogs, miniblogs, and status updates to over 40 social networks. From the popular to the obscure, this is one of the most complete network support for social media posting services. Unfortunately, multiple Twitter accounts are a bit tough.

For customized communications, you can create “posting groups” to focus messages. Your “professional” group might hook into LinkedIn, Twitter, Plaxo. On the other hand, the “Personal” group could send information to Blogger, Friendster, and so on.

Bonus 1: Ning support, very impressive.

Bonus 2: iPhone integration. Of course.

Bonus 3: Social bookmarking support.

Social Media Tip: Tools do not replace interaction

Imagine sending a robot to replace you at in-person networking events. Not the best impression to leave with your audience, right? In the same way, overusing social media tools can leave your network cold and disinterested. It can be tempting to take things to the limit with automation. But remember, there’s no substitute for the “personal touch” in networking, online or offline.

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19 Feb

Leveraging Word-of-Mouth in the Digital Age

Have you ever listened to one of your friends rave about a person they’re really excited about? After hearing them talk, you might say to yourself “Wow, they sound really great.” You’re looking forward to seeing them. You can imagine how great it will be to finally meet this person.Limp fish handshake

But when you get to that first introduction, their handshake is limp. Their eyes dart nervously around the room. They can’t string a coherent sentence together. They smell funny. Within seconds, you’re looking for the nearest available exit.

What happened? Your friend was completely sold on this person. But if your experience didn’t match up to their word-of-mouth, that praise turns to dust.

Word-of-mouth leads to research

Word-of-mouth is only the first step towards earning a customer. Have you thought about what they do after they hear a recommendation?

In the past, they might’ve looked you up in the Yellow Pages. These days, phone book usage has plummeted as more and more people look for instant information online.

The Internet allows people to research word-of-mouth recommendations within seconds. That’s right. People can hear about your business from their friends, colleagues, relatives, neighbors, and jump online to research you.

This is a significant shift. Before they ever step into your store, before they ever pick up the phone, they are checking you out online.

Take a moment to think about what impression your website gives potential clients. Are you satisfied with this or embarrassed?

Your website is your handshake to the world

Many times, your website hosts the first interaction between potential customer and your company. Make sure you’re sending the right message. Website design, content, usability, everything has to work for your clients.Handshake

Think of your website as your first chance to provide great customer service. Make sure you’ve done everything in your power to satisfy their needs for information, education, and convenience. What questions do people have about your company? What information do they need to do business with you?

Constantly think of ways you can improve their experience. This is a good faith promise that you will be there to help them every step of the way. Remember, these first online impressions can convert word-of-mouth recommendations into a customer, or drive them into the arms of your competition.

Word-of-mouth can echo across the web

The good news: word-of-mouth spreads just as fast online as it does in the real world. Review sites are springing up all across the Internet, and these opinions can make or break a prospect’s opinion about your business.

Yahoo! Local, Google Local, Yelp.com, InsiderPages, and a host of other sites are dedicated to providing consumers with information about your company. Make sure your information is updated, and encourage your happy customers to share the news about your company. And of course, make sure you post testimonials and reviews on your website as well.

Press releases and articles are another way to boost your credibility. People searching for your company can see a wealth of information about your success, philosophy, and business practices. Everything they need to feel secure doing business with you.

Word-of-mouth is still a powerful tool to drive business to your company. Your website can help convert these recommendations into satisfied customers.

Need help making that first impression? Give us a call; we can help.

02 Feb

Get the Facts on Facebook: 22 Tips & Statistics

Facebook has become a powerhouse platform for businesses looking to connect with their customers and prospects online. With over 350 million users interacting online, it’s easy to see the appeal of getting face time on this popular social network.

Facebook user statistics:

  • Facebook claims more than 350 million active users.
  • Fifty percent of active users log on to Facebook in any given day.
  • The average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook.

That’s a lot of people spending quite a bit of time in one place online. Do you have a stake in that game?

What about Facebook for businesses?

  • More than 700,000 local businesses have active Pages on Facebook.
  • There are more than 1.6 million active Pages on Facebook.
  • Pages have created more than 5.3 billion fans.

If your target market is spending time on Facebook, you should start thinking about how to reach them.

Think tribal:

Tribal man“Dunbar postulated that the typical human being can only have 150 friends… You might be able to stretch to 200 or 400, but no, you can’t effectively engage at a tribal level with a thousand people. You get the politician’s glassy-eyed gaze or the celebrity’s empty stare. And then the nature of the relationship is changed.”
Seth Godin

Who are your 150 people? Who are the influencers you REALLY need to pay attention to?

This is important because you can’t be all things to all people. You can’t reach everyone intimately. You probably don’t want to. But you can be relevant, engaging, and useful to a small group of people. Get some traction going there and build momentum.

Facebook friend stats:

  • Average user has 130 friends on the site
  • Average user sends 8 friend requests per month
  • Average user is a member of 12 groups

Eternal welcome mode:

“Every day, new people show up at your blog, on Facebook, everywhere.”
Seth Godin

Thousands of people are still learning the ropes of social media and Facebook. And even if they’ve been around the block a time or two, they may still be new to your blog, your Facebook page, or your Twitter feed.

Make it easy for new users to interact with you. Lay out the welcome mat and show them around. Help them get to know you. Be sure to integrate your social profiles on your website and in your email campaigns, and use every opportunity to invite people to follow you.

Facebook stats:

  • Average user becomes a fan of 2 pages each month
  • Average user is invited to 3 events per month

It’s all about interaction:

Whispering about social media“Now Facebook mostly displays items that got engagement. You know, comments. Likes. Tagging. Etc. …you only see the items that your friends have found important enough to comment on or ‘touch’ in some way.

“Overnight my news feed went from something that looked pretty cold and lame to something that has tons of ‘warmth.'”
Robert Scoble

Social media users delight in connection, interaction, sharing. Your goals should be to stimulate conversations, comments, and life on your pages. Because if your content is worthy of comment, you could be showing up on radar screens for not only your fans, but their friends as well. Look for ways to create these opportunities, and keep the conversation rolling when they happen.

Facebook Interaction Stats:

  • Average Facebook user clicks the Like button on 9 pieces of content each month.
  • Average Facebook user writes 25 comments on Facebook content each month.

Create worthy contributions:

“One of the keys to success in building a fan base with your Facebook efforts is to consistently add great content and engagement.”
– Robert Scoble

More than 3.5 billion pieces of content are shared each week on Facebook. What are you contributing? Links, articles, blogs, how-to’s, news, profiles, photos, podcasts, videos: you can find a hundred different ways to dazzle your audience on Facebook. What are their burning questions? What is it they truly desire? Is anything confusing or worrying them?

You can be the voice they turn to for guidance, hope, inspiration, or a good laugh. Above all you must be worthy of their time and attention.

Facebook content creation stats:

  • More than 35 million users update their status each day
  • More than 55 million status updates posted each day
  • More than 2.5 billion photos uploaded to the site each month
  • More than 3.5 million events created each month

Deliver the goods:

“Social media only accelerates the inevitable”
Bryan Eisenberg

Social media can form connections with clients and prospects. After that, it’s up to you to keep them satisfied, and build long-lasting relationships. The best social media campaign in the world won’t make up for bad service. But engaging your customers and prospects online can open the door for them to do business with you.

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the latest online marketing. Or catch our RSS feed.

02 Feb

Get the Facts on Facebook: 22 Tips & Statistics

Facebook has become a powerhouse platform for businesses looking to connect with their customers and prospects online. With over 350 million users interacting online, it’s easy to see the appeal of getting face time on this popular social network.

Facebook user statistics:

  • Facebook claims more than 350 million active users.
  • Fifty percent of active users log on to Facebook in any given day.
  • The average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook.

That’s a lot of people spending quite a bit of time in one place online. Do you have a stake in that game?

What about Facebook for businesses?

  • More than 700,000 local businesses have active Pages on Facebook.
  • There are more than 1.6 million active Pages on Facebook.
  • Pages have created more than 5.3 billion fans.

If your target market is spending time on Facebook, you should start thinking about how to reach them.

Think tribal:

Tribal man“Dunbar postulated that the typical human being can only have 150 friends… You might be able to stretch to 200 or 400, but no, you can’t effectively engage at a tribal level with a thousand people. You get the politician’s glassy-eyed gaze or the celebrity’s empty stare. And then the nature of the relationship is changed.”
Seth Godin

Who are your 150 people? Who are the influencers you REALLY need to pay attention to?

This is important because you can’t be all things to all people. You can’t reach everyone intimately. You probably don’t want to. But you can be relevant, engaging, and useful to a small group of people. Get some traction going there and build momentum.

Facebook friend stats:

  • Average user has 130 friends on the site
  • Average user sends 8 friend requests per month
  • Average user is a member of 12 groups

Eternal welcome mode:

“Every day, new people show up at your blog, on Facebook, everywhere.”
Seth Godin

Thousands of people are still learning the ropes of social media and Facebook. And even if they’ve been around the block a time or two, they may still be new to your blog, your Facebook page, or your Twitter feed.

Make it easy for new users to interact with you. Lay out the welcome mat and show them around. Help them get to know you. Be sure to integrate your social profiles on your website and in your email campaigns, and use every opportunity to invite people to follow you.

Facebook stats:

  • Average user becomes a fan of 2 pages each month
  • Average user is invited to 3 events per month

It’s all about interaction:

Whispering about social media“Now Facebook mostly displays items that got engagement. You know, comments. Likes. Tagging. Etc. …you only see the items that your friends have found important enough to comment on or ‘touch’ in some way.

“Overnight my news feed went from something that looked pretty cold and lame to something that has tons of ‘warmth.'”
Robert Scoble

Social media users delight in connection, interaction, sharing. Your goals should be to stimulate conversations, comments, and life on your pages. Because if your content is worthy of comment, you could be showing up on radar screens for not only your fans, but their friends as well. Look for ways to create these opportunities, and keep the conversation rolling when they happen.

Facebook Interaction Stats:

  • Average Facebook user clicks the Like button on 9 pieces of content each month.
  • Average Facebook user writes 25 comments on Facebook content each month.

Create worthy contributions:

“One of the keys to success in building a fan base with your Facebook efforts is to consistently add great content and engagement.”
– Robert Scoble

More than 3.5 billion pieces of content are shared each week on Facebook. What are you contributing? Links, articles, blogs, how-to’s, news, profiles, photos, podcasts, videos: you can find a hundred different ways to dazzle your audience on Facebook. What are their burning questions? What is it they truly desire? Is anything confusing or worrying them?

You can be the voice they turn to for guidance, hope, inspiration, or a good laugh. Above all you must be worthy of their time and attention.

Facebook content creation stats:

  • More than 35 million users update their status each day
  • More than 55 million status updates posted each day
  • More than 2.5 billion photos uploaded to the site each month
  • More than 3.5 million events created each month

Deliver the goods:

“Social media only accelerates the inevitable”
Bryan Eisenberg

Social media can form connections with clients and prospects. After that, it’s up to you to keep them satisfied, and build long-lasting relationships. The best social media campaign in the world won’t make up for bad service. But engaging your customers and prospects online can open the door for them to do business with you.

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the latest online marketing. Or catch our RSS feed.

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