Friends of mine are often surprised when I tell them they need social media for their small business, or to promote themselves as the artsy types they are. They’re surprised because the game only recently changed, and people who don’t work in online marketing, like yours truly, are often totally blind to it. Publishing houses now expect authors to promote themselves via social media and blogs, and are much more likely to take an author who already has a large Twitter following. Seriously? Yep. The last journalism job I applied for required a minimum of 2,000 Twitter followers AND high emotional intelligence which is also totally a thing now. The truth is, without social media and marketing knowledge it’s not likely that your Etsy store, eCommerce biz, or blog will get off the ground or that you’ll be able to compete effectively on the interweb of MEGA COMPETITION.
I read this great article this morning called, “How To Build Relationships Through Blogging,” but what I took from the article was much different than what I think the author intended. You see, the article is mostly about the importance of being social, commenting, and making online friends to drive your own blog or marketing efforts. We all know that in order to be successful bloggers or to run successful marketing campaigns using social media we have to interact with other people. If you love other people, other people will love you back, it’s common sense. A few paragraphs in the author mentions people who hate socializing and think that “commenting” or interacting with others is stupid. This rang a bell for me and my mind went off on a sort of tangent about how you cannot teach some people how to make money online. Awkward people, weird people, or people with anxiety disorders, people who are not good in person are usually great at socializing online but people who genuinely hate interacting with others, who have nothing to say, or who want the world to be about them and them alone are not ideal candidates for blogging or social media marketing. If you’re not social at all, you’re probably going to suck at blogging and fail miserably. It’s not possible to build relationships without giving a little once in a while.
I’ve worked in eCommerce for seven years. Our company has teams of employees who only do social media marketing and there are always one or two who come in knowing nothing but are teachable and good at it and a couple who are only doing it for a paycheck and it really shows. Their dull, lifeless interactions are the antithesis of good marketing. If you’re not having fun, if you don’t like it, then it will show and it’s possible to hurt a business in the meantime. If your hearts not in it then blogging and social media just isn’t for you. Does that mean you’ll fail at eCommerce? No. But it DOES mean that you need to hire a social butterfly who will have a blast buddying up with the rest of the world online.
1. Interns. Not enough business’ utilize the power of interns. They’re fresh from college, eager, and with an array of skills that they’re just burning to use. Interns can easily be your goldmine. Social media is not a “learned” thing for them like it is for the rest of us. Interns are in their early twenties which means that they grew up with it. They have a massive “friend” market that is totally untapped. Best of all, if you get an intern with a writing degree or a business degree, they might actually be able to teach you something. It doesn’t hurt that interns also work for free because they are also gaining the experience that they need to enter the job market. Why is everyone not doing this? Everyone wins!
2. Utilize employees and their social media platforms. Companies are so obsessed with productivity that they keep their employees in a chokehold and more often than not ignore their suggestions assuming that “they’re just employees.” The truth is that employees could be working for you in ways you didn’t even think of. Instead of punishing people for using social media why don’t you encourage it? You can sparingly use FB if you promise to send out at least two positive posts about our company or another employee every day. Totally fair trade and they’ll be thankful for the opportunity to take small mental breaks throughout the day.
3. Have a solid business plan. Your unique selling point should be on all of your social media stuff all the time. Everyone should know all the time why you’re different.
4. Be yourself. The more you are yourself the easier it will be for others to connect with you, hence, connect with your business.
5. Demographic. Look at your existing customers and try to aim for that exact same demographic. The more you know your demographic the less time you waste and the less money you need.
6. Social media. Facebook, Twitter and wordpress.com are all free. Three huge platforms for selling your products or services are free.
7. Make friends. Online and in real life being in business means being social. The more people you befriend the further your business will travel. Word of mouth advertising is the strongest and it doesn’t cost you anything.
8. Don’t be selfish with social media. Don’t spam people to death. Tweet, Update, Post blogs regularly but don’t make it all about you. Provide info that is also really useful to others.
9. SEO. When you’re blogging make sure you use the same 5 keywords regularly as “tags” or within the text. Link to outside sites. If you do this regularly in no time you’ll be coming up in search engines.
10. Keywords. Choose keywords wisely. If your blog is about Italy don’t pick “Italy” because ten billion other people already use it. Try, “moving to Italy” or “Living in Italy” or something still relevant but not necessarily in direct competition with the world.
11. Never stop learning. It’s never a smart idea to decide that you’re an expert. The moment you do that it’s likely that you’ll stop learning. In todays world you always need to be learning and you always need to be listening to other people.
12. Share the love. Online there is no “competition” in the same way that exists with traditional marketing or business. In fact, making friendly with your competition will likely bring more people to your own site. Link to them, share their updates, “like” them, and soon enough their customers will see you too.
- Social Media for Businesses: What You Need to Know (business2community.com)
- 10 Best Hashtag Tools To Increase Your Social Media Exposure (blogussion.com)
- How Employers Use Social Media For Job Recruiting (Infographic) (business2community.com)
Sometimes the first inclination that business owners have is the urge to recreate the wheel when in fact they just need to fasten four of them to a plank and drive. Terrible description? I tried. What I’m trying to say is that not every part of your marketing campaign needs to be built from scratch. A huge part of social media is simply being online “friends” with other people who have similar interests or who have an audience similar to your demographic. “Like” a page here, “favorite” a Tweet there, and you’re well on your way without the pain and suffering of starting from the very beginning. This is a great article on the full 5 Strategies To Build A Network Of Bloggers Or Journalists.
- 21 Email Marketing Strategies for Bloggers (socialbarrel.com)
- 3 Ways To Set Yourself Apart From Your Online Competition (theworkathomewoman.com)
- 10 Paid Strategies for Bloggers (socialbarrel.com)
- I Believe in the Power of Blogs: They Make Us Understand (zemanta.com)
Trust Guard is speaking and exhibiting at a very special kind of event November 21-23 in Las Vegas and we think you should attend. This is the second annual event by our good friends Dan Thies and Leslie Rohde of The SEO Braintrust. We have worked with these guys for several years and they are the very best at what they do. If you make money via online marketing today, you will make more next year by investing just 3 days with The SEO Braintrust. They back that claim with a 167% money back guarantee, so you really do have nothing to lose.
They can do this because it is not your usual “conference” where you sit and yawn at a parade of speakers. Far from it. There will be no yawning at all! Instead, you should show up prepared to reflect on what is working now, what isn’t, do some hard thinking about what you should change, and work one-on-one and in small masterminds to plan a prosperous online future using a proven, structured approach to online marketing.
If you have not been to Brainstorm, it’s tough to explain, but here’s the bulleted summary they call “The Brainstorm promise”:
A structured approach to rapid business growth developed over 10 years of working with hundreds of online business owners;
A holistic view of online marketing that synergistically combines channels
Take home training, personalized business building manual, and all speaker’s presentations and recordings
Best in class speakers and sponsors vetted by the conference principals
Small group masterminds guided by an experienced business coach
Extensive one-on-one access to the Braintrust principals and speakers
The 167% money back awesomeness guarantee
But it won’t ALL be work – it’s Vegas baby! We’ll be at all the hosted (that means “free”) happy hours, parties, and the optional VIP dinner.
Come join us in Vegas and return home with a plan for a bigger, more prosperous, and more exciting 2014.
Whether you have a blog, a small Etsy shop, or a massive online company with loads of employees and sales, you need to utilize social media in order to market yourself, or your brand. Obviously, plenty of companies still benefit from traditional advertising, but with social media at your fingertips there’s no reason to invest the money if you don’t want to. Keeping up with the constant evolution of social media can pose a challenge and that’s why learning shortcuts and using tools are so important. Larger companies often have teams of people dedicated to social media, however, you don’t need a fully loaded team to pack a serious punch. Here is a great list of 42 tools and tips for Epic social media marketing. You’ll see the difference social media marketing can make in your life.
- 101 Inbound Marketing Blogs You Should Be Reading (business2community.com)
- Facebook Tips (dube.wordpress.com)
- Epic Content Marketing: Get Your Content Marketing Strategy Together (smallbiztrends.com)
- Social Media for Business: Never Miss a Single Trick! (socialmediatoday.com)
Marketing and advertising has always been similar to running a race that you just can’t win. You’ll never know it all, it will never stay the same long enough for you to even get a handle on most of it. As soon as you almost catch up, it changes and you have to learn how to do it all over again. Then the internet became what it is now, a powerful marketing tool that shifts and changes at lightening speed. If you get up to use the bathroom, chances are, in that two minutes someone figured out something new that works better. Sounds difficult, right? It doesn’t have to be. If you know your demographic like you know the back of your hand it really is less of a guessing game and more of simple tweaking here and there. If you don’t know your customers well enough, you’ll always be scrambling to figure out what works, why it works, and how you can possibly implement that new thing that works as soon as possible. Plus, if you don’t know your demographic, you can’t utilize influencer marketing which is what is working magic for eCommerce sites everywhere, right, NOW. What is influencer marketing? It basically comes down to knowing your audience well enough to influence their buying habits. If you want to learn more about the importance of knowing your audience and Influencer marketing, check out this great article: Customer Decision Making Processes and Influence Marketing.
- gyroVoice: The “Ws” of Influence Marketing (forbes.com)
- Social Proof – The Art of Influence Marketing (visual.ly)
- Influencer Marketing Can Be An Easy Button (socialmediaexplorer.com)
- Breaking Down the Four Ms of Influence Marketing for Better ROI (business2community.com)
1. Realize what social media really has become. Social media isn’t just for teenagers to post about their crushes. It’s the main way that most people of many demographics communicate. It isn’t something you should attempt in a lazy, occasional way. Social media should be taken seriously, regardless if you’re a multi-million dollar company, a startup, or a blog.
2. Similarly to number 1, blogs need to be taken seriously. They are not simply live journals anymore. Blogs influence opinions, they are a news source, they have power, and many of them earn hundreds of thousands of dollars and have millions of views every year. MILLIONS. Understand the blog world. The success of your eCommerce site will depend on it.
Why post viral videos every week for a blog about eCommerce? Well, for starters, every eCommerce biz out there is constantly trying to understand how to reach out, spread the word, get more traffic, and increase views or sales. The best way to understand what people want is to understand what is popular. Sure, everyone has a different demographic, but genius marketing is genius marketing and it can certainly inspire new ideas for any kind of business. This video has 27 MILLION VIEWS. It is part of the marketing campaign for the new remake of the Carry film. The marketing team made this video knowing it would go viral (or at least hoping) and sure enough within days it was spreading through social media like wildfire. Why? Well, it’s entertaining, it’s short, and it’s not “selling” and shoving product in an obnoxious way. Check it out and think of what you could do for your own business to create a two minute video that could go viral too. Enjoy!
- You’ll Love This Awesome Viral Video Promo For The Movie ‘Carrie’ (ijreview.com)
- Scot Haney Talks To Craig & Company About His Viral Video (965tic.cbslocal.com)
- How to Use Videos as a Tool for Viral Marketing (businessbee.com)
- Why do videos go viral? (moralesgardenc.wordpress.com)
- Viral Video Recap: Must-Watch Memes of the Week (mashable.com)
Innovation At Twitter Might Take A Hit: An interesting article on what happens when successful startups go public. Will Twitter take a hit when money starts rushing in and the creative minds duck out?
What Is ECommerce? This is a great article for you newbies out there who want to jump into the world of online possibilities but are still learning what things are and how they work. This article explains Ecommerce
45 Social Media Tools And Tips A great, great thorough article on social media and how to use it to grow your BLOG or your Ecommerce Site. A lot of helpful information on tracking analytics and pinning down your traffic and audience. Must read!
How To Use INSTAGRAM In Your Business Incredibly innovative article to give you creative ways to use instagram for your ECommerce business or BLOG.