Learn from your mistakes. Or better yet, learn from the mistakes of others. Applebee’s recent series of blunders handling the controversy over firing of an employee gives us an opportunity to do just this.
1) Create a social media policy and stick to it. Applebee’s released a statement on Facebook that it fired Chelsea Welch for “violating their Guest’s right to privacy.” However, a couple of weeks before, it had posted a picture of a note from a customer that included the customer’s full name. Applebee’s took the picture down, but someone got a screenshot and posted it on Facebook. Creating a consistent policy that you communicate to staff and follow yourself on your own social media sites will help you avoid this error.
2) Remember that nothing goes away on the Internet. So, be mindful of what you post. If you change your mind like Applebee’s did, the evidence could stay out there.
3) Understand how to use the social media site before you start posting. As R.L. Stollar’s article, “Applebee’s Overnight Media Meltdown: A Photo Essay,” notes, Applebee’s explained its actions in a comment of its own status update, which quickly got buried in the onslaught of comments.
4) Follow the etiquette of the social media site. Applebee’s made people on Facebook angry – thus increasing the criticism they posted about Applebee’s – by censoring their comments and posting the same statement over and over in response to their comments.
5) Handle all criticism in a professional, unemotional manner. Possibly the worst part of the disaster occurred when Applebee’s began arguing with people on Facebook. If you ever feel like you’re about to argue with people online, stop yourself. It will only make you look worse. As Technology Editor Claire Porter notes in her article, “US Restaurant Applebee’s commits social media suicide,” Applebee’s could have avoided much of the criticism it received simply by keeping its mouth shut.
All in all, Applebee’s turned its Facebook page, which should have been an avenue for creating a positive identity with the public, into a total nightmare that will take much time and hard work to live down. As bad as this situation is for Applebee’s, at least we can learn not to make the mistakes that it did.
Social book marking is an important SEO tool that can generate valuable traffic for you. Here’s how it works-when you book mark a website, it means you like the content and have expressed a clear intention of visiting the site again. So, if your site gets bookmarked frequently, it means you have developed a loyal band of followers and regular visitors.
When your website is book marked by the Webmaster of a reputable site, then that is even more good news. To give you an analogy it’s like Oprah promoting Ellen DeGeneres in her show. It increases your credibility and exposure.
Another thing you should know is that search engines place a lot of value on social book marking. So, if your site gets bookmarked frequently, your chances of figuring out at the top of search results increase manifold.
To utilize this tool, you may consider hiring a social book marking service provider. They will bookmark your site and encourage users in their network to do the same. You can easily hire people for social bookmarking gigs through sites like Fiverr.
Another tip to excel in this technique is to maintain a constant presence in social networking sites. The higher the traffic, the more people will get to notice you. Also, keep your website updated. Nobody wants to read the same thing over and over again. Keep adding content or changing a few details on your site without really changing the essence of it.
Social book marking allows visitors and your target audience to reach your site easily. Utilize tagging so people know how to reach you once you have captured their interest.
Social marketing approach today demands quick thinking so that you can adapt to the changing market demands quickly.
Almost every business today has a Facebook page and with the site’s rules getting more stringent by the day, it is becoming increasingly difficult for small businesses to make their mark in FB’s competitive world.
In my experience the best strategy therefore is to unite with other small forces and gain leverage from each other’s network. This means it makes sense for small businesses to identify blogs/common interest sites and run promotional campaigns in partnership with them.
For example, let’s say you are a small business that markets baby products. Now the best social media approach for you would be to identify blogs that cater to young mothers and contact them to run a giveaway promotion. How does this tie in with Facebook promotion you wonder?
Well, for one the blog you partner with will publicize the giveaway on their FB fan page, this way you get visibility among their fanbase. Secondly, the giveaway will generate a buzz about your business among the blog’s regular readers. Third by giving something away for free you will be giving people a reason to spread the word about your business among their friends!
Another smart social marketing approach is to create cross-promotional discount campaigns with businesses that you are not in competition with. For example, if you run a salon for women, you may distribute discount coupons of a local shoe store and request the business owner to do the same for you through his/her social network.
Social marketing approach today is all about seeking innovative ways to reach out to bigger networks of people. Good Luck!
Social marketing approach can help define your success with online marketing. It isn’t necessary to spend huge amounts on placing ads in social media networks. Of course paid advertising yields dividends, however, if you do not have the budget for it, you can still gain visibility in social media networks like Facebook by adopting a smart social marketing approach.
Creating and marketing your Facebook page is one of the simplest strategies for promoting your small business online. The good news is that several support organizations have taken the initiative to help small businesses market and promote themselves!
For example, SSB- Supporting small business is a page where small businesses can literally shout about what they are doing and offer services to other small businesses. So, the FB page effectively acts as a platform for small businesses to let potential partners and customers know about their wares.
For instance, let’s say you offer bookkeeping and VA services, you can advertise yourself for free and let other small business know how you can assist them. The page owners also take initiative by promoting different business through their posts.
The only thing that you need to do in order to put your promotional message on the page is to like it! In fact according to the recent Facebook changes, you can now also post on every page you like. So, if you have a new event or sale coming up, you can post a message on pages wherein you feel you might be able to catch your potential clients.
The advantage of posting on dedicated Small Business Support pages like SSB though is that you can be sure that your post won’t be removed (unless of course its offending) and you will be reaching an audience of active fans who post on the page and follow it regularly, as it serves their personal interest.
Another great way to get your business visibility is by joining communities related to your niche area. The biggest upside of this is that when you post in a community messages are sent out to all members, so you have a greater chance of being heard. The thing to remember here though is that most communities may not accept overtly promotional messages, unless they are dedicated to supporting small businesses.
Social marketing approach when drafted smartly can do wonders for your business’ branding! It’s all about being aware of the most cost-effective strategies.
Marketing solutions for small businesses need to be economical yet effective. This means you need to choose the platforms for marketing your business very carefully! The good news is that in the online world, it isn’t too difficult to find a platform that caters to your niche market.
One of the key marketing solutions that can do wonders for any small business is- Giveaways! Yes just like the real world, you can create giveaway campaigns the virtual world too and what’s even better is that you can narrow down your market and target people who are most likely to respond positively to your efforts.
So, for example, if you run a business where the target customers are mothers and homemakers, you may get in touch with blogs that enjoy the readership of this group and tie up with them to organize a giveaway campaign for their readers or you may even offer discount coupons for your products and services through them. Most blogs charge anywhere between $30-50 a month for these kind of marketing solutions.
Organizing a contest through such blogs and giving away your products or services, as prizes, is also an excellent way to generate a buzz about your business. Again the cost of such contests isn’t too hard on the pocket. Facebook too is an excellent medium to organize contests. The rules are quite strict, but once you get permission, you can buy an online application and put together a one-week contest for as little as $15-20!
Marketing solutions today are all about innovation, creativity and strategizing. There are plenty of low-cost, high value options available in the virtual world; you just have to be smart enough to choose the best.
Focused online marketing is the only way to create a clear strategy for your branding and promotion in the virtual world.
The first thing that you need to do is to divide your online marketing campaign in phases and then ask yourself, what exactly do you hope to achieve in each phase.
For instance, the first phase could be about building a presence and spreading awareness about your business, the second phase could be about gaining a better understanding of the market, in the third face your focused online marketing could be about expanding your customer base and the fourth phase could be designed to focus on customer retention and follow-up.
Once you have decided on the phase, you can move on to drafting your strategy for each stage of your focused online marketing. Blogs and article marketing are excellent tools for spreading awareness, setting up social media listening stations could help you understand the market better, organizing contests and on Facebook and other social networks can be a great customer expansion strategy and interacting with your clients and customers through social media networks, setting up a web-based support ticket features, etc, can be online marketing exercises that could help you retain your customers.
Focused online marketing is nothing but adopting a result oriented approach, wherein you choose your marketing tools and strategies based on the results you expect. This obviously works better than a haphazard approach where you include article marketing, blogging, social media and whatever other marketing tools you can think of in your strategy and expect them to help you build your brand and attract more customers in one go.
Social marketing approach has to be designed very carefully, if you want to make an impression in today’s competitive marketing scenario.
Agreed social media is cheap, has an extensive reach and can give you great results! The question is, how do you get it to work for you?
The tips below will hopefully help you develop an effective social marketing approach:
Don’t spam social media discussions with your links and promotional posts. It will put people off. Instead focus on saying something relevant and embed your link in your signature.
In case html coding is not allowed, end your post with something like, for more info, visit: your website name.
Integrating your social marketing efforts is also important. For example, let’s say your social marketing approach involves, creating blogs, forum posting, social media marketing and article marketing. Now in order to get the best results you must post links to your published blogs and articles and at the same time create social media friendly widgets like Facebook like buttons, Facebook send button, face pile, etc on your Blog page. You will find the codes of these applications by clicking on the social plugins section on Facebook.
Another important element of your social marketing approach should be to associate yourself with good causes related to your niche area, it will get you a lot of positive publicity. In case you can’t find any cause related your area of operation, consider supporting animal and environmental causes closest to your heart.
Social marketing approach can yield excellent results for your business, as long as you strategize well. Good luck!
Social media blogs are the latest and one of the most successful ways to promote a new venture. Anybody who uses the internet can start a blog but not everyone is successful in attracting loyal readers that keep coming back.
There are a few simple things you need to keep in mind if you want regular followers. First and foremost, make sure you choose interesting topics for your social media blogs. “Interesting” here is subjective, as the topics must appeal to your target market.
For example, if you run a fashion boutique, then interesting topics for you would include- fashion tips, styling mantras, body type fashion, etc. A keyword research on topics relevant to your niche area can also help you come up with the most searched subjects.
Your writing style should be according to the topic you choose. If it is a serious subject, your tone needs to reflect it, for lighter subjects, inject jokes and puns wherever appropriate. However, make sure that your tone is conversational in both the cases.
A great way to connect with you readers is to add personality to your social media blog. An impressive about me page is a good idea. This is an area where you can sell yourself and create the impression that you truly are an authority figure in your niche. Share you experiences and success stories while ensuring that you keep your tone humble and friendly.
Social media blogs can help you build a strong rapport with your target market. In the next few posts, I’ll share tips on how to integrate your blog with various social media networks.
Social media campaigns can do wonders for your business if managed well. There are professionals in the market, trained for this job and you would do well to hire such a specialist online marketing company, because if you launch a social media campaign but don’t manage it well, it could well harm your brand.
There are numerous examples where well-meaning employees have created pages on social media sites and then ignored them. If this happens your campaign will sink without a trace.
Your Social media campaign should be entrusted in the hands of someone, who can stay focused on the task. This is where a social media agency comes in. they are trained to manage every aspect of your social media campaign. All you need to do is inform them about new products or services that you are offering your clients and they will post it and follow it up on relevant social networks that suit the clientele you are looking to target.
Sounds simple and straightforward, doesn’t it? Well, it is if you choose the right agency. Here are some tips to help you with selection:
Hire only that social media consultant who has a strong presence on any social media site it claims to work with.
Look for the online presence of their previous clients. Take stock of the kind of promotions they have run and find out to what extent are they engaged with the followers of the particular brand. This is important because if you go just by the number of followers the company has, it can be misleading.
It is only when you see how much interaction is happening with the followers, will you get a true picture of the company’s ability. A large number of followers, but very little interaction stinks of statistical padding, rather than real estimation.
Social media campaign is a highly specialized genre, so when selecting an agency to manage it for you, make sure you hire one that is a dedicated social media agency. You would do well to remember that there are many kinds of online marketing and different companies specialize in different sections. You need one that will not only launch the campaign but also follow it up as well by interacting with your followers, replying to their posts and keeping them happy.
Social media sites that you choose for your campaign play a critical role in determining its success. Ideally, the sites that you choose must have:
An identifiable user base of members who fit into your target customer profile: This means you must study the social media sites first and check how active the communities related to your niche area are. For example, let’s say you run a home security equipments business and are wondering whether SMM on Facebook and Twitter will serve your purpose?
A good way to determine the same is to study the communities on Facebook first. Your target market is pretty vast, however, prospects most likely to get converted into customers for you would be single women, working parents and well to do homeowners. So, the best thing for you to would be to run a people’s search for these groups on Twitter and a community search on Facebook. If you notice that your target customer groups are active on these social media sites, you know you are on the right track.
In fact when it comes to social media sites, going niche is also a great idea. This means that focusing niche networks related to your area of operation are likely to get you better results. Taking the home security equipments example again, networks of working moms, parenting networks, etc, would be great platforms to promote your products that are most relevant to these groups.
Social Media sites if chosen well can truly do wonders for your business’ growth!