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.
Are you looking for effective Social media Strategy to increase the Facebook fans on your page? You can do so by organizing contests on your social media page and enhance the fans engagement eventually. Grabbing eyeballs and hooking loyal customers becomes easier by organising successful contests for social media marketing.
Tips for Organising Contests on Social media
Tip 1: Use the 3rd Party Applications
You should know the guideline of social media you are planning to use and then plan the contest for grand success
Tip2: Shell out Prizes which draw maximum attention
Brainstorming and finding the attractive prizes which catch the fancy of maximum customers or target audience is another tip.
Tip3: Simplicity is the key
Make the contest simple along with the rules, idea and implementation. This will attract more people. The contest should not be very lengthy as they do not want to spend hours solving the contest.
Tip 4: Make the contest creative and catchy
The contest should be entertaining and should excite the contestants to engross them in being part of your social media page.
Tip 5: Give the fans the power to select the Winner
This will add a zing and zest to your contest as the fans would be deciding the winner and your social media page will get a raise in the fan base.
Tip 6: Promoting the contest is vital
Make the promotions of the contest both online as well as offline. Online presence can be created using newsletters, email, blogs etc.
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 strategies have traditionally included social book marking and stumble upon is a much-recommended social bookmarking site online. The question that most social media newbie’s tend to wonder about is, how much weight does this recommendation really carry? Well, then here are a few facts that will hopefully take you a step closer to the answer you are seeking:
According to a recent survey conducted by a social media optimization firm stumble upon sent five times more traffic to their sample blogs than other social bookmarking sites.
Stumble upon is a very popular social bookmarking site, which in SEO terms means- it gets a huge amount of traffic. So, by submitting your site and blog posts to stumble upon, you get to take advantage of its huge ‘footfalls’.
The site is believed to be especially useful for businesses targeting United States web users, as a lot of its traffic comes from that geographical region.
Having said that, using stumbleupon does have its share of downsides:
One, some people find it a little complicated to use. Usually, it takes new users a while to get familiar with the site; however, this is a hurdle that can be easily overcome with a little patience.
The traffic from stumble upon is not always stable, so you can’t use it as a replacement of your search engine marketing efforts.
Social marketing is an essential element of any business’ traffic building campaign today. It is therefore important that you understand the nuances of the marketing technique.
SEO help for small businesses essentially involves the following areas:
Keyword analysis: This means choosing low or medium competition but high search volume keywords. An important point to remember though is that you should choose the keywords that your site can justify. For example, let’s say you have a plumbing business; choosing generic ‘home services’ keyword will not be the best strategy for you. The idea here is to choose keywords that your prospective customers are likely to use while searching for your business.
Content writing: Search engine rankings are largely dependent on content. SEO content, however, requires strategizing and planning. Other than using keywords appropriately in content, it is important to make sure you upload the content in the right places. The best SEO help advice here would be: create a blog section on your website and upload keyword enriched content regularly, upload articles and blogs in high PR blogs and article directories, create press releases and upload the same to document sharing sites and press release distribution websites.
Social Media Marketing: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are the three main social networks that businesses today are concentrating on. However, in addition to that you can also market your business on smaller niche based networks. The key things to do here are: set up a business page, join groups related to your area of operation, expand your network by interacting with other members of through discussion boards.
SEO help is not difficult to find as long as you do your research well.
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 and FB applications are two subjects that a lot of small businesses have been seeking answers too. Facebook applications especially have aroused a lot of interest in the online marketing sphere. So, here’ some key info that will help you select the best ones for your business:
Notes- These are like mini blogs that can help you promote your business by sharing informative and interesting original content with your Facebook contacts.
Rate Points Reviews and Testimonials- This application allows you to display your satisfied clients/customers reviews on your Facebook page and generates a rating for your services.
Slideshare- This application allows you to share slides and presentations with your community members and fans. It’s an excellent application to make your fanpage more interactive.
Wildfire apps- These apps will help you run contests on Facebook at affordable rates. It offers multiple contest options including, quiz contests, sweepstakes, etc.
Tabsite- Through this application you can create multiple tabs on your fanpage and create a mini website.
Eventbrite- This is a great Facebook app for promoting your company’s events and other promotional activities. It also allows you distribute tickets through it.
Networked Blogs- The application will allow you to link your blog to Facebook page, thus saving you from the extra hassle of updating your page every time you update your blog.
These are just a few examples. The list of Facebook applications that small businesses can use as marketing solutions is huge! Keep track of this blog for more information on fb apps.
Marketing solutions can yield excellent results as long as you choose to employ the right strategies. Good luck!
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.
Planning and marketing to get your business noticed doesn’t necessarily require deep pockets, strategic thinking is enough!
The Internet has huge potential, but it also an intensely competitive place and getting lost in the crowd is a very real risk. However, the following planning and marketing strategies will hopefully help you draw attention and traffic:
You want Google and other search engines to know you have new content right? Then you must take proactive steps to inform them. Whenever you post a new article on the web, use a pinging tool that will send a signal to the search engines. This doesn’t guarantee immediate listing, but the chances of your content getting indexed faster become better.
Make use of social Bookmarking sites like Digg and Stumbleupon to get your blog page and articles noticed. Post links to your new content and you will improve your chances of making it to the first three pages of Google.
Join relevant social media groups and comment on forums. Make sure you embed a link to your website in your signature. Not only will this give you valuable Backlinks but will also encourage the forum visitors to check out your site.
Planning and marketing online promotional activities is all about using strategies to reach your target market. So, check out review blogs popular in your niche area and send them free samples to review your products. There are also certain paid review services, like expotv.com. doyou.co.uk, etc, that you can take advantage of.
Planning and marketing your products online can open up many new doors of opportunities for you, as long as you play your cards right.
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 is the latest and fastest growing tool of communication. Consequently, if used well, it can become an easy way to establish your brand far and wide. These are a few obvious advantages of using social media to promote your brand:
What you need to remember though is that social media can be a double edged sword. The fact that it has the potential to spread awareness about your brand very far, very quickly, means that you need to be especially careful about what you want people to know about your brand. Make sure you are consistent and focused when telling people about the brand. If you write self-serving content, it is more likely to damage you and your brand’s reputation in the long run.
Also since social media is a much more intimate medium it is more conducive to forming long lasting relationships with prospective clients. As with every other relationship, honesty is the foundation of this one as well. Thus, you must make sure that your brand comes across as genuine and real. This doesn’t mean that you have to openly advertise your business vulnerabilities, but create realistic expectations and always give your customers/clients the advice that is in their best interests.
Social media can also be used as a powerful tool to interact and network with other competitors as well as market leaders in the same field. In fact these sites can also prove to be excellent platforms for finding businesses’ for cross promotion ventures. For instance, let’s say you run a toy store, you may be able to get into a cross promotion arrangement with a company or designer who sells children’s apparels, provided both of you cater to the same client base.
Online marketing information can help you understand your market better and develop products and services that your customers and prospects want.
Social media can be your best tool for collecting online marketing information in a hassle-free and cost effective manner. All you need to do is to monitor them regularly, or to put it in SEO terms, set up social media listening stations.
How do you do that? Well, here are some simple tips:
Spend at least 10 minutes everyday reading through discussions on social media forums related to your niche area. For example, if you own a women’s wear boutique, monitor discussions on fashion, office-wear, etc, in social media communities dedicated to similar topics.
Initiate social media discussions on subjects related to your niche area in relevant communities. So, if you run a toy store, for instance, start a discussion about the most popular toys among children and write a little bit about your child’s (if you have one) favorite toy in parenting forums. This will work as an excellent strategy for collecting online marketing information.
Visit your competitors’ fan pages on Facebook or twitter account and spend at least 5-10 minutes everyday catching up on what their customers are saying. Also keep a close on social media initiatives started by your competitors as well as the most successful businesses operating in your niche area.
Online marketing information is not difficult to gather, as long as you follow the right strategies.
Using Social Media can get you phenomenal results, as long as you know how to gain the maximum leverage from these platforms.
Never underestimate the power of social exposure and relevance. In fact, using Social Media to market any business has become a growing trend across all industries. Imagine getting better results without having to spend on traditional marketing methods. Here are some great tips that will help you gain the most from your social media marketing campaigns:
Using Social Media to grow your business can be an excellent strategic decision that put you on the fast track for growth. Are you ready to take your big leap?
Internet Marketing Promotion Ideas Internet marketing promotion is one of the most cost-effective ways of expanding your customer base. For small businesses, especially, Internet marketing is an excellent way to establish a brand image within a limited budget. The following are two little known but effective Internet marketing promotion ideas:
Low competition Long Tail Keywords: Long tail keywords are 3-4 word phrases. These keywords work well from SEO perspective, as they are likely to get you better results. Let’s take a simple example, say you run an online fashion store and if you choose a single word like “Fashion” as your keyword, then you are likely to face a lot of competition. However, if you were to choose a long tail keyword like ‘Fashion Tips For Women’, you are likely to get better results quickly as the competition will be less. Ideally, you should choose a long tail keyword with over 1000 monthly searches.
Niche Network Marketing: There are social networks and there are niche social networks. The latter are those that are focussed on common interests, professions, geographical areas, age groups, etc. Baby-boomer, young entrepreneur, parenting, music and books based social networking sites are examples of these niche networks. They are excellent platforms for marketing as they offer entrepreneurs their target customer bases on a platter. For example, let’s say you run a small plumbing business, community based social networks in your target region would be the best platforms for you to market your services.
Internet marketing promotion ideas can help you turn around your small business. So, if you haven’t explored virtual world marketing options, it’s time you started.
Strategic Internet Marketing or Offline Advertisements? Strategic Internet Marketing is an essential tool for small businesses that are usually grappling with tight budgets and low-awareness levels.
Think about it. For any new business to get noticed, it needs to get as much exposure and visibility among its target audience. Sure, you could spend truckloads of money on a full page advertisement in the local newspaper, but it would not have as much impact as a simple low-cost Strategic Internet Marketing model would. And if tight budgets are the bane of your existence, then Strategic Internet Marketing is the only way to get your business visibility.
The first step in Strategic Internet Marketing is to create a website. Your website is the first door to your business that will allow you to showcase your products and services. Unlike what people will have you believe a basic website can actually be set up for about a $1500-2000.
Strategic Internet Marketing involves other aspects like search engine optimization, article marketing, and social media marketing. All these are cost-effective options that can produce excellent results. You can join most social media websites for free and the writing market is quite competitive, so if you are smart you can get a good article writer for less than 1/10th the price of a real world publicist.
Strategic Internet Marketing elements must be combined together in order to get due visibility for your business. For instance, if you have just opened a business of selling cupcakes online, then your strategy should include designing an appealing website, writing articles on cupcake designs and recipes, advertising online, etc.
Strategic Internet Marketing becomes very important for small-scale businesses due to their heavy reliance on the internet medium for generating awareness for their products. Given the affordability of internet marketing, whether through banner advertisements, article marketing, micro blogging, etc, most small businesses use the digital platform to drive their marketing objectives. Hence, a Strategic Internet Marketing approach is crucial to a successful internet marketing campaign.
First and foremost, create a website for your business. A website will be the official spokesperson for your business where prospective buyers can find detailed information about your company, the services you offer and your brand promise.
Second, ensure that your website content is entertaining, exciting, visually stimulating and interesting. Today, in order to break the advertising clutter, marketers need to be as creative as possible to make their content attractive and entertaining. Strategic Internet Marketing can be best achieved with top-notch content that drives engagement with the audience.
Moving on, accelerate all your search engine optimization efforts toward Google. Today more than three-fourths of all searches, especially for new products and services, are done through Google. Hence it becomes very important for small businesses to align their SEO operations to be as Google-friendly as possible.
Another popular approach to Strategic Internet Marketing is leveraging social networking websites, especially if your business is targeted toward youngsters. Today youngsters are constantly wired and perpetually connected via social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Since such websites are used primarily for information exchange and sharing of thoughts and desires, small businesses would do well to cash in on the lively traffic. Establish Strategic Internet Marketing initiatives such as creating a Facebook fan page and running contests on it for your fans. Give away freebies to encourage word-of-mouth publicity too!
Strategic Internet Marketing definitely pays great dividends in the long run. Especially for small businesses that have to contend with tighter purse-strings, Strategic Internet Marketing will give them a bigger bang for their buck.
Video SEO is fast becoming a popular and effective way to boost traffic to your website. With increased internet penetration, high-speed broadband connections, and widespread usage of smart phones, videos are now easier to stream than ever before and subsequently, a widely used vehicle in the online medium.
Search for a new product on any of the search engine giants like Google, Yahoo and Bing and more often than not, they will throw up video content for your viewing pleasure and discerning taste! Videos are now being viewed with immense fervor and the onslaught of social networking sites only makes more room for greater amplification. Without a doubt, Video SEO is the way to go for internet marketers.
There are numerous video sharing sites around, but the big daddy of them all is definitely YouTube. YouTube, with its phenomenally large viewership, allows marketers the best way to maximize Video SEO by posting unique and engaging video content. By inserting backlinks to your original website, you can ensure increased traffic onto your website. Just keep in mind that your video content must be short and crisp yet concise and interesting. Fun elements, jokes, topical humor etc. are all great ways to attract eye-balls.
Video SEO is a sure-fire way to get noticed. Videos are now increasingly easier to consume and therefore must be an integral part of the internet marketing campaign.