Thursday, January 24, 2013

Social media marketing: Making it work

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Many companies have tried their luck in social media marketing; however, a lot of them are still clueless as to how they can make it work to their advantage. Industry experts, like John Bohan and Scott Monty, note that there are ways to make social media the best marketing tool. Some of them are as follows:

1. Understanding the role of social media in marketing. The primary step toward effective social media marketing is by understanding its nature and role. Social media has a big role in marketing: It gives marketers the voice and avenue to communicate with customers. It personalizes the brand and spreads the message in a relaxed and conversational way.

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2. Choosing a network wisely. There are dozens of popular sites where businesses can set their shop. However, they should be careful in choosing one. They should consider how the social platform can benefit them and if they are willing to exert effort in using such social media platform.

3. Setting realistic goals. Companies can easily get overwhelmed in the social media world as a lot can be done in this dynamic platform. However, businesses should create realistic goals. Are they using social media to create a buzz, to build a network, to sell a product, or to gain feedback? Regardless of what their goals are, businesses must set and tailor their goals to get their desired results.

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4. Listening more, talking less. While it’s tempting to bombard social networking sites with information about a company’s product and services, it is sometimes necessary to listen, especially for start-up companies. Businesses should research about blogs, key industry players, and forums regarding their market to become aware of the social environment of their industry.

With a little planning and research and by learning the rules of the game, businesses can make social media marketing work to their advantage.

Learn more about social media marketing at this Live Journal blog.

How far is one’s social media reach?

Many business people challenge the hype of social media networking sites, often doubting whether such new platforms can create reach. While it can be quite challenging to measure a company’s social media reach, it is never impossible to determine the effect of social media.

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With the advent of social media, the competition to stay in the market is intensified. Majority of businesses make use of social media platforms to stay relevant. When customers are aware of a brand and interact with it through various social media posts, they are more likely to recommend it to their peers. A way of measuring brand recognition and online influence is by using Klout, an online tool that provides insight on how big a company’s influence is and how influential a company’s audience is.

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Traffic is also indicative of a brand’s reach. Besides sales opportunities, having good traffic equates to more people visiting and participating in a company’s media site. Measuring traffic can be easy with Google Analytics. It gives a glimpse of how visitors use a company’s site, how they arrived at the site, and how a company can encourage visitors to come back to the site. Moreover companies can measure sales, downloads, video plays, and other actions valuable to them. It also provides insights as to why some visitors buy from the company while others don’t.

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While social media marketing may mean free marketing, it is necessary to create focused efforts to arrive at one’s targeted goals because an unfocused effort is a huge time sink.

Learn more about John Bohan and social media marketing at this Google+ page.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pinterest: How businesses can benefit from “secret boards”

In December 2012, Pinterest announced the addition of “secret boards” to its website. Through these secret boards, Pinterest users can limit the visibility of their boards to the public and to any collaborators the creators choose to invite.

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Secret boards and limiting visibility? Do they defeat the purpose of creating and sharing pins that should go “viral?” Do they pose any value to businesses?

While Pinterest’s secret boards are great for personal use, they can also be valuable to businesses and brands as they provide opportunities for them to think out of the box by using the secret boards as an inter-office collaboration tool. In addition, secret boards offer a secure place for visual brainstorming within the office.

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Below are some ideas on how to make the most out of the secret boards:

1. Planning a campaign before it gets public

Pinterest offers an excellent way to get new ideas and to collaborate with the community managers. With the secret boards, a user can create an entire marketing campaign while keeping the details under wraps until it is ready to be launched.

2. Sharing ideas with clients

Secret boards do not have to be completely “secret.” Pinterest allows its users to designate certain people who can view the secret board, allowing a business to interact and communicate with its clients. This provides an easy avenue to share ideas with the clients, while safeguarding the business’ creative properties.

3. Keeping tabs on a competition

Monitoring an online competition is important as it gives a glimpse of how they perform and how they can be a threat to a business. Secret boards are the perfect way to store and track information about competitors. It provides a discreet way of monitoring them.

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John Bohan is an online marketing specialist. To know more about online marketing and social media, visit this blog.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Social media tips for the new year

As more and more people are getting into the social media craze, social media gurus, like John Bohan and Jonathan Porter, believe that it is important for marketers and companies to realize that social media is not just a fad—it is here to stay. Thus, integration of social media into companies’ marketing strategies is very important for them to stay relevant throughout this year.

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However, direct marketing and promotion will no longer work, as people are now tech savvy, which means that they can smell an ad from miles away. Online marketing should take a different approach. Here are some tips that companies can use:

• Social media marketing is all about connections. People are more likely to respond to peer reviews and recommendations from friends than to social media ads. A “like” or a “repost” from friends has more selling power than a banner ad.

• Social media is not only Facebook. A lot of companies think that being on Facebook is enough. It is not. In fact, more people scour review videos on YouTube before purchasing a product than read about them on Facebook.

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• Companies should not stick to a one-device policy. People are accessing the Internet and socializing not just on computers but also on their mobile devices. This study shows that people use a variety of devices to stay online.

• Photographs pull in audiences. People would rather look at pictures than read text. This is why Pinterest is a very effective social marketing tool.

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The social media marketing landscape is changing at a fast rate, and companies have to make the most of it or risk being irrelevant.

For more on social media and how it can help you, visit this website.