If you are into social media deeply or have been using it for some time, then you are probably somewhat familiar with Klout. Klout is a company that tracks your social media influence. It is easy to sign up for and gives you a
measuring and marketing platform to see how effective your efforts are. This company has been around awhile but recently has gained some popularity and is getting a foothold in businesses for providing analytics. The key word here is influence and not so much anything else.
So having said that who would care about using Klout? In a nutshell those who are trying to influence their audience or market share.
As you use social media and are trying to get a certain sector of the population to pay attention to you or your product or service, then using Klout will help you via your score they provide. The higher the score, the better your influence. If you are a small business or enjoy a local or small regional market then Klout is probably not for you.
Klout works best on a national or international stage.
How it works. As you produce engaging content or topics, followers who tap into your feeds are tracked by Klout through their very detailed analytics or algorithms. Simply, the higher your score (up to 100)
the better you are influencing your followers. Some say that
Klout does not really work that well and at the moment as I stated for small business, that is true as there just is not enough sampling for the system to be strongly effective. But if you are a say a famous speaker, offer a service or product geared toward a specific market and you are wanting a larger share of that market then give Klout a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Get yourself a plan of action, build great content and
start loading your social media!
If you are using social media to promote your business and yet your business is still unproductive, failing, or customers still are bailing by the droves, don't blame social media, blame yourself. Sound harsh? Facts are facts. Here are some reasons I have found through my own visits with fellow business owners, research, and on hand experience why social media is good as only the people behind it executing the content.
1. Value Are you providing good valuable content
that has interest to your followers? Do you create content that allows interaction or are you only thinking of yourself of what you like? Create content that will make them want to come back for more or click on other links that leads to what you do or products you sell.
2. Analytics Do you take time to measure what you post and see if it is effective? If what you do is not monitored or measured why are you wasting your time with that content? Take time to invest in a measuring system such as Google or a similar program and see what is working for you.
3. Who is posting for you While having a young person or an employee post content for you is cost-effective, do
you monitor what they post? What they may think is "cool" or informative may not be what you or your customers want. Do they have your business model at heart? Watch what they do, hire a professional or do it yourself. The newbie might be excited and think they know it all but they
may wind up posting who they got trashed with last night or dated accidentally on your professional platforms and you, my friend, will have mess. Make sure they know what they are doing.
4. Sell yourself and the business on Social Media.
It's OK to suggestive sell and promote your business (not you) on your platforms. Offer a special, talk about a product that you offer. Don't be a blow-hard, don't be egotistical that you know it all but offer to your customers, your service and your expertise in a professional manner.
Using social media can be a fun and rewarding experience to gain trust, customers, and friends when done in the right methodology. Have a plan and execute it properly.
Good luck and now go make some money!
Nothing troubles me more than to see a website built by a business (probably the owner him or herself) and content does not change, pictures of staff who no longer work there, or even old addresses from where the business once was
located. A website can be a powerful tool if you maintain it. To throw something up and see if it sticks is insane. I visit a lot with SMB's and I ask them. "How is your website doing?" I get back "Well we have one if that's what you mean." You start talking analytics, key words,
content management, and they all give you this blank look. With today's technology, data streaming, market targeting, and embedded analytics, if you do not understand the real purpose of your website, then you seriously should not
even have one. You have to maintain your website and change the content frequently and you should also embed at the very least Google Analytics to track your hits and see whats working for you. A website can be a powerful marketing tool, but you have to empower it to work for you.
A recent study shows that only 25% of SMB' use any kind of tracking tool So what are the other 75% doing? Nothing. Using reported data properly can tell you not only who is visiting your site but when, what pages they are looking at, and this is just a small sampling of all the data you can use. I am only mentioning Google analytics because it is free for most of its basic services. We are in a digital and competitive world today. With the proper tools, even small businesses can compete with the big boys if you know
your market, use your web site to gain that data, and keep your content rich with key words that will attract todays buyers and market share. I highly encourage you to revisit your website and look at it carefully. Embed an
analytic tool and use it! If you find it too complicated, then hire a web service to do it for you or ask one your employees who may be web savvy to help you. It will be a win-win situation for your entire team.
We have a few months behind us in 2013 already so what are businesses doing with social media? Doing some research, video is quickly becoming the tool to draw customers. Web video is becoming big business. YouTube recently announced they are now getting 2 billion users a day world wide. That in itself, is amazing. Besides video however here are some quick fast observations about
where social media is trending in marketing and advertising.
Facebook and that "Like" button: Businesses in the past loved those Facebook landing pages and getting customers to like them to get traffic. But that is no longer enough to keep your customers. Now it is solid relationship building.
It must now move across other platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube. (Ahh, that Video platform again!)
Marketing Your Market: SMBs can no longer sit on their laurels and expect magic things to happen on one platform. If you talk about your business let's say via a single source such as a web or blogging site, you are already losing your base. Right now it is the trend to embrace multiple platforms to talk about your products or service via Twitter, Tumblr, StumpleUpon , Pinterest, and your own YouTube channel. This has been popular with e-Commerce or e-Books in marketing.
Video Entertainment Advertisers : As I mentioned before businesses are embracing web video to sell their products and using big bucks in the form of entertainment to do it.
As more and more consumers are pulling away from their armchairs and going mobile so has the trend to market to the web. They are creating dynamic high-profile ads to reach that market.
Reality Marketing : Although it is nothing new in the sense of selling, "Call To Action" advertising and marketing I noticed, is also making a larger presence. I am seeing this not only in print media but also on the web and television. The soft fuzzy ads are being replaced with "So what are you gong to do about it Mr. or Mrs. Consumer?" They are telling you to make a decision and make it now before it's too late. This is becoming in tune with the fact we are now a fast paced and action oriented society. Being mobile and with all these tools to take action now via our cell phone, tablet, or laptop, we can now buy cars on-line, make a reservation for dinner or a hotel room, and even buy a
plane ticket. Reality or augmented marketing is growing leaps and bounds this year.
We are 4 months into the new year and look how social media has
shifted! I will be anxious to see how the rest of the year shapes up!
Most small businesses are budget minded when it comes to promoting or
marketing their business. The internet today is a must if you want any kind of
exposure since we are a digital or electronic society. I put together some tips
that hopefully will help you get your brand out with little or no investment on
your part. Some may not be for everybody, but at the very least experiment with
them and see what works best for you.
When is the last time you took a hard look at your website? (You better at least have one)
Re-evaluate your website and make sure it is promoting your brand and the content
reflects your products or services.
Embracing analytics on that website will help you measure how well
your site is doing. Data can help you improve areas you are trying to target.
Google Analytics is free to use and is easy to embed on your site.
3. Directories. I have mixed feelings about this
as many now consider directories "Old School". Having said that, again Google
offers the Local business Center, Yellow Pages has gone digital and has a site,
and Yahoo offers listings as well. Using analytics to boost your positioning
is the best way to have your businesss move up in search engines over
directories but if a person is searching for a particular product or service and
they are actually using a directory, then by all means having your name that
directory is a logical and smart idea.
4. Blogging. Promote your
talents and your business by blogging. Start right here and create a Word Press site.
You are good at what you do or you would not be in business right?
Tell others about what you do and express your opinion on topics relevant of your business.
Your business link is always attached to your blog site so if people want to know
more about you, they will follow.
5. Finish Line. You are out to win the race. Have goals in mind and consider a campaign
a race that you want to win. Always be first to cross that line. Be a winner!
Check out what your competition is doing by visiting their websites or
even their place of business in person if you can. Watch for their ads, type in
search engines what you do and see who comes up at the top of the list. If you
don't and they do, why?
7. Web Videos. Today, videos are
much simpler to shoot and produce. You don't have to be a Hollywood director to
make a simple video about your business. You don't want to post garbage so if
you know someone who can make a decent video about your business then use them
to create a polished product for you. Once it is done, put it on your website
or create a YouTube account .
8. Keywords. This follows
analytics but your website's title is important to gaining tracking hits. Your
business title should be unique and it should go hand in hand with what you do.
Google has a page to help you with the understanding of keywords. Google Toolbox.
Next time you check your website, look in the browser header and give yourself
a health check. What does it say up there? Does it fit on what your website describes?
If it does not, think about revamping your header to fit more what you do for your business.
I hope these tips have helped you with your internet branding. If you have any questions,
feel free to click on my last tab on my website here and email me. I will do my best to
gtve you an answer back as soon as possible.
Much of America's backbone is made up of small business. These same
businesses are the "Mom and Pop"s with less than 15 employees. They face
challenges of advertising and promoting their name, products or services in a
much larger scale. Although I covered this topic in earlier blogs, I thought I
would revisit this topic to help refresh some ideas for the small business on
advertising and marketing. Remember, it is possible to compete with your larger
counterparts if you just keep a few ideas in mind.
Know where your place is
Most small businesses think they need to advertise and promote themselves on
a regional or state basis. You are killing yourself. Think within your town or
city. Use local media to advertise. People know you here and you have stronger
branding on a local scale.
Take advantage of this. Incorporate your branding, marketing and advertising with
social media. Start with the basics. Use Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. If
you are clueless on how to do it, ask your kids, your employee's kids, slip them
a few bucks and they will help you build it. They love this stuff and for some
spending money, I am sure they will show you how to get them going. You don't
need to hire a high cost marketing firm. (Sorry guys, I know I am biting my own
hand but this is about small businesses who do not have the financial resources
Save those email addresses
Having marketing information to send out to your customers is important.
When you get leads, or customers contact you about your
services or products you need to build a data base. You can pay to get data
information but again, I encourage you to start your own. Many times buying
data base information has 80% outdated or lists of people who have nothing to do
with what you are trying to promote. You get exactly that. Lists. People who
have contacted you are interested in what you have to offer. Save it, build
upon it and stay in touch with them. If you offer services lets say to
professional organizations, many times you can go on the web and find listings
in your area of people who belong to a group associated with their profession.
Print out that information and you are on your way. It costs you nothing other
than your time to look it up. That is something you can do at home or assign it
to one of your employees.
How is your website? Do you even have one? Do you understand SEO?
(Search Engine Optimization) You can put up a basic web site for nothing.
There are many places including Google who offer free web sites.
As far as building it, remember those kids who love Social Media? Yep,
they know about web sites too.
Many vendors or manufacturers offer money to resellers to promote their products.
They will pay you via actual dollars or reimbursement after proof of performance
(radio-tv) or tear sheet (print) to advertise. Wow, free cash! Next time your distributor or
sales rep comes around, ask them about this.
Marketing development Funds is another free cash
program that vendors offer. Similar to co-op but this is money you build up by
buying their products. More latitude is often given with MDF as you can not only
buy advertising by co-branding but you can do events, co-brand promotional
material and more.Usually it is 1% of your purchases and you are responsible for
reporting what you buy from them. It is well worth it. Ask your sales rep next
time when asking about co-op dollars if they also offer a MDF program. Many
times with MDF they will pay 100% of a marketing promotion
whereas with co-op it is only a portion dedicated to their product.
I hope this refresher on advertising and marketing on a budget has been a help to you.
If you have your own success story, I would like to hear about it. Visit my
last tab page here on my site and contact me.
As if we just start to get a grasp on Instagram and Social Cam, Tumblr now
begins to grow up and out of its diapers. This social media web site has been
around for some time. (2007) As with any unique social media website, Tumblr
has been on a pathway of discovery. As I look at Tumblr even today, I think it
is still evolving to identify what it wants to do. You might call it Social Cam
on steroids. A variety of categories from A to Z can be found on Tumblr and the
subject matter even more so. The users are mostly the under 35 crowd and please
understand, I am not knocking Tumblr. I find it actually pretty cool to surf
For the purpose of my blog this week however, the question is can Tumblr work
from a business marketing perspective? My answer is "maybe". To use Tumblr for
marketing your business, it is going to take several considerations. The most
important one is time. Besides account maintenance, you must have some savvy in
web video presence. This is not social cam where you post 20 or 30 seconds of
unedited "look at me" content. There is a some thought and creativity that goes
into Tumblr productions. Like You Tube, Tumblr strives for some quality from
its users. Pictures can also be used and I would be amis not to say that
Tumblr has an excellent array of photos in various categories as well. How
does all this fit in to the business sector? Considering the age group on
Tumblr, if you have a business that is trying to reach the 35 and under crowd,
then yes, you might want to consider establishing a business account and post
lets say fashion ideas or gaming products, ect. The NFL has a category on there
mixed with individual teams supported by fans. There is even blogging on Tumblr
but I personally don't think Tumblr is the place to blog if you want exposure . I feel
Word Press gets more attention. (or my own web site here (:-)
In conclusion, Tumblr is up and coming but just how far up, I think we need
to take a few steps back and let it evolve some more. In the meantime, check it
out for yourself and surf around! Tumbler can be found at http://www.tumblr.com
We just had Pinterest and it has caught on well as a social media tool for business. Now we have Social Cam. Many of us have "played" around with this on our personal Facebook pages and Twitter but then it hit me. How could this app, if at all, be applied for business usage? While it is still kind of new and being used mostly by young people, I do see some possible benefits for business applications.
First if you are not familiar with Social Cam, it is an app that can be intigrated to Facebook and you sign up for it on the web. You basically watch short unedited videos of people and events. Some are silly, some are interesting, some are touching, but most are just kids doing anything and everything and uploading it so their freinds can see where they are in pretty much "real- time". Ironically as of this writing, you only can use Social Cam through your smart phone's camera to shoot videos and upload them from there. They are working to allow desktop publishing of videos or using your web cam that is on your home desktop but as of today, that is not happening. Perhaps that is the whole novelty of Social Cam and to do that would just make it another YouTube sort of experience.
Now for the business aspect. Look at this scenario. Suppose your business is having a huge sale. You pay for live radio remotes or television commercials. You have your smart phone with you and would it not be cool to shoot some quick real-time video of your sale? Why not shoot some crowd action or interview a customer you know personally and get their excitement and upload it to your Twitter or FB fan page site? Wow, you just reached out to your masses! I see other postive uses of Social Cam for businesses as well. Applicants sending short introduction of themselves, maybe answering a question you submitted , new product line introduction, but I digress. Let me know your thoughts. Will Social Cam be a novelty or will it grow into a huge new social media tool?
In a nutshell, Public Relations=publicity. How you gain publicity for your business however becomes the "sleeping giant" we all want to slay but can't figure out how to do it without spending a ton of money for a professional to do it for us or thinking it all means advertising in the local paper or radio-television stations. Well my friend, you are only 1% right and 99% wrong.
Today, sure you need to advertise (your 1%) but public relations goes way beyond that. Much of this can be done at little or no cost as well. Let's focus on some of these. Community interaction such as the local Chamber, Civic groups, or creating a blog for your company are examples of fee sources. You can also engage in public speaking as well. Reporters for area media love a good story on a business helping their community. If they do not cover it, write your own press release on what you done or are presently doing and send it out. (Check the internet on how to do this or drop me a line)
Remember when creating a public relations piece or full campaign for your business, think it through and remember who you are trying to reach. Communication is very important.
Here are some basic tips I found that have worked for me. Keep in mind I used to be on the receiving end of this when I was a broadcast journalist. I was always looking for something that was not self serving to the business but had a "feel good" story behind it.
Goals---Have goals in place and know what you are trying to achieve for your PR
campaign and review them frequently to stay on track.
Preception---What are you trying to get from your audience about how they see you?
Message---What is the message from your PR blitz? Remember if you are trying to be
self-serving, most smart journalists or reporters will ignore you.
Sources---Develop an execution for your PR plan and then go to your sources.
In conclusion your can spend money on advertising or use that other 99% that you have at your disposal. Develop relationships withn your community. Always ask yourself about your business. "What can I offer, what do I know that I can share;what do I know about a topic better than anybody else that the public would have a vested interest in?" Good luck and email me your results or thoughts.