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Next time you are asked or you need to defend why your company needs social media, keep this handy infographic nearby. We know social media is “freaking hard” so when the doubters ask why we are continuing to invest in this strategy, show them this:
The following social media sites by total number of unique visitors – can you afford NOT to at least have a presence on them if your target market is already there:
Facebook – 950 million
YouTube – 880 million
Wikipedia – 410 million
Blogspot – 340 million
Twitter – 170 million
Or throw this quick fact at them: ”Twitter tops B2B lead generation, outperforming Facebook & LinkedIN 9 to 1. 82% of social media leads come from Twitter. Google+ establishes itself firmly in the mainstream of social networking with 9400% increase in followers since last year.” That said, I still question the definition of a “lead” used in that statistic about Twitter and am continuing to search for definitive statistics and case studies to support the case that Twitter gives B2B the best leads – if you have any, please share below.
In terms of budget, marketers plan to increase their budgets in 2013, including their spend on social media. In fact, according to the infographic below, 56% of B2B businesses are increasing their marketing spend on social media this year. If your competitors are increasing their social media budget, shouldn’t you at least consider why and if it makes sense for your company?
The Big Why
The top marketing goal remains Demand Generation or Customer Acquisition. So this brings us to the big question: why do we need social media?
- B2B businesses rate social media as the 2nd most important factor (64%) in search, behind strong content (82%)
- one third of global B2B buyers use social media to engage with vendors
- 75% of B2B buyers expect to use social media in future purchase processes
- 77% of buyers say they are more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media
- Social media can help with:
- branding and SEO
- personal connection with target customers
- employee collaboration
- building trust
- creating relevance
- generating authority
See for yourself in the Infographic below designed by Real Business Rescue:
Google+ Local Tips
1) Make sure your authoritative and official website is included in the general information, so as to keep Google happy and improve search results.
2) Add images and videos to set your listing apart from the rest of the field.
3) If you’re a business owner without a physical location (like, say, a carpenter), you can now incorporate the same results that an online Google+ Local listing can offer.
4) Respond and engage with customers using the Google+ Local account, and make it feel as though there’s a person behind the information.
5) Put some thought into the categories section your business will be listed under. Be specific, and in turn be noticed.
6) Encourage people to write reviews on your Google+ Local page, which is as easy as clicking “Write a Review” directly from the listing.
7) Don’t forget about the Google+ Local app for the iPhone and iPod touch; it will let you manage things on the go.
8) Stay within the Google quality guidelines and content policy.
This is one of the best ways to virtually guarantee a page one appearance on Google searches, something that businesses sometimes just can’t seem to do. It’s basically been moved into the category of “required” for local businesses, and Google+ Local pages are going to be much more visible in search results than Google Places were before them.
We often ask for a logo design that can stand the test of time. Something that will last forever. We look at all these “Mega Corporates” and their logos never change, do they? Well, actually and surprisingly, they do….a lot.
An illustration by the team at The Logo Company
Bloggers know Pinterest is hot. Whether you blog about the latest technology gadgets or the hottest fashion trends, Pinterest can connect consumers with your content, boosting blog exposure, SEO and traffic.
So how can you use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog and increase repins, shares and comments?
1. Create Compelling Content
Your blog is a space where you can serve up content that provokes emotion and resonates on an emotional level.
Compel consumers to take action by keeping your content fresh, relevant and hyper-focused on the needs of your target audience.
2. Design Eye-Catching Images
Driving people to your blog will take a mix of compelling content and eye-catching images, so design a pin that people are eager to share. As Ted Rubin, Chief Social Marketing Officer at Collective Bias says – “You need [a way] to poke your consumer in the eye digitally!”
Here’s how you can do it:
A study by Dan Zarella points out that a combination of text and height contribute to the amount of repins you receive.
- Keep your text to 200 characters and include a call to action such as “Pin This!” or “Share This!”
- Pins receiving the most repins are 800 pixels in height.
3. Pin Your Post
Once your post is live, pin your eye-catching image to Pinterest. The direct link to your blog will drive traffic to your site and boost SEO. You can accomplish this by adding the direct link within the description of the pin.
Make sure to pin your new post immediately to increase reach and exposure.
4. Tweet Your Pin
This is an easy cross-promotion tactic that you can implement as soon as you pin your post.
Begin by creating multiple versions of your tweet. Each tweet will be scheduled at different times throughout the week using quotes, key takeaways or various versions of your post title. The idea behind this is two-fold. You will learn what content best elicits a response from your Twitter followers and you are able to leverage Twitter to keep your post (and business) top-of-mind.
5. Display Pins on Your Blog
Add your pins to your blog sidebar to display your most recents pins. This will encourage visitors to repin your content without ever leaving your blog.
If you are a WordPress user, adding a plugin to your widget sidebar is the simplest way to quickly
A few options:
Here’s a quick overview and a checklist of everything your business needs to do to get a good start on Twitter.
Twitter is a short message communication tool that allows you to send out tweets (messages) up to 140 characters long to people who follow you.
Your tweets can include a link to any web content (blog post, website page, PDF document, etc.) or a photograph or video. Adding an image to a tweet greatly expands what you can share to beyond the 140-character limit for tweets.
People follow your Twitter account, and you follow other people. This allows you to read, reply to and easily share their tweets with your followers (retweet).
Twitter falls into the category of microblogging tools because of the short, disconnected messages it distributes.
- A tweet is like a short Facebook status update. However, with Twitter, every tweet arrives at every follower’s feed, unlike the filter of Facebook’s EdgeRank.
- Twitter allows you to share photographs and provide commentary in your tweet. However, with Twitter, it’s much easier to have conversation around a shared image than with the comment feature on Pinterest.
- A tweet is like a short LinkedIn status update. While LinkedIn is based on trust relationships (and two-way agreements), Twitter allows you to follow anyone, including strangers. This is helpful when you target potential customers.
- A tweet is like a short Google+ status update. Twitter also allows you to organize people into lists that organize conversations similar to Google+ groups.
- A tweet can contain a link to a video. However, Twitter doesn’t allow you to create a channel or organize your videos for easy location and commentary like on YouTube.
Step #1: Present Your Brand
Your Twitter account and profile are the foundation of your Twitter experience. It’s your chance to tell your business story to the Twitter community.
It is important that your Twitter presence have the same look and feel as your other online tools. This helps people identify your business and builds trust. Choose an account name and images consistent with your other online presences and your brand.
Step #2: Build a Strong Foundation
It’s important that you complete your Twitter account profile completely. Each feature gives more details about your business that contribute to your business story.
Don’t miss these three important features under Profile in your account settings.
- Location. Tell people where they can find you.
- Website. You can share a web address with your community.
- Bio. You only get 160 characters to tell people who you are and what you do. Skip the mission statement and talk about the benefits you deliver. Add in a little personality to bring your profile to life.
Step #3: Start Following People
When you follow another Twitter user, you subscribe to read what they share, so be selective about whom you follow.
One simple way to follow new people is to locate their profile and click the Follow button.
Your Twitter experience is defined by whom you follow, not by who follows you. Pay attention to your follow choices to give yourself a great Twitter experience.
In general, start following people in these categories:
- Your customers
- Your business partners, suppliers, contractors and vendors
- Your competitors or peers
- Trade organizations or professional organizations for your industry
- Businesses in your neighborhood
- Businesses run by people you know (your professional network)
Twitter can help you find people you know by scanning your email address book.
While you are out following people, you may notice that people are starting to follow you. Don’t worry if you don’t know these people. Stay focused on whom you follow for now.
Step #4: Start Talking
Talking on Twitter is different from every other social media site. It’s a fast-paced mix of ideas and sentence fragments. It’s hectic, but it’s also fun.
In general, there are five types of Twitter messages:
- Tweet: a message you send out to everyone who follows you. This is the heart of Twitter communication.
- @Reply: a message you send out as a reply to a message you received. The @reply is a public message that mentions the Twitter username of the person. It shows up in the tweet stream of everyone who follows both of you, and on the @connect (mentions) page of the Twitter user.
- Mention: a message you send out that mentions another Twitter username.
- Direct message (DM): a message you send privately to another Twitter user. You can only send a DM to someone who follows you.
- Retweet (RT): a message created and sent by someone else that you share with the people who follow you. Twitter makes it easy to share tweets.
Now, what should you talk about on Twitter?
For every business, the answer is different. In general, you want to find the balance between what your target audience wants to hear and things that promote your business. For many businesses, the answer is to focus on how your products and services benefit your customers.
Give people useful information and answer their questions, and they will consider you a valuable member of their community. That’s an important first step to winning a new customer.
Step #5: Drive Traffic to Your Website and Blog & Connect Your Online Presence
Twitter is a great tool for driving traffic to your website and blog. To do this, you create a tweet around a link, writing a message that compels people to click to learn more.
Because space is at a premium in a tweet, there isn’t room to post the entire web address. That’s why all of the Twitter tools allow you to shorten your web addresses using a URL shortener.
Integrate Twitter it into your overall online business presence.
There are three ways to do this:
- Add your Twitter account information to the social media account information on your website and blog.
- Add a timeline of your Twitter messages to your website and blog.
- Make it easy for people to share your website and blog content on Twitter. There are several ways you can add a Tweet This button to your blog posts and website pages, including a tweet button from Twitter.
Step #6: Get Mobile With Twitter
Nearly every cell phone can connect you with your Twitter audience.
- Smartphones (iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry) allow you to use the Twitter app and Twitter mobile website to easily send and receive tweets.
- Non-smartphones with texting service (SMS) allow you to use Twitter using text messages.
Twitter allows you to set up push notifications to your smartphone so you know when selected activities happen on Twitter:
- People mention you
- Someone retweets or favorites a tweet you sent
- You get a new follower
- Someone sends you a direct message
With Twitter, a speedy response is best, and push notifications make it easy for you to know when things are happening for you on Twitter.
Step #7: Organize Your Followers With Conversation Lists
As you follow more people, it can be challenging to focus on the information coming from specific people and groups. That’s where Twitter lists come in.
A Twitter list allows you to separate the Twitter accounts you follow into groups. You might create separate lists for:
- Potential customers
- Neighborhood or community businesses
- Trade or professional organizations
- People who inspire you
- People you talk with the most
A list allows you to see the tweets from the list members as a separate Twitter timeline. This distinguishes them from the crowd so you can pay attention to what these people say. You can also share tweets from a list on your website using a widget (explained in this article).
You can add any person to your lists, even if you don’t follow him or her.
Step #8: Expand Your Audience With Hashtags
Most people’s Twitter experience is limited to the people they follow. It’s always a good idea to keep looking for new, fresh voices to follow to keep expanding your online conversations.
There are two great ways to expand your Twitter audience beyond your circle.
Hashtags appear in tweets to identify a common topic or theme. They use the pound (or hash) sign followed by a unique identifier.
Scroll through your timeline to spot tweets with a hashtag.
When you see a tweet with a hashtag, click on the hashtag to see a list of all tweets that include the same hashtag. You will see tweets from people you do not follow.
You can create a hashtag unique for your business and use it in your marketing to help people find your company and the conversations around it.
Step #9: Find Potential Local Customers
People often think that social media allows you to connect with people outside of your local geography. And while that is true, one of the great strengths of Twitter is the ability to focus on people in your local area.
Most businesses need local customers. You can use Twitter to help you find potential customers who live and work near your business. Use Twitter Advanced Search to find people near your location.
Use the Advanced Search feature to find people by city and zip code.
Use this tweet timeline to find people who may be potential customers. You can follow them or add them to a potential local customer list. It’s the first step to engaging them in conversation.