Tag Archives: Social Media

Online Marketing: Simple Twitter Strategies to Turn Followers into Paying Customers

If you’re a person of few words, you’ll admire the elegance of the idea behind Twitter; each post is just 140 characters.  That’s about two sentences to get your idea across.  What can you do in two sentences?  You’d be surprised.

Twitter is a great place to share links to valuable content (you can shorten them to preserve more of your character limit by using a problem like Bitly.com or TinyURL.com): videos, interesting articles on other sites, blog posts, audio, or downloads.  Find an article of interest to your audience?  Share the link, and then tweet a few thoughts and ask a question to get a conversation going.

What else can you talk about in 140 characters?  Recommend a business book and say how it influenced you.  If you were at an event and saw a speaker who talked about something useful for your readers, Tweet about it!  You could even include a link to the event Web site, speaker’s home page, or to a video or blog post related to the event.  Or, share a motivational quote, comment on a business-related topic that is in the news, or let readers know if you have an upcoming promotion or special event.

As with Facebook, you can reward the people who follow your page with periodic links to free downloadable material of value to their business, or give them sneak previews of special prices before you post the specials on your Web site.  People who follow you can ask you questions, either publically or privately, so you’ll want to monitor these so you can answer promptly. (Several of the dashboards make this easier.)

Twitter is also a great way to give live updates from the business-related events you attend.  If you’re at a conference, either as a speaker or an attendee, send periodic tweets about what you’ve liked, what insights you’ve gained, what well-known experts you’ve heard or met, and other information that gives your followers a you-were-there feeling.

Whenever you use a keyword in your tweets (such as the name of an event, a book, a celebrity/authority or product), make it searchable by putting # in front of it.  For example, if you are talking about the book Think And Grow Rich, you would tweet #ThinkAndGrowRich.  That way your tweet will show up if anyone searches on the name of the book.  You can also see what topics are popular by searching Twitters Trending Topics.  Chiming in on a hot topic (if it relates to your business) can draw attention to your Twitter page, and help you gain more readers.

Promote your Twitter page, and make sure you let people know what’s in it for them to follow you.  Tell them what kind of helpful content you post, and if you provide discounts or coupons, let them know.  You can also have your Twitter feed automatically update your other online pages, such as your LinkedIn page or Web site, by using the RSS (Really Simple Syndication).  LinkedIn has a free RSS application, and your Web designer can add it easily to your home page.

Excerpted from 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success by Gail Z. Martin

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By Gail Z. Martin

“Dashboard” programs provide all-in-one-place control, much like the console of a car or airplane.  Programs like HootSuite, Social Oomph, Ping and TweetDeck make it possible for you to plan your social media campaigns and load content in advance.

One of the central benefits of a dashboard program is the “set it and forget it” feature; the ability to enter content into the dashboard and schedule blog posts, Facebook updates and Twitter tweets to go out over a period of time.  While pre-scheduled content is no substitute for live conversations, dashboard programs fill the very real need of making sure that busy people maintain a baseline, consistent level of content without large gaps.  You can always pop in online to add updates, post photos or jump into conversations in addition to your pre-scheduled content, but you won’t get to Thursday and realize you haven’t posted or tweeted all week.

A caveat: many dashboard programs post content with a source credit that says “from API”, meaning that it has been automatically posted.  Some social media users and search engines view pre-scheduled content as less desirable than live-posted information, regardless of the quality of the actual information itself.  This means that to keep your friends, fans and followers happy and to raise your social media score with ranking programs like Klout and Alexa, keep a good balance of live posts and pre-scheduled posts.  On the other hand, realize that pre-scheduled content is better than no content. Followers, search engines and ranking programs also take a dim view of prolonged absences. I maintain that if the best you can do during a busy period is pre-scheduled content, being present on a consistent basis far outweighs the alternatives.

HootSuite is one of the best-known dashboard programs.  It’s a powerful, user-friendly site that offers levels of membership ranging from a basic free service to a more robust Pro level.  The heart of HootSuite is the ability to enter posts in advance into the dashboard and program when your content goes live across multiple social media sites.  This works especially well if you are using a virtual assistant to help you load the content you’ve written, and it makes it easy to keep track of what you’ve said and where you said it.

For those who want to go deeper, HootSuite also has the capability to do detailed tracking across your sites, looking at follower growth, metrics from Google Analytics, and other indicators.  For larger organizations with a social media response team, HootSuite not only can prepare reports, but enables team collaboration and the ability to assign messages to team members for follow-up.  Other features, such as file upload, follower management capabilities and localization are great for enterprise-level use, but not important for the average small business or solo professional user.  HootSuite also has a convenient mobile app for smart phones, so you can keep an eye on your account when you’re on the go.

SocialOomph, the program formerly known as TweetLater, is another dashboard with many of the same capabilities as HootSuite.  As you’d expect, SocialOomph lets you pre-load and schedule on Twitter, blogs and Facebook, and provides both a basic free level of service and an extended professional level.  You can track keywords, view your @Mentions and Retweets, purge spammy Direct Messages (DM), and monitor multiple accounts from one dashboard.  The professional level offers blog integration, profile filters, and some interesting ways to assess which of your followers might be your most valuable prospects.  While SocialOomph leans heavily toward Twitter with a nod toward Facebook and blogs, it does enable Ping to send your information to LinkedIn and MySpace.

TweetDeck is another of the well-known dashboards.  TweetDeck offers connectivity with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Buzz, and Foursquare.  It makes it easy to create and manage Twitter Lists and helps cut down on Twitter spam.  Another valuable feature is the ability to follow Twitter Trends, real-time topics and TwitScoop to stay abreast of the most popular topics.  TweetDeck is available for iPhone, Android, iPad and a new Web-based interface, as well as the original desktop version.  At the time of this writing, TweetDeck is free, which is good for a solid, basic dashboard.  However, if you’re looking for a pro version with additional features or you want more analytics, at the moment, they’re not built into TweetDeck, so one of the other dashboards may do a better job if those elements are important to you.

Excerpted from 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success by Gail Z. Martin—available now in bookstores and online!


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Social Media Becomes a Local Resource

By Gail Z. Martin

Google AdWords offers specialized services to target customers within a 20-mile radius from your business. AdWords permits you to add or exclude areas, and can integrate your targeted AdWords campaign with text messaging.

Facebook can serve as a showcase for your community activity. When you host an event that benefits a local charity or sponsor a local sporting team, promote before, during and after the event with updates, photos, Web video and testimonials. Encourage attendees to become part of an ongoing conversation. Many companies successfully use their Facebook page as an instantly updateable second Web site to let their community know what’s going on and to share information and updates.

Twitter has been used by local charities to mobilize volunteers for projects or to alert donors to immediate needs. Animal rescue groups and humane societies have used Twitter to match shelter animals with new homes. Schools have demonstrated Twitter’s ability to alert parents to unplanned closings or to request badly needed supplies or last-minute parent volunteers. Businesses tweet about their upcoming live entertainment, dinner specials, or daily discounts.

Twitter can also help you promote upcoming local events, share photos and video via links, and give your online press releases a broader readership as you tweet news and provide links to coverage you’ve received in local online publications. Your blog can also be an effective part of your online marketing program by sharing the story behind your achievements or by providing deeper insight into what’s happening with your business, which deals and events are coming up, or the news of your industry as it impacts local customers.

Foursquare is an intensely local social media application that makes going about your business or going out for the evening a shared experience treasure hunt. Foursquare users use the site and text messaging to share their current location as they patronize businesses, retailers, entertainment venues. They can become the “mayor” of frequently-visited sites, and can gather their friends to join them on a spur-of-the-moment basis. Foursquare rewards users who are out and about in their local area—and the local companies they frequent benefit as well.

Groupon subscribers can sign up to get special online deals from local businesses. Subscribers indicate their local area and their willingness to receive emails and social media alerts to short-lived discounts from local merchants. Companies sign up to provide limited-time special deals that are only available via Groupon. In some cases, deals are only available if a specified number of people show up to claim it. Groupon makes bargain hunting fun and social while retaining an intensely local flair.

LivingSocial is another site that offers a daily deal from local businesses with up to 90% off the regular price. Once a subscriber buys the daily deal, he/she has the opportunity to forward the deal to friends, and if one of those friends also buys, the original customer gets the deal item for free. It’s a fun way to publicize specials while encouraging customers to tell their friends about your company.

Yelp, Local.com and Citysearch are other sites that capitalize on the concept of “local.”  Not only can they help others to find your company more easily (both online and in person), many of these new locally-oriented sites also encourage customers to rate their recent experience.  Don’t let that scare you off.  If you provide good service and a good product, you have reason to expect most of your ratings to be positive.  Those that aren’t positive provide valuable feedback for you to make improvements, and a highly visible arena in which to demonstrate your great customer service to woo back a less-than-thrilled former customer.

Your neighbors, customers and prospects are online, and they respond to businesses that reach them where they spend their time. Customers also like getting relevant messages and discounts when they’re on the move. Create your own highly local online PR and marketing strategy and reap the benefits!

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Think, Act and Grow Rich

By Gail Z. Martin

I love Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich.  If you’ve missed this classic, grab a copy from the library.  Hill interviewed the capitalist kings (the great Robber Barons of the early 1900s) to discover the secret behind their enormous success.  What he discovered were common actions, habits, traits and perspectives which, Hill believed, could enable anyone to change his/her fortune if adopted.

While the book is a classic, I think Hill left something important out of the title.  It’s not just enough to think.  To make things happen, you’ve got to act.

When I speak to audiences about social media and business marketing, I’m thrilled when people buy my books and sign up for coaching.  Yet all too often, when I check back with the same people six months or a year later, I find they have yet to act on what they’ve learned.  Predictably, no change has occurred.

Strategic, deliberate action based on a clear idea of what you want to accomplish lies at the heart of every personal and professional success.  Thinking about it isn’t enough—you must DO something to make change happen.

All action begins with a thought, and when the thought sets an intention, change is set in motion.  When you set an intention, you move beyond wishing and wanting and make a clarative statement to the universe about what you will into existence.  This is powerful stuff.  Many mythologies tell us that the universe itself began with a word spoken with intent.  Intention, combined with thought and action, yields amazing results.

Begin by stating your intention.  Be clear, and declare what you want.  For example, don’t just say, “I want to be rich.”  Craft an intention that charts your course, something like, “I intent to reach the million-dollar mark for my company by (date).”

Take the next step by defining your goals.  Prioritize what you want, and be specific.  Next, determine what the critical path of actions must be to achieve your goals.  There is usually a sequence of key events that have to happen in a certain order to make an outcome happen.  Map it out—step one, step two, and so on.

Then, set a timeline.  Something almost magical happens when a desired outcome acquires a due date.  Now, it is an appointment to be kept, a deadline to be met, and not just a squishy wish.

Figure out your Plan B.  While things don’t always go smoothly, chance favors the prepared.  If something interrupts your critical path or delays your timeline, what are your alternatives?

When you think through your goals and act with intent, you become unstoppable. What intention will you set today?

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Video Boosts Your Social Media Strategy!

by Krizia

Did you know that video is 10 times more likely to generate a response than all social media activities combined?

This means that you’ll get far better results from your social media efforts because those responses will allow you to begin a REAL conversation — a critical element to building your community, and that in turn will allow you to convert more ideal clients into buyers!

Now, when I say video, I don’t mean shooting a video, uploading it on YouTube and thinking your work is done!

If you expect results from the standard “drop and run” strategy, you’ll be very disappointed.

Once you have the right video, you need to get the attention of the right audience (aka your IDEAL clients).

This means you’ll want to use your videos and distribute them on your social media platforms to start promoting your products and services.

Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, or any other social sharing service, your basic strategy will be the same: be interesting, be relevant, and be real. Those are three important elements for each video you create, so let’s spend some time breaking those down:

1) Are you interesting or boring on video?

You’ll want to make sure the content of your videos are interesting and keeps the attention of your viewers. You’ll also want to make sure to avoid vague or boring titles. You’ll also want to avoid sounding like everyone else because sameness will be the kiss of death for your videos. Think about what catches your attention when you are reading your Facebook newsfeed or checking out the latest Tweets and integrate that into the title of your videos.

2) Are your videos relevant?

Clarity is everything with video! This holds true for the title of each video, but also its content.

You want it to be very obvious to your audience which topics you are addressing in each of your videos.

Make sure that from the very first few seconds that people have a sense of what they’re clicking to see. If they aren’t clear about the nature of the relevancy of the video, they’re not going to click to watch and if they do start watching, they’ll quickly move on.

3) Are you real on your videos?

Just like on YouTube, many companies simply post their latest press release to their social media channels and wait to “go viral”.

That’s why company channels look more like well scripted TV commercials than engaging platforms.

To cultivate the kind of community that will care about what you have to say and spread your message, you can’t be afraid to have a personality: engage your followers.

Make sure to ask and respond to questions, comment on news relevant to your industry, and yes, have a little fun and don’t be afraid to use humor!

Remember, there are a few goals you want to attain when it comes to your video and social media strategy: 1) You want them to watch 2) You want them to “like” your videos 3) You want your viewers to share your videos with their networks so that your video keeps attracting more new clients!

If you’d like to know more about how best to leverage video in your business, I invite you to watch this FREE Online Training!

The ‘3 Ways You Can Use Video to Attract MORE Clients and Profits’ Online Training is packed with powerful strategies you can apply immediately in your business in order to attract more clients and more profits!

Here’s the link to watch the F-R-E-E Online Video Training: https://www.createprofitablevideos.com/training.htm


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Spring Happened—Did You Notice?

By Gail Z. Martin

We’ve had an indecisive spring this year: hot one day, cold the next.  But finally, the leaves are out, the grass is green, and the flowers are blooming.  We humans might be confused about how to dress for the weather, but Mother Earth, as usual, turns out in style.

I am always grateful for spring; not just because it is the end to winter, but because it reminds me that life is full of new beginnings.  The dry leaves, dead grass and wilted flowers from last autumn and summer have miraculously become new again.

That’s important, because we all need renewal.  There are plenty of places in my life still filled with dry leaves, dead grass and wilted flowers from seasons long past, and where I haven’t welcomed the new beginning of spring.  I’m working on it, but every time I think I’ve gotten all the mental crabgrass, I turn around and there’s another patch, waiting to be weeded.

What does spring look like in your life?  Maybe it’s a new start for your business, a new exciting project, or a new relationship.  Maybe it’s recommitting to an exercise program, a goal, or a dream.  Maybe it’s the courage to burst forth in blossom after a long winter.

If you’ve still got winter in your soul, perhaps a dose of spring is just what you need.  Begin with gratitude, frame an intention of what you would like to see happen, and turn your intention into action.  Small steps in the right direction are perfectly acceptable.

Embrace spring, and see what a difference it makes!

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the Zen of Facebook

By Gail Z. Martin

Does Facebook stress you or help you relax?

Facebook favors selective attention.  I enjoy looking at (and forwarding) blissful pictures, motivational quotes, and funny sayings.  While I often read without commenting, I also enjoy being able to take a short break and get caught up with what friends and acquaintances are doing.

I have a strict “no haters” rule on my page.  I consider my profile page to be part of my public persona as an author and a business person, so I will accept friend requests from anybody who asks (so long as they post in English).  But…posting something hateful will get a person de-friended and their posts removed.  I don’t need to look at that kind of stuff, and I certainly don’t need to be party to sharing it.

Likewise, I stay out of contentious debates.  I have plenty of opinions on topics, but the world really doesn’t care what I think (and if you do, you can read my books).  Too many comments devolve into useless quibbles.  Don’t harsh my mellow!  If it’s an occasional debate I’ll overlook it, but if someone frequently posts contentious items, it’s a guaranteed way to get de-friended, or at least, hidden.

When I participate on Facebook, I try to share information that will educate, empower or inspire, and occasionally, make you laugh.  That’s my tiny contribution in a world that needs a whole lot more knowledge, empowerment, inspiration and laughter.  I am grateful for the amazing ability to use technology that enables me to touch a global audience, and I have set my intentions to

I limit my time on Facebook to first thing in the morning (to post those success thoughts), and occasionally during the day when I need a 5 minute mental vacation.  If you know you can’t go out to Facebook for just 5 minutes, then wait until evening.  If you have difficulty staying focused on business at the beginning of the workday, make a to-do list with one or two action items related to business, go out on Facebook and do them, and then log off.  And if it’s too distracting to get email updates when people post on your page, disable the emails so you have to go out and look.

Facebook can be a good business tool and a fun part of your social life, but it shouldn’t add to your stress.  Try these ideas to help you get into Facebook’s more relaxing qualities, and have fun!

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Savvy, Successful or Scared of Social Media?

By Gail Z. Martin

Where are you on the social media scale?  Savvy?  Successful?  Or scared?

If you put yourself in the third category, you’re in good company.  So many of the business owners and solo professionals I meet confide that they are afraid of social media.  That fear is holding them back from using a valuable tool that could help them grow their business.  And here’s the good news:  you don’t have to be afraid.

Fear #1: Social Media is Unfamiliar. One way to look at social media that takes some of the fear away is to think of it as a tool like your telephone, mailbox or email.  None of those are very scary, right?  They’re all tools we use to connect with other people, and to have other people connect with us.  Used improperly, we get telemarketer phone calls, junk mail and spam.  But used correctly, we hear from friends, family and clients, receive valuable materials, and reach people around the world.

Social media is one more way to make that connection, to deliver or receive valuable information, and to reach people around the block and around the world.

Fear #2: Social Media Will Take Up All My Time.  Not if you plan your work and work your plan.  Think of it this way: if you walk into a store to browse, you could wander around for an hour.  But if you go in knowing exactly what you want to buy, you can be in and out in 15 minutes.  It’s the same with social media.  Before you log on, have one or two strategic actions you want to accomplish, go do them, and log off.  If there are things that catch your eye that aren’t business-related, save them for your lunch hour or evening.


Fear #3: I Might Meet Weird Strangers on Social Media.  Well, you might meet weird strangers at the supermarket, too.  However, on social media, you can choose whose invitations to accept, and if someone you’ve followed or friended turns out not be someone you want to associate with, you can easily unfriend them.  Imagine social media as a huge conference.  You go to meet new people, but if you meet someone you don’t like, you can throw out their business card.  Social media is a big, global conference where you can meet amazing new people, and if you don’t like someone, you don’t have to remain in contact with them.

Fear #4: I Don’t Know What to Say on Social Media.  Social media is a fantastic way to encourage, educate, motivate, inspire, inform and support other people.  If you focus on sharing helpful information, suggesting resources, sharing inspiring or motivating quotes/photos, and throwing in the occasional link to an interesting article, or funny G-rated video or book title, you’ve gone a long way toward offering useful, helpful, and connection-building content.

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Facing your Facebook Fears – Fear of Facebook: Three Steps to Fear-Free Social Media

By Gail Z. Martin

I’ll never forget the time a lady came up to me at a luncheon and said, “I’ve gotten on Facebook for business and someone I don’t know wants to be my friend.  What do I do?”

She was truly terrified of talking to “strangers” on social media, and yet, isn’t meeting new people at the very heart of business success?

I asked the woman, “If someone came up to you at this luncheon and smiled and introduced herself, would you dive under the table?”  “Of course not,” she replied.  “Well, Facebook is like a big networking luncheon that never stops,” I told her.  And when she thought about it that way, she was suddenly able to make sense of it and it wasn’t nearly so scary.

As I travel and speak to groups, I’m saddened and amazed at how many people are hanging back from utilizing social media because of fear.  So here are three steps you can use to get past your Fear of Facebook and start using social media fear-free.

1.  If you don’t put personal information on Facebook, no one can get it.  This one’s pretty simple.  If you don’t want to take a chance that the world might see certain photos or certain comments, don’t post them.  Period.  If it’s not there, it can’t be copied, forwarded or accidentally leaked.

2.  Give yourself credit.  “Don’t talk to strangers” is good advice for children, but in reality, if you’re in business you have to talk to people you don’t know.  If you opened a store, you wouldn’t stay in business long if the only people you allowed to enter were friends and family. It’s the same on social media.  Use common sense.  Don’t talk about upcoming vacations or times when your house will be empty (talk about your trips when you return, unless someone will be at home while you’re gone).  Never give out your password or account numbers, even if someone seems official.  Keep conversations “business casual” and you’ll be fine.

3.  Make sure you have up-to-date security software on your computer like Norton Anti-Virus or a similar program, and never click on links that look suspicious.  For example, if you’re leery of clicking on a Facebook link in your email, open Facebook in your browser and click through from there.  Don’t open attachments unless you’re sure you know the sender and you know what’s in the attachment. (Good anti-virus software will help with dangerous emails as well.)

Take simple precautious and use the same common sense that you employ going about your business in the real world, and you’ll find that Facebook and other social media sites can enrich your business and personal life.

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