Where business & the Internet meet and have tea

Posts tagged social networking

Don’t Give Up on Social Media Before Doing This by @MorganCarrie

This is a guest post by Carrie Morgan, from  Rock The Status Quo

roll over

Fantastic business success doesn’t always translate into marketing success – especially when it comes to social media. If your efforts on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Twitter aren’t driving results… don’t roll over and play dead.

Enter the social media audit.

An audit simply involves taking a mindful approach to your social media, and connecting your activity with specific goals and the right target audience.

Here are a few things to consider:
• Who do you want to reach? Why?
• Are you using the right social platform(s) to reach them?
• What motivates them?
• Are you publishing content that speaks to those motivators?
• What is your end goal – sales? reach? leads?
• Are you accomplishing that goal?
• Why or why not?
• What can you change or enhance to be more successful?

By evaluating your strategy and activity on a consistent basis, you ensure it is headed in the right direction.

You can do this quarterly, or tied to a major company milestone, such as before a new product launch, after an acquisition, or when someone joins the marketing team or you hire a new agency. I recommend NOT doing it annually, however, as that is simply not often enough to catch problems.

Most companies (and even agencies) are consistently making blunders in these specific areas. So if you aren’t sure about doing an audit, start here by comparing your activity to these top mistakes:

1. TOO PROMOTIONAL. Remember it’s about them – not you.

2. LACK OF CONVERSATION. Are you posting too much or not enough? Are you being social by tagging other people, and posting/commenting/liking on other pages?

3. LACK OF MONITORING. Are you watching what is being said about your brand?
Responding quickly enough? Don’t let dialog about your company or product happen without you.

4. THINKING EVERYONE CARES. Do you understand your audience, and are you giving them what they want? Or are you feeding them what you want them to see… Nobody cares about your company, brand or product unless you give them A REASON to care.

5. NO INCENTIVE TO LIKE. On Facebook, for example, most people only like a handful of brand pages. Are you giving them a reason to follow you, or are you just regurgitating boring content that can be found all over the internet. How are you different? Fresh? Engaging? How is your company page different than most?

6. LACK OF CREATIVITY. Just because you are using social media for business doesn’t mean it has to be boring. People crave content that is fun, that sparks controversy or opens the door to conversation. They don’t want a news feed, an advertisement, or being told what to think. Ask what they think! Are you not seeing any likes, comments or shares? No engagement is a red flag that screams, “BORING!”

Success with social media comes down to understanding your strategy, understanding your audience, and creating something that fits both while accomplishing your end goal. Regular audits should measure against all of these things, and help you drive change.

Don’t be afraid to make major changes, if what you are doing doesn’t work for you. CHANGE IS GOOD.

Social Networking Methods Can Help the Business

This is a guest post by Allison Foster of Nanny Classifieds

Social networking doesn’t have to be a burden to your marketing strategies. While some may view social networking as a stop-gap that has no real future, those that practice this method would have to disagree. However, constant monitoring does need to happen if you want the social networking method to be successful. You can’t create an account on a social site and expect the rewards to be plentiful without putting time into it.

1. Constant Updates – Sites such as Facebook and YouTube can be utilized with great success for a business as long as you keep the content flowing. Regular status updates, videos, comments, and more can keep your reputation alive and well on social networking sites. Some businesses will go so far as to add daily content to these sites in order to keep the information fresh and current.

2. Knowing Your Audience – By using analytical tools, you can monitor your target audience to your business website pertaining to the social site you used. By keeping an eye on this information, you can tailor fit the content on your profile to what your audience is interested in the most. You can’t put a few posts, pictures, or videos up on a social site and expect to become a figurehead of the community overnight.

3. Explore It – Explore every aspect of the social networking website and develop strategies to utilize their strengths. Social networking sites have more to them then simply posting information for potential customers to read. Pinterest has more to it than simply showing pictures to people. Facebook is more than just a status page. YouTube can be far more than just a place to watch videos. All three of these venues can be utilized on and off of your website to increase the sites productivity. It just takes time to investigate all of the available tools and ways to use them to your advantage.

4. Cross-referenced Material – Investing time into using these free methods of advertising, you could create an empire of cross-linked information to a great deal of potential customers. Nearly every social networking site has the ability to post content on the other for greater exposure.

For example, you have uploaded an artistic representation of your boat repair business on Pinterest. People viewing the image interested in the design use twitter to spread the image’s link. A member of a boating club visits the link provided on Twitter and sees the image for themselves. Their interest is peaked and they visit your website to get more information on the services you provide for boating repair. While this situation is hypothetical, it happens far more often than you may think.

5. Cost Efficiency – Putting social networking to use has a very low cost to implement, if any. Nearly all of the popular social sites are free to use and have potential to reach many. For those to discredit social networking proves that they didn’t utilize the method to the fullest of its ability. The lack of instant gratification doesn’t mean that the method doesn’t work. You’ll get out of it as much as you put into it.

There are many methods to promoting your business online. Social networking can be a boon if you are diligent about keeping the content updated. Since these methods are free to use for everyone, it can be an effective way to quickly spread the word about your business without spending any money at all. Don’t be discouraged from using social networking because a few haven’t had the success they wanted. Investigate the matter and see for yourself if it is a method you can utilize for your purposes.

Blogging was a natural progression for Allison once she graduated from college, as it allowed her to combine her two passions: writing and children.. She has enjoyed furthering her writing career with www.nannyclassifieds.com . She can be in touch through e-mail allisonDOTnannyclassifiedsATgmail rest you know.

Spread your time and investment in social media

eggs_in_basket Do you remember the phrase, ‘don’t put all your eggs in the same basket’? It seems that it also applies to social media. In the past I was happy to recommend Facebook and perhaps another social media sites to use for marketing. However, lessons have been learned.

The debates still go on about Facebook’s actual intention with their changes to EdgeRank. But it has upset many, many who focus mainly on Facebook for marketing. With a big rise in the amount of different social networks you can now use, it’s about time to diversify.

One thing you must remember is that you are a business, so get networking on LinkedIn and get taken seriously. Get some great photo’s of your products taken and get them out on The Fancy and Pinterest. Organising an event? Twitter can be a part of your efforts to gain interest before, during and after.

If you are having trouble creating a strategy, then consider this. Everything you do on social networks should have at least this aim, getting real people to visit your site. Encouraging them to sign up for your email list and keep the sales process going.

Yes, it going to take some extra time out of your day but business has to do more to get the attention they want.

Which social networks do you really use?


I wrote a while back about other social networks worth trying out. A recent post on Hubspot lists more social sites and the reasons to use them…

From 7 Targeted Social Networks Niche Marketers Should Try

You’re probably always hearing about the most popular, mainstream social networks – FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+ – and how you can use them for business. That’s because these networks attract such a wide range of users, that it’s easy for the majority of marketers to have success connecting with their audiences there. But you must know that those “top” social networks aren’t the only ones out there, right?

Truth be told, there are hundreds of other, niche social networks on the web that, depending on your particular audience or your goals, can also be well worth it for you to participate in.

While everybody seems to be on Facebook and Twitter, which ones do you actually use for marketing? Which one should you really be using?

Social Networking while in the shower?


I spotted this on a post made by 123-reg.com on Facebook. You may of seen it before. However, did you know you could actually buy one?


3 things to consider before rushing your business online

When you are considering getting your business online or perhaps creating something that is only online, how much of a rush are you in? Have heard some Internet or marketing buzz words that you think are really important and can’t wait to implement? Just because everyone seems to jumping on to the next exciting social network, do you feel you have to as well?

Just because the majority of experts and guru’s say you have to do something doesn’t mean you have to as well. Your business is unique, mainly because you are unique.

Take your time

Before you rush off and start worry about SEO and which social network are the experts recommending, do some good solid research. Just where are you potential customers? Where do they hang out online? Do you plan to start off global, country wide, regional or local? The sort of social network and websites you plan to market to is dependant on your business. The scope, your products and time available to you will define the scale of your efforts.

Leave those buzz words alone…

When you are starting out, you may not know exactly what SEO, SERP’s or Page Rank is. Good, leave that to the designer of your website. You have more important things to organise. Get the products ready for your eCommerce site. Write the content for your blog.

I encourage you to  understand what the buzz words mean but don’t let them get in the way of what you need to do.

Here comes the wagon!

Pinterest sparked a lot of conversations on the Internet. It was hailed as the next big thing that would bring success to all who used it. Just because it works for the experts doesn’t mean it will work for you. You need to experiment and find out which social network works best for you. Don’t jump on to the next exciting social network until you have ensured that the one you are currently on is really not for you. Why waste a big investment of time on something like Facebook then quit it for something else?

Book review: ‘Shiny Shiny’ by Karen Skidmore

Karen Skidmore - author of Shiny SHiny Karen Skidmore has helped thousands of people to market their skills on the Internet. That includes Coaches, Trainers and Consultants. When you spend so much time telling others how to make the best of it, you kinda listen when they warn you against all that glitters. Karen’s book, ‘Shiny Shiny’, give plenty of advice, not just on the things to avoid but what you could be doing instead.

As Karen’s speciality is helping  Coaches etc, it’s not surprising that the book is actually aimed at them. However, if you are a small business or a one person enterprise, this book is still worth reading.

The point of the book is to warn small business owners of being distracted by the latest and greatest social network. It is true that there seems to be more and more cropping up all the time. Should you go chasing the next shiny social networking site for more business?

The book tells you the basic things you should do for your business. Getting a website, starting a mailing list and of course Facebook, are discussed with other ideas as some of the basic marketing activities you should be doing. Basically, if want a guide on how to market yourself on the Internet and not get lost on the way then this book is it.

Karen’s writing style ensure’s that even total beginners will understand what is being discussed. Topics are spread across chapters with small sections that further break it down to small easy to do tasks or explanations. Also very helpfully, there are magpie alerts to warn you against getting distracted.

If you are a total beginner or just starting to get to grips with social networking and Internet marketing then you will need this book. Definitely recommended!

Shiny Shiny: How to Stop Being a Social Media Magpie paperback version is available from Amazon UK for £12.99 (Also available on the Kindle

Pinterest, new and exciting but is useful for business?

Pinterest Site Logo

The latest social networking site that everyone is talking about is Pinterest. It was started back in December 2009 but since March 2010 it has been in closed beta. Currently you need an invite to gain access.

The fuss is all to do with the amount of visits per week – 11 million. Well that and how it treats affiliate links, I won’t discuss it here but you can find more about it on llsocial.com.

If you don’t already know about Pinterest…

Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

The site is mainly focused on images but you can ‘pin’ video as well.

How can a business take advantage of this new site?

Just because it’s the latest shiny social network it does not mean every business can benefit from it. Remember it is an image based service. Business’s most likely to benefit are,

  • Photographers
  • Painters
  • Web shops with cool photo’s

Well any business that has great photo’s that show off products or works or art.

You can ‘pin’ from a downloadable tool bar for your browser or you can bury small snippets of code in to your web page (see their Goodies page).

The thing that is makes it exciting for business is that ‘pinned’ images carry information of where they came from. Click the image and you visit the site. Great images will be viewed, shared and generate traffic. With 11 million users per week, it could bring an awful lot of visitors.


The Benefits of Social Networking for Businesses


Social Networking - Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

This is a guest post by James Williams who is the Community Manager for TM International, a Paris-based recruitment agency

Social networking is not a new phenomenon. This won’t be the first time you’ve heard the term and if you are like the many millions of “constantly-connected” professionals out there it’s probably something you do on a regular basis. Networking has always been a great tool for businesses to reap benefits from, and that hasn’t changed. What’s changed is the way we network – what we do and how we do it. As technology continues along its path to world domination it’s becoming much more common for the “traditional” methods of networking to be replaced by new “social” techniques. However, what’s become clear to me is that there are still quite a large number of people who don’t really understand the benefits. Some don’t know why people do it, some don’t know what to do, some are unsure where to do it and some have no idea whatsoever and appear to have missed the whole social media revolution. So this can just be a general recap for everyone on why social networking is so important for your business.

The first area of benefit for social networking is awareness. Now the reason I say area of benefit is because there are a large number of benefits that occur from increased awareness as a sort of “knock-on effect.” Awareness is really the umbrella term under which a multitude of other benefits lie, and I will go on to discuss those. Social networking is the easiest and one of the most effective ways of increasing awareness of your business. The days of advertising in the local paper or magazine are behind us, with TV advertising likely to follow in the next few years. As a business trying to get your name out there you need to be where the people are. And where are these people? On social networks! Facebook’s got 850+ million users, LinkedIn is approaching 150 million and Twitter now has well over 300 million, and that’s not even mentioning the newest social network Google+ which has the fastest growth rate of any social network in history. So if you want people to be aware of your company then, without question, you have to have a presence on social networks.

But people being aware of you is just the start. The more people you reach, the more people will visit your profile on whichever social network. The more people who visit your profile, the more people will visit your website (provided you have included a link to it!). And with drastically increased traffic to your website and social networks there is a much bigger chance of you winning new business. For example, say you have a fan base of 200 on Facebook, a Twitter following of 300 and 500+ connections on LinkedIn. You then choose to advertise your product/service on LinkedIn. This has already reached your connections on that network instantly, and because you’ve linked up your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts, your post has been published on your Twitter feed and on your Facebook page. So before anyone has done anything, in the click of a button you have potentially reached around 1000 people. But that’s nothing! Social networking gives you the perfect opportunity for what I like to call “the ripple effect”. This is similar to the process of things going viral (apart from it’s not a YouTube video of a cat dancing). Your initial reach of 1000 people can be multiplied to an incredible number. Your LinkedIn connections share the post/information with their connections. Your audience on Facebook clicks “like,” sharing that information with every single one of their friends. And finally the people who follow you on Twitter “retweet” it to their followers and so on. That means, providing you post good content, you can grow your initial network of 1000 people to 20, 30, 40 times that. Without sounding too dramatic the possibilities are literally endless.

The problem with increasing the number of people who know about your business is that you are also increasing the potential number of people who can criticize you. However, if you are choosing to opt out of using social networks for your business, what’s important to remember is that people are going to talk about you online whether you have a presence there or not. Therefore social networks give you the opportunity to manage your e-reputation. You can use your social networks as a platform for your customers/clients. You can develop a relationship with them and create a personable online experience which allows the customer to voice their opinion in a way that will not prove negative for your image. By managing your e-reputation you create a much higher potential for customer loyalty, and therefore retention, as well as gaining new customers who will see your positive and helpful image online.

Because of the connection to customers which social networks provide you, social networking can also be a great way to understand customer needs. This can in turn allow you to come up with new ideas for your business or simply improve on previous mistakes because you now have channels which allow constant feedback. And as you know, listening to feedback is one of the most important factors when it comes to business success.

Keeping the customer/client in mind, social networking provides the perfect opportunity to target the right people. Through your social networks you can target relevant industry professionals, whether it be in LinkedIn groups, on a Facebook page or by using the # tag on Twitter. So this means you can implement a targeted marketing effort which will drastically increase your efficiency and effectiveness. It may sound obvious but once you know where your customers are it makes it much easier to communicate with them and social networking allows you to do just that!

And that’s just a few of the benefits that social networking can bring you. It really can’t be stressed enough that social networks are the place to be for today’s businesses, they are essential to your survival. Who knows, in the future the social network may even replace a company’s website.

Google and Facebook lead top sites in France, should you go dual language?


Top 20 sites in France for December 2010

From ComScore - Facebook Leads by Engagement in France

In France, 47.8 million internet users spent a total of nearly 1.2 billion hours online in December 2011. Google Sites was the top online property by unique visitors, attracting over 44.8 million people who spent a total of 137.5 million hours on the site. During December,  over 39.2 million users went to Microsoft Sites making it the second most popular online property ranked by visitors.. Facebook was the leading site in terms of engagement with over 32.9 million unique visitors spending 165.5 million hours on the site during the month.

With Google and Facebook offering branded pages, should you consider creating them in French? If you are an expat business in France then you really should consider it.