Get Up and Running

25 Jun 2010 | written by Ashley Walton for the Uncategorized section(s)

Publish it on Facebook

The key to social media is to start talking. Start a conversation on products, recent research, the latest and greatest in your field, great experiences, terrible experiences, or anything else. You can talk about anything— anything but how great you are. Sure, pat yourself on the back now and then, but remember it’s all about your customers, not you.

Communicate. Fan pages and groups are based on dialogue. Put up a discussion board and keep some fresh, new topics going. Remember, your Fan Page is about your fans— it isn’t a billboard. Keep the tone conversational on your discussion board. You’ll turn a lot of people off faster than you can say “fizz” if you sell to them every chance you get.

Socialize. When people write on your wall, respond! Let them know you hear them and think their opinion is worth responding to. Then post pictures of your events, office parties, office pranks, and anything else. Show them the human side of your business.

Entertain. Put up some video links and photos. You can post just about anything from tutorials to a video feed from an office barbecue. Get your fans and followers to post their own videos, articles, and pictures on your wall. Run a regular competition to keep contributions flowing and people talking.

Inform and advertise. Post pictures, video, and status updates about your latest product or promo. You’ve got something customers want, so make sure everyone knows about it. You can also create an event for the introduction of your offer or product and give them a special deal for finding out about it through your Facebook page.

Connect. You’ve been putting a lot of work into your social media— make them work for each other. Post links to your website, your blog, and your twitter account right there on the fan page. Let people know about job openings, and give them a link to follow. Whatever you do, stay connected.

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You’ve Got Fans

25 Jun 2010 | written by Ashley Walton for the Uncategorized section(s)

Start a Facebook Group or Fan Page

Promote a cause. Start a revolution. Pick up a few groupies. Whatever you want to use it for, a Facebook group is a great way to bring people together on one topic. You can send out invites to everyone on your fan page or business profile to generate some hype about anything you want.

1. Create. To create a group, just click on the groups button on the left side of the homepage. At the top right, click on create a group, enter the basic information, then hit create group. That takes you to Step 2: Customize. Once you tell Facebook how people can find your group, invite as many people as you want.

2. Promote. Here’s a little tip: when you’re inviting everyone along, check out the Promote Group with Ad button hanging out in the top right corner. You could monetize your group with some ad work done by Facebook and give your groupies something else they may be interested in.

3. Customize. Once you create your group and invite people to join, personalize your page. Add a profile picture, put up some videos, and respond to the wall posts people will start putting up. Don’t leave them hanging—start a discussion. The more people interact with you, the more they trust both you and your business.

For all your fans out there, you might want to start a Fan Page—it’s not as specific as a group, and it celebrates your business’s awesomeness. Just use this link to get started. Here you can post your links, videos, articles, and lots of other cool stuff.

You can also network with other people in your field, join their pages, and swap info and trade tips. The more connected your network, the better exposure your business gets.

Fan pages are cool because people don’t have to be on Facebook to see your page. A regular profile can be blocked by its user, but your Fan Page is open to anyone looking for you online. They even show up in search engine results. As soon as people with profiles start joining your Fan Page, all their friends can see it. And since the average Facebook user has 130 Friends, that’s some serious exposure.

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Make it Facebook Official

25 Jun 2010 | written by Ashley Walton for the Uncategorized section(s)

Make Facebook connections

Getting started with Facebook is even easier than it looks. We’ll show you how to find and add friends, how to create a solid network with other professionals in your field, and how to gain credibility with your followers.

  • As long as you’re building your network, find other guys in your field. Add them as your friend, swap info, invite them to write a blog post, or have them speak at your next event.
  • Even throwing out some promos will help build your network. If you give enough interesting info and promos, people will add your business just to stay in the know on the latest and greatest from your business.
  • Been up to any surveys or research? Don’t be afraid to share it— the more people use your info and quote you, the bigger you become. Now people in your industry recognize your authority, and customers trust you.

Facebook just looks better every day, doesn’t it?

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Facebook it—and love it

25 Jun 2010 | written by Ashley Walton for the Uncategorized section(s)

Create Facebook events

Getting everyone on the same page with your event just got easier. Blast out all the details—time, date, place, who’s invited, party specs—in a Facebook event.

Log on to your business profile on Facebook. On the homepage, look at the top right corner. In the text box that says, “What are you planning?” just click and start typing. You can have an event produced in just a few seconds.

Now let’s add some photos and details. All you gotta do is click add details right next to the create event button to lay out a description and display a picture. You can add more pictures and videos by writing on your event’s wall.

Send out invitations to anyone and everyone. Get your friends to invite their friends while you’re at it. You can post a message about it on your profile page and start generating some hype.

Don’t forget your other tools—tweet it, blog it, Link it In, and get your employees to do the same on their personal accounts.

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Get Some Face Time

25 Jun 2010 | written by Ashley Walton for the Uncategorized section(s)

How to create and manage a business account on Facebook

Have you ever thought of creating a business profile on Facebook? It lets your customers become fans and it gets your name in front of all their friends. Since the average user has 130 friends, that’s some serious face time with potential leads.1 Use your profile to let people know about events, promos, and cool stuff going on in the industry.

1. To get started, follow this link (but keep this window open as we take you through the whole thing, step by step): http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php .

2. Read all of the rules regarding business accounts (oh come on, it’s not that bad). We just don’t want the Facebook police to delete your account.

3. Put a business casual picture in there of yourself. You don’t have to make it the profile picture (that’s probably going to be your company logo, anyway), but let people know that you really do have a face.

4. And as long as you’re putting pictures up, don’t hesitate to put evidence of the latest office prank, video from the company barbecue, or informational videos on there.

5. Create a URL that’s customized for your business. Here’s the link to make that happen:  http://www.facebook.com/username/ .

Make the most out of your account. Chances are, you can do some pretty impressive stuff. The more your customers see you online, the more they will come to you for business.

1http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics

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Go ahead, get LinkedIn

25 Jun 2010 | written by Ashley Walton for the Uncategorized section(s)

LinkedIn does so much more than keep tabs on old colleagues. Dust off the password to your lonely, neglected account, and use it to build your business. Here are a few tips to get it done.

1: Fill out your profile—all of it. (Really.)

Make sure you fill out your profile completely. A profile with all the parts filled in automatically wins cred and earns trust. Now’s not the time for modesty— impress people with all your experience.

2: Build your network.

Finding all your old friends and current colleagues isn’t that hard— LinkedIn makes it easy when you upload your email contacts. Once you get your network established, get your friends to introduce you to their friends.

3: Who do you want to rub shoulders with?

LinkedIn lets you search for important peeps in your business or industry. You should also invite potential clients (in a friendly, no-pressure kind of way) to join your network. You can get the dish on your prospective clients before meeting or contacting them.

4: Let search engines find you.

Every search engine (especially mighty Google) loves LinkedIn profiles. Make sure to adjust your security settings so your basic info (including links to your websites) is public to search engines. LinkedIn is  yet another opportunity for searchers to find you.

5: Answer questions (no hand-raising necessary).

LinkedIn has a question and answer section that contains all the answers to life’s great questions. Go see if there are any questions you can answer. Answer them in a non-self promoting way and everyone will see you as an expert in your industry. You’ll get tons of profile views.

6: Bring all your social media together.

Yes, it’s another social networking site. Thankfully, there are widgets and other tools available that allow you to show your twitter posts, Facebook actions, and other social media content. Use them to connect all your social media together.

7: Recommendations = happiness

Recommendations equal instant trust. Request them from happy clients or people in your network. Offer to give recommendations to other people you’ve worked with.

8: Use more than just a resume.

Want to find some qualified talent? Now you can look at something more than just another resume. Post a job listing if you are looking to hire, and you may even be able to hire someone in your network.

9: Big Dog, meet Other Big Dog.

Find experts in your field and invite them to be a guest blogger on your blog or a speaker at your event. Keep your employees in-the-know with the latest and greatest in your industry, and let your customers know you’re on the leading edge.

10: “I’m a real boy!”

Everyone loves a genuine personality. Don’t turn off your clients or potential partners by using hard-sell or spammy tactics. Treat people with respect, and be the expert— the clambering fans and roaring applause will follow.

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Tweet About It

25 Jun 2010 | written by Ashley Walton for the Uncategorized section(s)

15 ways to use Twitter for business

We have 15 different ways to make your tweets build your brand and improve your company’s bottom line.

  1. Use Twitter search to know when your company’s mentioned and find leads.
  2. Make your profile personal by adding a picture of yourself.
  3. Talk about what interests your followers.
  4. Share your interests with your followers (don’t just talk business).
  5. Let your employees tweet so your followers can meet your company.
  6. If you have a question about what to do with your business, ask your followers.
  7. Tweet your current promotions.
  8. Tweet coupons exclusively for your Twitter followers.
  9. Respond to questions from your followers, but don’t feel obligated to answer everything.
  10. Retweet others’ posts to build your followers.
  11. Tweet regularly to keep your followers engaged.
  12. Don’t tweet all day, especially if the rest of your office is busy working.
  13. Follow other interesting tweeters.
  14. Invite the followers of those you follow to follow you (did you follow that?).
  15. When you talk about your business, make it clever and fun.

These tips should help you on your way to become a master tweeter. If you are looking for some more ideas, check out this blog by Chris Brogan (link: http://www.chrisbrogan.com/50-ideas-on-using-twitter-for-business/).

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How to Follow Your Business

25 Jun 2010 | written by Ashley Walton for the Uncategorized section(s)

The internet makes it easy to hear the word on the street about your company. Both Twitter Search and Google Alerts help you listen to all the chatter out there about your business. Here’s how to get started:

Google Alerts

  • Start by going to http://www.google.com/alerts.
  • If you have a Google or Gmail account, sign in to manage your alerts.
  • Enter a search term you want to follow (for example, the name of your company).
  • Fill out the info, including your email. That’s where they’ll send you the stats you want.
  • Hit the “Create Alert” button.

Depending on how often you choose to receive the alerts, you will now receive emails with links to websites showing which websites mention your company.

Twitter Search

  • Go to http://www.twitter.com/search.
  • Type in the keywords you’re following.
  • Hit the “Search” button.
  • See all the tweets that include that keyword.

To get automatic alerts on Twitter like you do on Google, just download a program like TweetDeck or DemandSpot to keep you in the know on each of your keywords.

Pretty simple, right? Your marketing will thank you.

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Get Your Tweet On

25 Jun 2010 | written by Ashley Walton for the Uncategorized section(s)

How to sign up for and customize a Twitter account

Don’t underestimate it— Twitter can provide better branding, stronger customer loyalty, and company revenue. So here’s a little tutorial that will get you going on this popular social media platform.

1. Create an account

Head on over to www.twitter.com and sign up for free. Fill out your info, read and accept the usage agreement, and confirm your creation in their follow-up email.

2. Find followers

Social networks work on the grand Back-Scratch Theorem (i.e., you scratch mine and I’ll scratch yours), so you gain followers by following others. Find categories in your industry to build your name in your market. Once you’ve chosen the accounts in the categories you want to follow, click the “Next Step: Friends” button to import your email contacts and see who among your contacts is already on Twitter. Now you’re set up and you can start searching!

3. Now you can tweet!

Go ahead, post updates on your business, specials, promos just for people who mention the tweet . . . and pretty much anything you want. Just be careful not to promote yourself too forcefully, otherwise you’ll lose followers.

4. Customize your profile

Click the “Settings” link at the top of the page and find the “Profile” tab. Change your picture, name, location website, and bio so people can find you. It’s your business—make it count.

5. Change your Twitter theme

This is the fun part— after you get your profile worked out, go into the “Design” tab and have a party. You can change your Twitter theme to one of 20 pre-made themes, view thousands of other themes, or create your own themes. To view other people’s themes, click the link to the right that says “Check out Themeleon.” You can also create your own theme by clicking the buttons at the bottom of the page to change you picture and colors.

Now you’re set use Twitter! Spend a little time playing around with what you can do. Don’t worry, it’s all in the name of marketing. There are a lot of powerful tools you can incorporate into your website or blog to help your clients follow you. Have fun.

Happy Tweeting!

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Sweet Tweet

25 Jun 2010 | written by Ashley Walton for the Uncategorized section(s)

How to make money using Twitter

Inc. magazine wrote an article on how to use Twitter to make money with your business. We thought that was pretty great of them, so we’re giving you a heads up. This is a summary of the article and our savvy on the matter.

Turn followers into creators

As much as customers like hearing from you, they love it when you want to hear from them. Don’t just ask them for comments gushing about how wonderful your business is—get their suggestions and ideas for products or services, then put them to use. Your followers get way more excited about your business as you implement their ideas.

Promote yourself

Yep, even the dentists and carpet cleaners can do it. Okay, so maybe you don’t have an order form, but you can definitely let people know what you’re up to, tell them about a promo, or let them know about a new service. It’s word-of-mouth controlled by you.

Look for leads

Go on Twitter Search and find people tweeting your keywords. It’s a social network, so be social and start networking! Send messages, tell people about your business, then start following people (no really, it’s not creepy online). You can even automate the process with free programs like TweetDeck and DemandSpot.

Sell products for Twitter

People will pay for applications that make their social media easier and less time consuming. If you wanna give it a shot, hire a programmer to create a program that others in your industry would pay to use. Yeah, you need to spend money to make money on this one, but it’s worth it if you have the resources.

Gain loyal customers

When you tweet clever or informative blurbs, you become relatable as a business, and your followers will feel a connection with your brand.

If you need some help with Twitter-ese, check out the full article for more info on jargon surrounding the social network: www.inc.com/twitter.

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