Finding the Best Social Media Sites

What media (or sites) are best suited to my goal?

Once you have determined what your goals are, it is time to determine which social networking sites will best help you meet those goals. There are literally hundreds of social networking sites available to you. Outside of three or four though, they all are designed to serve specific niches. The major sites that are available are:

Facebook: Until recently we recommended Facebook primarily as a Business to Consumer web site for Social Media Marketing purposes. No longer. You can create your own “Page” for your business and invite your connections to become “Fans”. When they become a fan, it appears on their profile which can get others to join and so on. Once established, you have the ability to interact with your fans, through posts to the page, events, importing your blog feed, and starting discussions.

Facebook can also be very good if your business targets consumers. One colleague who runs a travel company simply posted on his account about an upcoming overseas trip and got several new customers. The power of searching and matching makes Facebook powerful indeed. The matching comes in when Facebook suggests people you might know or other things you might like. As a business, you can target that matching by the kinds of content you write about. You can also try the Facebook Ads to target consumers.

LinkedIn: This site is definitely a business to business web site. If your goal is hiring people, LinkedIn could be a very good resource. It can also be a great way to connect with people in your industry or market so if your goal is to stay abreast of trends and innovations in your market, LinkedIn could be a good fit. We have found LinkedIn to be a very good way to stay on top of trends but also to connect with potential clients and with power partners. If extending your network beyond your physical reach is a goal, then this would be a good way to attack it. Basically, LinkedIn is an ideal social media site if your target is other businesses. It might also be within your goal if you need ot interact with others in your market segment.

Twitter: Twitter is still just a baby but is growing quickly. As such it is difficult to have long term goals for what you want to accomplish via this site. Having said that, we recommend it for both B2B and B2C purposes. If your goal is to get more exposure and learn of the latest trends it can be very helpful. If even 1/10 of the folks who claim they’re making millions on Twitter are close to the truth, it can fit into a goal of increasing sales to consumers as well as reaching out to businesses and consultants that need your goods or services.

What other sites should you consider? Do a search for social networking websites and you’ll find plenty of places to start but some other large ones include Plaxo, MySpace, Meetup and Ning. Another class of social media is social bookmarking. Sites to consider for bookmarking are StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, Delicious and Technorati.

You can just jump in to Social Media Marketing but if you first determine your goals and then determine which sites will help you reach those goals, you will be more successful.

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Setting Goals for Social Media Marketing

Question 1 from 10 Essential Questions to Answer for Your Social Media Marketing Campaign:

What are my goals (What do I expect to get out of this)?

Often when talking to people about Social Media Marketing, I’m asked “how much time does it take?” To which I reply “What do you want to do?” It’s that simple really. That’s like asking the swimming coach how much time it will take to practice. Michael Phelps might get the answer of “8 hours a day” but for my daughter’s lessons, it might be “2 hours a week”. Are you going for multiple gold medals or are you going to learn the basics?

But of course many business owners are just beginning to wrap their heads around this thing called Social Media Marketing and what it means for their business. So what would be good goals? Here are some goals from clients that we’ve worked with:

  • I want to have more than 200 fans on my corporate Facebook page.
  • We will have a 30% increase in traffic to our web site through social media.
  • I will have 5 new customers a month through LinkedIn.
  • My workshops will expand from 15 people per workshop to 30 through social media marketing.
  • Online sales will increase 22% through our social media efforts.
  • I will double the number of subscribers to my newsletter.

Hopefully these goals will help you determine what your goals should be and then you’ll be able to consider strategies and tactics to go about meeting your goal.

What are my goals (What do I expect to get out of this)?

Often when talking to people about Social Media Marketing, I’m asked “how much time does it take?” To which I reply “What do you want to do?” It’s that simple really. That’s like asking the swimming coach how much time it will take to practice. Michael Phelps might get the answer of “8 hours a day” but for my daughter’s lessons, it might be “2 hours a week”. Are you going for multiple gold medals or are you going to learn the basics?

But of course many business owners are just beginning to wrap their heads around this thing called Social Media Marketing and what it means for their business. So what would be good goals? Here are some goals from clients that we’ve worked with:

· I want to have more than 200 fans on my corporate Facebook page.

· We will have a 30% increase in traffic to our web site through social media.

· I will have 5 new customers a month through LinkedIn.

· My workshops will expand from 15 people per workshop to 30 through social media marketing.

· Online sales will increase 22% through our social media efforts.

· I will double the number of subscribers to my newsletter.

Hopefully these goals will help you determine what your goals should be and then you’ll be able to consider strategies and tactics to go about meeting your goal.

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10 Essential Questions for Your Social Media Marketing Campaign

Everybody is all abuzz about Social Media Marketing whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or some niche site that fits their needs. But we keep getting the same questions from customers and we basically turn the questions back around to ask them. Here are the questions that you should think through for your needs as you develop your plan. And of course, if you need help, give us a call at 303 268-2245.

  1. What are my goals (What do I expect to get out of this)?
  2. What media (or sites) are best suited to my goal?
  3. How much time am I able or willing to spend on marketing?
  4. How can I use my physical network of contacts to help in Social Media Marketing(SMM)?
  5. What tactics will help me accomplish my goals?
  6. What niche social networking sites might be useful for my goals?
  7. What tools are available to make my time in SMM more efficient?
  8. How personal does the SOCIAL part need to be?
  9. How does my company reputation fit into SMM?
  10. How can I evaluate my SMM campaign?

By thinking through and writing down your answers to these questions, you’ll be able to keep a laser like focus on what you want to accomplish. It is important to do this so that  you don’t get sucked into the social vortex and find yourself spending all your time chatting with old high school friends or getting lost in the college daze.

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5 People I Follow on Twitter and Why

  1. PublicityHound (twitter.com/PublicityHound)
    Joan Stewart is the queen of getting publicity and has developed quite a following. For any business looking to get more and better publicity, Joan provides a lot of free and low cost tips. On Twitter she mostly stays on task -focusing on Publicity, with just enough personal info to make life interesting
  2. Mashable (twitter.com/mashable)
    Pete Cashmore is so on top of what’s happening in Social Media and Social Networking that you’d be crazy to follow him on Twitter.
  3. Copyblogger (twitter.com/copyblogger)
    Brian Clark is seriously into social networking but he also posts great quotes like this recent one “I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive.” From Albert Einstein
  4. Schwarzenegger (twitter.com/schwarzenegger)
    The Governator actually has harnessed the power of twitter for good – using it to disseminate information and links useful to Californians. While not a Californian myself, I’d like to see more elected officials make the attempt to use new technologies to help them better communicate and stay in touch.  I guess twitter.com/govritter should get mention as well since I live in Colorado.
  5. MattCutts (twitter.com/mattcutts)
    I’ve been a fan of Google since they started at Stanford – for real. Matt is a great public face for Google on Twitter. He lets you know what Google is up to and provides some really cool information such as how to link to a specific point in a YouTube video.
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Are you Linked In online?

LinkedIn is one of the largest business networking sites out there. Based on the premise that if I have 10 connections (people I know and network with) and each of those has 10 connections, I’m only one relationship away from 100 people.  If you have 100 connections and they have 100 connections each, well, you do the math.

So what all can you do on LinkedIn? You can connect with people, join virtual groups, many times they are virtual versions of physical networking groups. So this can be a great way to communicate between physical meetings. You can send or post reminders, share announcements and more. The benefit of doing this online is that you can reach a wider audience that might otherwise not know of your group.

If you’re looking for work, LinkedIn can be a great way to find the right job for you. There are hundreds of jobs posted but also by working your LinkedIn network, you can find opportunities that you would never know about through other ways. Through recommendations you can also let or encourage others brag about you.

Speaking of recommendations, this is another way to promote your business. Why “toot your own horn” when you have friends, customers and colleagues who are often more than happy to tout your benefits or service or value. Let word of mouth marketing work for you.

Spend a few minutes a day – literally just a few minutes, and you can build your network over a couple of weeks to the point where it can start working for you.

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10. How Can I Use Word-Of-Mouth Marketing to Improve My Web Site?

The 10th question in our 10 questions to ask when you’re ready to take your site to the next level is probably THE most important question around today. Word of Mouth marketing. I’m a pretty good customer. When I’m happy with a business, I will go out of my way to tell others about it. During any given month I might tell five to ten others about a business I like.

But we can translate Word Of Mouth Marketing onto the web in all kinds of powerful ways. Welcome to Web 2.0 and in particular the social nature of 2.0. There are lots casino online wiesbadenbaccarat online spielecasino online gamekostenlose casino onlinegames roulette spielenwww slotsonline europa casinokostenlose online casinojack black downloadflash casino gamesroulette downloadenblack jack online spielecasino spiele online spielen,casino spielen,spielen im casinoroulette casinoscasino tropez bonusonline casino lastschriftcasino roulette spielinternet kasinocasino video pokerspiel erlebniskasino spielencasino spiele mit echtem geldonline spiel raumcasino online hamburgkasino comonline casino betrugkeno online spieleslot machinescasino online comcasino im internetcasino online liveroulette lernenblackjack spieleonline casino slotswww casino spiele deslot maschinen spielenkasino onlineonline kasino spielonline gewinnspieleparty casinoonline spiele automatengames roulette online spielengames roulette onlinecasino online no deposit bonuscasino spiele,kostenlose casino spiele,online kasino spielcraps spieleninternet gewinn spielslotmaschine spielengratis kasinofreeware spiele casino of ways you can interact with others on the Internet in a meaningful way. When I say meaningful, I mean actual interaction with others, not just logging on, spouting off your sales pitch and logging off.

Here are three sites you can log into, create a profile, and find others of similar interests:

  1. Facebook.com
  2. Myspace.com
  3. LinkedIn.com

Visit the sites above to connect with others. Make sure you spend FIVE minutes a day logging in and communicating.
Here are three sites that have a slightly different focus that those above but allow you to establish your expertise on a given subject:

  1. Propeller.com
  2. Squidoo.com
  3. Scribd.com

Take some time on a daily or weekly basis and share your knowledge with the world. And be bold about putting your name or site address or product out there as you write.

Here are three social bookmarking sites you can use to generate additional buzz about your posts in the links above and about your own site:

  1. Digg.com
  2. Reddit.com 
  3. Del.icio.us

At first some of this might seem a bit arcane but if you spend just a “wee bit” of time on this on a regular basis, you’ll be very pleasantly surprised to see how the traffic starts beating a path to your web site.

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