What Blogging and Social Media Can Do for You and Your Business!

 Monday, November 28, 2011
 

What is a blog and why should businesses blog? Blogs, or Web logs, present online journal content organized in reverse chronological order, and should be entertaining and informative. Blogs and other social media can create the following for you:


Online Democracy

This is the human factor that reads blogs, searches online for Information, sends and receives e-mails, sends and receives voice mails, and has a Web site or visits Web sites.

Search Engine Optimization

As much as 80 percent of all Web interactions begin with a search. Using key word phrases targeted to your product or service helps your organic placement and you can also use pay per click campaigns to grow faster, but organic sites seem to have more credibility for searches. From 80 to 95 percent of all clicks on a page happen in the organic results. This will get people to your site, but there needs to be recent and relevant content with links to keep consumers on your site and give information that is valuable to the customer.

Higher Prospect Interaction and Conversion

Google ranks phrases used on your site and it is important to know what the customer is searching for in your industry to be able to best interact on your site and gather leads that eventually convert to sales.

E-mail Acquisition

E-mail personalized newsletters are a great way to educate the consumer and establish you and your company as the expert in your field. There is a downside to e-mail campaigns in that if you are just selling, selling, and selling, you will have people opt out and the e-mail acquisition campaign will fail. Deliver content that your customers want to know and drive traffic back to your Web site with more relevant content.

A great example of this would be in a newsletter. My company links back to our seminar page http://www.exhib-it.com/seminars/ highlighting our FREE marketing seminars for the entire year at a glance.

This is informative for the customer and shows how our company supports businesses in the community (which establishes our promotion and process that is relevant to our strategies).

Employee Retention/Customer Engagement

Employees who blog for a company are more engaged with the company than employees who do not blog for the company. If you want to start with an online blogging site, try WordPress (www.wordpress.org). It is the most widely used blogging site and is free, and has lots of plug-ins. The featured plug-in are WordPress.com Stats that provides simple, concise stats with no additional load on a server by plugging into WordPress.com’s stat system. WP Super Cache is a very fast caching engine for WordPress that produces static html files. Poll Daddy polls create and manage the polls from within WordPress.

Intense Debate Comments enhances and encourages conversation on a blog by building the reader community, increasing comments, and boosting page views. Wickett Twitter Widget displays tweets from a Twitter account in the sidebar of a blog.

Get Recent Comments displays the most recent comments or track backs with your own formatting in the sidebar. The weaknesses are that WordPress usually requires you to have hardware/server and it is a little more technical to use, and is not built for organizations.

Key word-focused blogs compound at a much higher rate than individual blogs.  However, if you do not post frequently and systematically, your blog may end up nowhere. Blogs are meant to be written frequently with relevant content that is key word focused. If you are doing something unique in marketing, write about it online! Use the Internet for traditional and media marketing and incorporate social media to grow your business!

About DJ Heckes, Author of Full BRAIN Marketing and Owner of EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts



DJ Heckes is CEO of EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts and Full BRAIN Marketing .  She focuses on educating and training companies to significantly improve their Small Business Marketing strategies.  DJ Heckes also presents customized training programs for Business Marketing, Social Media, Leadership and Trade Show Marketing. Learn more at www.EXHIB-IT.com  and www.fullBRAINMarketing.com.  Be sure to follow us!

DJ Heckes, CEO & Author
EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts
www.exhib-it.com
Full BRAIN Marketing
www.fullbrainmarketing.com



How to Get The Most from LinkedIn

 Monday, September 12, 2011
 

What Can LinkedIn Do for Me?

LinkedIn has been around since 2003, and many people use it differently.  The question of what it can do for people seems to be a very popular question.  In short, LinkedIn is a professional networking site with an executive representation of Fortune 500 companies.  It is a great way to find people and is a great way to read someone's business history in a single screen. The site also helps you to understand who they know and network with.

Some interesting facts you probably did not know about LinkedIn:

- The average number of LinkedIn connections for people who work at Google is forty-seven.

- The average number for Harvard Business School grads is fifty-eight, so you could skip the MBA, work at Google, and probably get most of the connections you need. Later, you can hire Harvard MBAs to prepare your income taxes.

- People with more than twenty connections are thirty-four times more likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people with less than five.

- All 500 of the Fortune 500 are represented in LinkedIn. In fact, 499 of them are represented by director-level and above employees.

Top Reasons to Use LinkedIn

 1. Building your Reputation. LinkedIn is a great tool for people to outline their experience, accomplishment, organizations and network. Too often I have seen incomplete profiles. A crucial element to get LinkedIn to work for you is to make sure your profile is 100% complete. Include all your previous employers, groups you belong to, your "advertisement", websites and other important information. LinkedIn is also becoming a place where employers find candidates, so if you are job hunting, this may be the place for you.


 2. Find Qualified Candidates. You want to find the best candidate because it will benefit the company, but weeding through all the applicants can be exhausting. Well, how about using your network to find employees? LinkedIn has a great job posting board, which is also very inexpensive. Even if you don't want to field unknown candidates, you can send out an email to all your connections.

 3. Find New Connections. Have you ever felt like sometimes you see the same people at the networking events? Would you like to meet new people? Use LinkedIn and do a search. For example, let's say you want to meet Architects. I just go to LinkedIn and type “Architects” in the search box. LinkedIn will search your contact's contacts and return the results. The best part is it shows you how you are connected to the person, which can then be used for introductions. LinkedIn also provides results of what they call 3rd degree friends. Essentially, your contact has a contact that knows the architect. It seems complicated, but it is a great way to expand your network and your friend's network. Try a search, see what happens. LinkedIn also has introductions, a tool they offer to give you an introduction to a person you want to meet.

 4. Increase your Google Ranking. Ever wondered how people's names come up so high up on Google searches? I don’t have the secret Google formula, but can tell you a well written LinkedIn profile earns a high rank on the page. The more information you have on LinkedIn (or Blog articles), the better your Google ranking.

5. Scope out Competition, Customers & Partners.  Most people use Google or another search engine to see what information they can find out about their market. The market includes your customers, competitors and partners. LinkedIn is a great tool for research.  Another key advantage is to see what groups your customers or potential customers belong to.

 6. Groups. LinkedIn just added a new tool to search groups. The groups range from networking groups to Alumni groups to Company groups. Groups can be a great tool for networking. There are many different ways to use the groups and their members as leads into conversations. As a plus, when you join a group you can show the group on your profile. The benefit could be others see the group and find they have a common thread with you.

7. Recommendations. LinkedIn has created a system where your contacts can recommend you. Leverage the power of LinkedIn to get recommendations and be sure to give them as well.

8. Help Others. Use LinkedIn to introduce people you think would be a good match. You can easily do introductions to the people with LinkedIn's inMail. The nice thing about giving a contact more connections on LinkedIn is that no one wants to be the person with the least contacts....so help out a friend and send them a contact or two that makes sense for them. Part of helping others can be helping them use LinkedIn.

9. Use it on the go. LinkedIn is configured to be able to use it on your handheld device. While you waiting at the airport, doctor's office or another waiting area, log into LinkedIn and network from anywhere. Just go to linkedin.com.

10. Get answers to tough business questions with a little help from your real friends. Small business owners deal with challenging questions on a slew of topics each day. LinkedIn Answers and Groups let you find answers to those vexing questions quickly by tapping into the wisdom of your network (LinkedIn tells me there are over 200 different categories on Answers including one dedicated to small business and over 2000 groups on small business related topics). Wondering whether your recent office purchase is tax deductible? Check out hundreds of questions on related topicshere.

I hope this helps you take LinkedIn beyond the usual uses and makes you and your business even more successful.



Adoptable Habits to Make Your Facebook-ing More Successful

 Monday, August 08, 2011
 

So, you have a Facebook page.  Not only a personal page, but you have even gone to the lengths of creating a business page, branding it and making it look amazing.  Now what?

I am sure you have guessed that just because you have a Facebook Page does NOT mean people will engage with you on it.  Do not be discouraged!  Facebook can be a powerful and affective way of driving your business when it is used properly.  What do I mean by that, you say?  Well, if you develop certain, daily habits when it comes to Facebook, it can turn out to not only find you qualified prospects, but transform you into the “go-to” leader of your industry!

I have found certain habits to be incredibly helpful when it comes to engaging your fans.  These are basic tips, too, so keep them close at hand and available for reference the next time you feel as if you’re paddling against the current.

Talk to your friends

Right, I know, obvious!  But you would be surprised.  A lot of Facebook users will post things and leave it at that.  To gain popularity and really engage your followers, comment on the little things that are so often overlooked.

For instance, when someone posts a new picture or status update, comment on it!  When someone posts on your page, acknowledge them and comment.  Facebook is wonderful about telling you when your friends are having a birthday, so take advantage of that and wish them a happy birthday—I have yet to meet a single person who does not appreciate a good birthday wish.  I could go on, but to make a long story short (too late): Engage with all of your friends to make yourself more tangible and let people know that you are truly interested in them.

 

Having a hard time finding the right words?  Here are some tips:

  • Use people’s names. It adds a personal touch and makes people feel like they really know you.  Odds are they do really know you, but it still makes people feel special to be called out.  Tag their names, if you can.
  • Be comfortable. Just be yourself!
  • Keep it short and sweet. Have you ever seen a really long post or comment and just not had the energy to read it?  Well, odds are no one else wants to read a novel on Facebook, either.  So just get to the point you are trying to make and leave it be.

 

Your Turn: At least once a day you should go and be active on your friends’ pages.  Read their posts and engage.  People will notice and appreciate your consideration, and return the favor!

Know what is going on

Some people may find this particular task tedious and boring, but I personally like to know what is happening with my pages.  And I suggest, regardless of how you feel about it, you should take the time to keep track of your Facebook activity!  You can see how many fans you have, if there has been traffic on your page, and much more.  Trust me, metrics are always worth knowing.

EdgeRank Checker is another great tracking tool.  It scores your Facebook page(s) for you!  Granted, no one really knows exactly how they do this, but they do it nonetheless.  According to EdgeRank, “We began working on an algorithm that is admittedly a work in the progress that is tweaked often to reflect the most accurate representation of EdgeRank on the internet.”

Apart from scoring your pages, it also tells you what days you have the most activity, which is handy because then you know when to post the most important things and get the best results.

Your Turn: Keep an eye on your Facebook activity, whether you use EdgeRank Checker or just Facebook Insights.  It is always better to be in the know than in the dark.

Be a problem solver

Everyone loves a person with solutions.  So, be that person!  Through that, you can easily build rapport with your fans/friends, and become the ranking industry expert. 

Of course, the only way to become an expert problem solver is to consistently solve problems that you know how to solve.  I know that sounds a little redundant, but it was worth saying.  For example, my expertise is in trade show marketing, so I consistently post tips to help the average person marketing more successfully at trade shows.  When people have questions, I am prompt and accurate with my answers.  I do not go around trying to post tips on rebuilding classic cars, because that is most certainly not my niche.

Another great example is Facebook Guru, Mari Smith.  She is a certified Facebook expert and always responds quickly to all problems.  She also has a page dedicated to Facebook resources, just in case she cannot get you an answer fast enough.  Mari has developed a loyal following, most of whom she has turned into customers. 

Your Turn: I now charge you with the task of going out and making yourself the industry expert among your Facebook fans.  Think of questions you have been asked, even questions you yourself asked when you first got started.  Create a resource page so fans have somewhere to go when you are not available, and keep all of your information current.  This will help dramatically increase your Facebook clout.

Keep it current and interesting

If you want to maintain good rapport, your post content needs to be up-to-date and be relevant to the majority of your fans.  Realistically, you cannot reach everyone on every level, but you can reach most people if your keep your posts strategic. For example, on my Facebook page, I post an inspirational quote every day.  It gets a great reaction from my fans because people do not have to be in trade show marketing to find relevance in a general quote about life.  And just in case not everyone is prepared for something serious and deep, I always follow the quote with a cartoon that has something to do with marketing, advertising or social media.  Those topics will not mean something to everyone, but they do to a lot of people and I get good reactions from those posts as well.

I also post these twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, just to make sure that I reach a wider audience.

Your Turn: Make regular posts with content that is not only interesting, but able to reach the majority of your audience.  If you do that, then your posts will be something that people wait for and expect.  Ta da!  An automatic loyal following.

If it is not working, just leave it alone

When you start tracking your Facebook activity, you can easily see what actions you take get the most results, and which do not.  With the ones that aren’t getting any positive results, or the results that you want, see what you can do to change them.  If, after certain allotted time, the changes are not helping, just give it up, and move on to the next idea.  Be creative in finding different ways to engage your fans and increase your activity, but if what you are doing is not increasing traffic or getting you more fans, do not waste time trying to make it work.

.Your Turn: Is your page getting the results you want?  If not, figure out why.  Then start trying experimenting with different methods of getting people involved.  Once again, if what you are doing is not working, stop and move on.

Be kind to your fans

Although you are doing your best to be the person with the best content, be aware that others have good ideas and good posts also.  So when someone has posted something relevant and valuable, share it!  If your fans see you sharing their posts and getting them noticed, they will definitely return the favor. 

Your Turn: At least once a week, attempt to find great third-party postings and repost or share them.  You will get results from this action.

DJ Heckes, CEO & Author
Full BRAIN Marketing
www.exhib-it.com
Full BRAIN Marketing
www.fullbrainmarketing.com




Recent Posts


Tags


Archive