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Social Media

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Social Media

4 Steps to a Powerful Social Media Plan

Social media can be an important marketing tactic, but it's more powerful when there's a plan in place. Find out how to build a social media plan so someone can, and will, follow through.

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Many business owners have a scattershot approach to social media. They may have a page on Facebook and a profile on Twitter, but their links and posts are random and disorganized. Social media can be an important marketing tactic. However, like any marketing tactic, it’s more powerful when there’s a plan in place.

Here's how to build your social media plan so that you can, and will, follow through.

Identify a Goal

What do you want to accomplish with social media? Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? Do you want to build your email list? Do you want to sell more products or services? Do you want to reach more prospective clients?

5 Tips to Improve Your Tweeting

Twitter is now a part of everyday life. Learn how writing a great tweet can help drive traffic, increase awareness, and connect with a target audience.

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Twitter is now part of everyday life. The media uses it to stay on top of news and gossip. Businesses use it for research and improved customer service. And the average consumer uses it to connect, learn, share, and laugh. As a business owner, learning how to write a great tweet can help you drive traffic, increase awareness, and connect with your audience.

Know Your Audience

You only have 140 characters; spend them wisely. Make sure you’re writing tweets that your audience cares about. For example, many fiction writers make the mistake of writing tweets for other writers. Their readers don’t care if they wrote a chapter today. Their readers care about the characters and the story. One popular self-published author tweets as his recurring character rather than himself. Much more interesting for fans and readers!

5 Ways to Help Your Content Go Viral

The idea of viral marketing is that, much like a computer or biological virus, viral content can “infect” users and make them more likely to pass it on to multiple other users. Plenty of average Internet users have created viral content, so for small businesses, going viral is within the realm of possibilities. Here are some steps business owners can take to help their content go viral.

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The concept of viral marketing is nearly as old as the Internet itself. The idea is that, much like a computer or biological virus, viral content can "infect" users and make them more likely to pass it on to multiple other users. Those users in turn pass the content on to even more users, and pretty soon the content is all over the internet.

Large corporations with big advertising budgets have seen the value of viral marketing. Many have put a great deal of money into creating funny, controversial or engaging content and getting it started on a viral path. Think Old Spice Guy. But plenty of average Internet users have created viral videos, graphics and blog posts. So for small business owners, going viral is certainly attainable.

Some things go viral completely by chance. But there are certain steps you can take to help your content go viral. Here are a few pointers.

1. Plan your content carefully.

You don't need the fanciest equipment or the most sought-after writers to have content that is worthy of going viral.

17 Strong Tips for Social Media Success

Like any marketing, it's important for best results to put solid foundations in place. Here are 17 tips to ensure social media shows the results business owners want to see.

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There are no shortcuts if you want results. Social media results take time – think 3-6 months of effort before you see changes. Don’t attempt to hurry the timeline. Like any marketing, it's important for best results to put solid foundations in place first.

1. Go deep instead of wide to make the most of your time and effort. Find the one or two social media sites that work best for your business and focus your efforts there. Learn the details of your site thoroughly including privacy, visibility and virality.

2. Use calls-to-action (CTAs). These action filled words (like, share, comment, retweet, click) should help your viewer know the next step to take. Phrases like “check it out,” “find out more” get people to engage or follow your link.

3. Your goal should always be to start relationships on social media and then have a strategy to move the relationship to your own property—your website, blog or email list.

How to Avoid the “Cardinal Sin” of Social Media Marketing

The number one rule in content and social media marketing? "Thou shalt not be boring." Find out how to hold a readers' attention and avoid committing the “cardinal sin” in social media and content marketing.

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“Thou shalt not be boring.”

That's rule #1 in content and social media marketing in this day and age.

Your currency on the web, whether we’re talking about blog posts on your own site or social media shares, is the attention of your readers. That’s what you want—not just their clicks or their vague "interest," but their undivided, engaged attention.

In this context, "Don’t be boring" doesn’t necessarily mean "Be LOL-funny!" or "Be entertaining always!" It just means, "Hold your readers' attention." With any given piece of content, whether you write it yourself or curate and share it on social media, that could mean "funny" or "entertaining" … or it might just mean "interesting."

The surest way to lose your readers' attention is by being boring.

How do you make sure your content isn’t boring? Read on for some strategies that will help you avoid committing this "cardinal sin" in social media and content marketing!

How to Get Started on Facebook

Facebook can be intimidating if someone isn’t sure how it works, but it’s a great place to get their feet wet in the waters of social media. Here are some steps to getting in on the networking scene.

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You would like to get in on the social networking scene, but maybe you aren’t quite sure where to start. Whether you are interested in promoting your business through social networking or just want to catch up with friends, it can be intimidating if you aren’t sure how it works. Facebook is a good place to start for social networking. To start using this popular networking site, here are some ideas and tips that can help you take the first steps to getting on the networking scene.

You can think of Facebook as a way for people to stay connected. You update your status and read the status updates of other people, and you can search for people whom you know and who know you. You "friend" people and accept friend requests from others. You can join and start groups, and invite others to join. Facebook allows you to share sites, pages, and information that you like.

1. First, log on to Facebook.com and follow the on-screen directions for setting up an account. It’s quite user friendly, and you can change the information you put in your profile at any time.

How to Know When to Leave a Social Media Site

Business owners need to stop wasting time on social media channels that don't produce results. But how would they know which to hang on to and which to get rid of? When should they quit and when should they simply change course and try another method?

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Let's stop wasting time on social media marketing channels that don't actually work.

By "work," I mean "produce results that are favorable to your business and/or help you reach your business goals."

But how do you separate the digital wheat from the chaff? How do you know what to hang on to, and what to get rid of?

In other words: When do you just need to throw your hands up and say "I quit," instead of trying yet another way to change your results with underperforming (or non-performing) social media channels?

First, an Assumption

Before we go any further, here’s an implicit assumption:

You know what your business goals are for social media marketing, and you've been measuring in some fashion how well each different platform—Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.—is meeting those goals.

How to Use Social Bookmarking to Increase Your Visibility

Social bookmarking sites create connections through the types of content generated by members, which makes it an effective business tool for Internet entrepreneurs especially. So what is social bookmarking, how does someone use it, and where do they begin?

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Along with social networking sites, there are now a number of social bookmarking sites on the Internet. While social networking sites build upon relationships between members, social bookmarking sites create connections through the types of content generated by members. It is these connections that make social bookmarking such an effective business tool for Internet entrepreneurs especially.

Maybe you have read a blog post or article on someone’s website. At the end of the article or blog post, you’ll see a host of different little pictures or characters. Run your cursor over them and names like Technorati, Digg and Delicious pop up.

What are these characters and what do the names mean?

These are links to social bookmarking sites. Social bookmarking is much like what you would do with an actual bookmark.

Should You Advertise on Social Media Sites?

Would advertising on a social media site be beneficial for business? It depends on a number of factors unique to that particular business owner. Here’s how they can find out if advertising on social media is right for them and where to start.

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Is this your year to explore advertising on social media sites? The short answer is, "It depends."

The slightly longer answer: "It depends on a number of factors that make your business unique to you, including your personality, your budget, your level of interest, your community of fans and followers, and last but not least, your business goals."

Deciding Where to Start

Your initial experience with advertising could vary dramatically from platform to platform. So initially, consider the social media sites where you already have an active presence. If you’re brand new to a particular site, save the advertising until you’re more familiar with the platform and the level and kind of response you get there.

Should You Outsource Your Social Media?

There are many business owners that simply don't understand social media. How many “likes” should they receive with the amount of money they spend? What amount of time should they be spending on social media? What should they be doing? If they don’t have confidence in their social media capabilities, they might consider outsourcing it.

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Social media is one of the fastest growing and most important marketing tools on the Internet today. Unfortunately, it’s still an area of marketing that many business owners don't understand.

It's simple to see that if you spend $1,000 on AdWords ads and get $2,000 back, you’re in the black. But what if you spend $1,000 on social media and get 6,000 likes? Was that a win, or a loss? Is two hours a day spent on social media time well spent? What should you be doing during those two hours?

If you don’t have confidence in your own social media capabilities or if you find that it’s sucking up too much of your time, you might want to consider outsourcing it.

What Companies Should Outsource Social Media?

You should outsource social media if you lack either the expertise or the time to run your social media campaigns.

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