Thursday, November 18, 2010

Twitter Marketing Strategies

Twitter is a powerful tool, but only if you can tap into the endless supply of new followers. Even with a powerful tool, you'll need to know the top strategies being used by the pros to market on Twitter. And most of those tips come from guys who've been there already.

They've made a million dollars. They've gathered thousands of leads. They've created a mega-list that will convert to sales at a whim. It can be frustrating for those out there who are struggling with the basics - trying to get a handful of followers and get them to click on your links when a new opportunity is available.

So, for those Twitter-newbies who are looking for the right way to turn your hard-worked hours in front of the computer into tangible rewards, here are my Top 4 Twitter tips:

1. Providing Value in Your Posts

Number one for Twitter and for any content creation activity to generate sales is to provide value to your readers. Twitter isn't much for tolerating the use of its service to sell things straight up, and with recent changes to their terms of service, you pretty much need to keep your selling above board.

Unless your reader have signed up to see new deals and you make it clear you'll be posting sales opportunities, you'll need to be careful with how you direct followers to your squeeze pages and lists.

The easiest way to do this is to ensure every post you put up on Twitter offers something of value to your followers. That can be a link to a blog post or article, a joke, an image you want to share, or part of a longer piece of advice. Just ask yourself before every post - is this going to help anyone?

2. Driving Actions, Twitter Style

It's pretty tough to squeeze in a call to action in a Tweet when you only have 140 characters to start with. The shortened URLs help, and you can always post more than once, but you'll pretty much need to make a lot of your CTAs implicit. Post links to blog posts that go into more detail, discuss a product that you're interested in sharing, or simply develop a following that looks to you for advice. Then, a carefully posted link will draw more attention. Your goal here should be to generate interest in readers to take action on their own. It's a bit harder, but with Twitter, it's shockingly easy.

3. Communicate and Get Involved

You have to be involved on Twitter. The companies and marketers that retweet posts they like, use @responds to have conversations, and send out DMs to people who draw their interest are the ones who have success here. I like to make sure I reply to at least 3 other tweets throughout the day. You obviously cannot do this with every tweet, but if people see you do it, it will affect them all the same.

4. Make the Most of Your Profile

It's shocking to me how many Twitter profiles I see with the same stock background, horrible photos, and poorly written bios. Use that real estate and develop a solid cover letter for anyone looking at your profile. Custom profile images can be put together for $40 by most designers and a short bio is only 160 characters. Use them wisely.

Twitter is not like other marketing tools. You cannot go out with a banner that says "buy me". It's important to develop long term strategies that will allow you to build a loyal following, and then leverage that following into viable leads, rather than sales. You'll do this with blog posts, reviews, and leading posts for people to click on.

If you do it right, profits will rise with your follower numbers. Just be willing to invest that little bit of extra time actually using Twitter as it was intended and you'll be well on your way to Twitter marketing success.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Social Rapport Online

In any type of business whether offline or online it is essential to build a rapport. Not just any rapport will do today, building a social rapport is just as important. Now you may be wondering what I mean by that well, let me tell you. Social networking is essential in any business and as I have mentioned it truly isn't anything new, merely the way it is approached is new. Referrals has always been a quintessential means to building your business and building your rapport as well. Online social rapport is a bit more difficult but it is possible.

When you meet a person you are able to build a rapport by your words, your look, your outward appearance and essentially by the people who speak about you. Your social rapport is essentially built in the same manner. Some may be intrigued with your mannerisms and your approach to building your business while others will not be. We will only try to focus on those who are intrigued. Let's face it, we can not please everyone so why try? It is important to not forget who you are! Your social rapport is closely rapped into who you are, and who you are trying to portray both online and offline. The essence of your social rapport will come from the REAL you! Are you trying to help others? Are you truly concerned with them? Are you trying to build a relationship? Or are you merely trying to make easy money? Yes, I said it! If you are merely trying to make money, let me tell you that you may make it but not for long.

The most successful people I know are concerned with who they help. They are concerned with the individual, not the dollar signs attached to such individual. Building a social rapport, is essentially building a harmonious relationship. A relationship that will benefit both, not merely one. What are you doing to build your social rapport? Having difficulties? No need to worry, that is what I am here for. Because of this very reason, I am developing a wonderful system that will help you build your relationships that will lead to filling your stadium. Yes, you too can be a ROCK STAR! For now, concentrate on being YOU, and not trying to be something or someone that you are NOT! Believe me, it won't work and if it does, it won't last.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Are You a Facebook Addict?

Some signs to look out for are the following. If you suffer from any of these 5 signs, there is a great chance you are also affected by Facebook addiction and you should take a closer look at your surfing habits to see what you can do about them.

  1. You lose sleep over Facebook
  2. One big signal that you are really addicted to the social network is the fact that you lose sleep over your activities there. Maybe it is a comment you made on somebody else's picture and how they are going to react, or whether your crush will comment on the newest picture you put online; or a status update by one of your friends that you might have gotten wrong, or similar examples. We have had reports of many readers that told us stories like these that kept them worrying and from falling asleep at night.
  3. You add every random person you meet
  4. If you have a compulsive need to add every random person you meet in your day on Facebook, just so you can "be friends", chances are that you take Facebook a bit too seriously. It can almost be like a mechanism in your brain that is telling you during a conversation: "Hey, this person is cool. Let's add them on Facebook so we can stay in touch." While it may not be a bad idea to keep in touch, the constant need to add every person on Facebook certainly shows a negative habit. Sometimes you just meet strangers during the day that you will never see again. Deal with it.
  5. You spend more than an hour a day on FB
  6. Put into effective time, the general rule would be that if you spend more than a maximum of an hour each day on the site, you are spending too much time there. Surely it depends whether you are a middle manager at a big company or "just" a student who has more time to sit in front of the computer - but no person should seriously spend more time than that a day on Facebook. In fact, one hour is still a lot. If all you did was to stay in contact with friends, write messages to meet up or exchange yourself, would you seriously need an hour for that?
  7. You can't go for a day without FB
  8. The hard exercise of every addict is to go without the drug for a day (or a certain specified amount of time). Since Facebook is pretty much a "good of daily use", the test is whether you can go without it for a day or not. Most people, even when they say they are not addicted, have a really hard time doing so. The inability to stay away for a day shows how much Facebook has become a part of your normal life and proves in fact that you are addicted.
  9. You use Facebook on your smartphone
  10. One more sign that you can not go without "the drug" is using your smartphones to check for status updates or send messages via Facebook. We are of that opinion because you could certainly get along well with just using the computer to be on the site. Smartphones unfortunately make it so easy to go onto the site that they can dramatically increase your dependence and "help" you waste so many hours on the network.
Of course there are even more signs that will tell you about your dependence on Facebook, but these 5 will give you a good idea of where you are at. So what should you do when you find out that you are in fact "addicted to Facebook"?

Well, awareness certainly is the first step. And the second step should probably be to check your surfing habits and see that you start spending less and less time on the site, maybe even quitting Facebook if you decide to do so. However, Facebook addiction is trickier than one would think, and it can be almost impossible to quit unless you know what you are doing.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Online Business Brand

The Internet is great way to brand you business & generate countless traffic to your website. A fantastic way to do this is by using Social Networking.

There are several Social Networking Sites they include:

1) Facebook
2) Twitter
3) Article Writing
4) EzineArticles

To brand yourself with the above Social Networking Sites, put a link to your website, as a Hyperlink so the customer can just click on the link to go to your site.

Facebook

What you need:

1) An account.
2) In your profile add What you do, your website links & a mission & vision statement & a photo of you.
3) Search for people who are currently working, self-employed, (plumbers, builders etc), Internet marketers. (Facebook will only allow you to add 20-25 friends a day so you may want to consider opening several a/cs.
4) Update your status as often as you possibly can, 3-6 times a day.
5) Like everything.

Twitter

What you need:

1) Followers
2) Update your status as often as you can

EzineArticles

What you need:

1) An Account
2) An article to write

When you write an article ensure that it relevant to your niche/market. When you go through the setup in the Author box, put what you do & a link back to your website.

Keep your Articles to a maximum of 500 words. Choose your Keywords before you start writing your articles, your keywords should be in the title.

When writing your article the way to do this is to

1) Write from experience

YouTube

What you need:

1) An account
2) Camcorder

What to video?

A video profile that you can add onto your lead capture page (your website). A video of any articles that you've written, when you write an article, do a video on it.
Videos on:

1) Personality.
2) Helpful - Teaching, coaching, software etc.

The other way to brand yourself is - Google AdWords Pay-per-Click(PPC).

These are all FREE ways to brand your business & FREE ways to generate traffic your website.

Google AdWords allow you to advertise your business. When you set-up your account you will be asked to enter a daily budget, this will determine how many times a day your add will appear on Google. You'll also been asked to enter the amount you want to pay when someone clicks on your ad, this called Pay Per Click(PPC).

When writing your ads use the AIDA model:

1) Attention - Get the users attention, this needs to be done in the headline.
2) Interest - Get there interest with in a couple of sentences underneath the headline.
3) Desire - Get the users desire to find out more.
4) Action - The action that the user needs to take next (visit {your website})

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Money-Making Twitter

Twitter, while free, does offer an online marketer a way to make money. And it's probably not as difficult as you might think. But, you do have to go about it a certain way.

First, you need to take the time to understand Twitter and what it's purpose is. Using it the wrong way to just tweet message after message about some money making opportunity will not earn you the income you're looking for.

Twitter, as you may know, let's people write timely messages that are only 140 characters long. These status messages can be anything from "I'm heading off to the gym" to "Find out how to get website traffic for free. Visit (some URL)".

But perhaps the most important thing to remember about Twitter is that you get back what you give. In other words, once you begin using Twitter and making status updates, you want to give as much as you can first before asking for something in return.

For instance, let's say you ran a website about tennis shoes and had tennis shoes for sale on this website. When you make your status updates, you'd first want to start by giving advice about what kinds of shoes to buy for a certain kind of activity. What shoes are important for running? Or how an arch in the shoe may help or hurt your feet and legs.

At first it may be difficult to come up with ideas to send your followers, but one way to make sure that you stay on top of the latest trends for your market is to simply find some related websites, subscribe to them using a feed reader such as Google's and then make a daily visit to these feeds to see what's being posted. As you come across information that you think may be helpful to your followers, post a link and a short update about what the story is about.

Every so often you can then recommend one of your products. For instance, if there were a story about a certain kind of running shoe that has been getting rave reviews, mention that you can get this shoe at your website.

Another key to using Twitter effectively is to make sure you're updating often. You don't want folks to forget who you are or why they chose to follow you in the first place.

Oftentimes it isn't possible to visit Twitter on a consistent basis throughout the day so you can use a service such as SocialOomph.com which will allow you to schedule your tweets; a fantastic time-saver.

The key with Twitter is to not market to everyone all of the time. Those people who make the most money using Twitter first strive to earn the trust of their followers and then market to them once in a while.

That said, the amount of money you do make from Twitter will vary greatly based upon the number of followers you have. So actively strive to follow people each and every day. In the marketing world, a conversion rate, or in other words, the number of buyers there are based upon the number of people who see a message, is usually around 1%.

At Twitter, it's usually less because not everyone will actually see your message. Oftentimes you'll find that those who you follow also have hundreds if not thousands of other people that they're following and if you fall into this statistic you'll know just how difficult it is to keep up with everyone's tweets.

The point is, the more followers you have, the more likely you are to make more sales.

So update your status often, make sure you're giving helpful information to your followers, and then only market to them every so often.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Twitter Does Magic

Are you one of the last holdouts in the Twitter revolution? If you are, you are one of the last people to accept the biggest trend in the history of the internet. Do you like being a loser? No. Well you need to get with the program. Set up a page and start sending updates out to your friends and followers. You'll see how quickly you become hooked by the addictive nature of seeing what's going on within your circle at nearly every hour of the day. A simple concept has literally erupted around the world, and the way that we all communicate with one another has changed thanks to this microblogging phenomenon. If you haven't gotten started, you may feel as if the process is hard. This couldn't be further from the truth though.

There are a ton of options for modifying your Twitter page so that you ought to be able to find a template that suits your personality to a tee. And even if not, you can just change it when the next month comes.

There are a ton of different graphical themes that you can choose from, such as animals, or buildings, or important historical events. You can literally find just anything you could possible want out there. And if you can't, you can modify something.

Twitter is this way much more than one platform for social provide with a network; it is a manner for concerning the convex blogging so that it must be aesthetically appealing and satisfying. The point of individualising your page is that as soon as someone has it visited they are this way impressed which they keep returning and also others concerning telling.

If you haven't heard of the intuitive wizard, then you have now. It is amazing! It will let you modify your page in such a way that you will fulfill particular requirements that you may have of your new background.

There are so many options to do things with it, that you do not have to have the backgrounds that there are there available. You can simply just do your own with the basic color in the background and then edit things so that they are doing whatever it is that you want.

Even if you have no idea what you are doing, you can create amazing things without any knowledge whatsoever. It is fun and easy. You can do it by clicking on a button on the top of the browser which says something like "Change background image" and then you are done and you can do this by yourself!

You can change your Twitter page whenever you want to, so you have absolutely no excuse for having a boring page.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Twitter vs. Facebook

The online marketing space is heating up like never before. Social networking sites are going all out to attract the maximum people onto their networking platform. Currently, perched on the top is Facebook with more than 500 million members and the growth is quite phenomenal. But before it became a one horse race, Twitter has made a grand impact in the social networking sphere. Both are tussling with each other to get the bigger bite of the cake. But who's winning?

Where on one hand, Facebook is as best as social networking can get, Twitter on the other hand has come up light a bolt from the blue. It really has taken the web by storm with millions of tweets being made every hour. Tweeple is what the users are calling themselves! It is a well known fact that websites generate their revenue from the online ads that they display and both Twitter and Facebook are employing innovative ways to come up with unique forms of promotional activity for businesses. In this tug-o-war of marketing, the marketer is left in a fix as to which platform to employ to get maximum impact out of his/her online marketing activity.

Facebook from a users perspective, is the coolest thing ever to happen online. People are completely hooked onto this network and marketers are justifiably exploiting this space to spread the word about their product/service. Facebook already has a well structured and very simple ad mechanism in place. But apart from this, it remains the work of the online marketer to use the indirect ways of promoting the brand.

Facebook offers Fan-pages, groups and profiles as a medium to promote oneself. Also it offers multiple ways of promoting ones' brand and is a very communicative tool for marketing. Those who have been successful at realizing the potential of these tools have already gained immensely from it. Fan-pages and groups allow the company to converse directly with their target market and involve them with all the company activities. These fan pages can be converted into interactive hubs with almost every kind of information being disseminated through this medium. Once they have the people hooked, it becomes a matter of time until the Fan becomes a customer.

Twitter in comparison has gone in for drastic innovation in terms of how people talk to each other online. Twitter can be called as a partially geeky (with its @ symbols and formulaic syntax) yet highly entertaining and engaging medium. Updates on Twitter are immediate and sometimes highly enriching. The uniqueness of Twitter is its biggest USP. Facebook is cool. While some people are drawn to geeky things, more people are drawn to cool things. It's as simple as that. The author points out that Twitter is more "geeky" because it's unique, whereas Facebook is much more "common", and then points out five reasons why Facebook marketing is far superior to marketing on Twitter.

That being said, a study has shown that Twitter may be a better online marketing medium than Facebook. Market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies revealed that nearly 20 percent more Twitter users were likely to recommend the brands they followed than Facebook users (60 percent of Facebook users, compared to 79 percent of Twitter followers).

The issue is credibility and involvement. Twitter offers immediate feedback from verified sources at one place and one doesn't have to do a lot of moving around websites to find out particular information. But one of the biggest strengths of Twitter is that it provides more viral marketing as compared to Facebook, even though it lags behind in the number of users.
That said, Facebook, because of the sheer amount of details it allows to be posted, encourages user response and involvement, and with video and photo sharing, it takes the competition to a whole new level.

Twitter and Facebook remain two very different marketing platforms and what works on one of them might not work on the other. But one can never rule out the option of using both the platforms at the same time for a successful promotional activity. The web space is replete with examples of companies which have excellently executed their Social media marketing plans by using both these platforms. In the end, effective user engagement remains the key.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Twitter: An Online Marketing Strategy

Twitter these days has gained considerable popularity in such a short period of time and the high flying web masters are asking, "Where's the Juice"?? It's SEO value is triggering curiosity for these SEO magicians who want to boost and lift their Google SERPS. However, Twitter does add a "no follow" to links submitted by users. This notifies Google and some other search engines to disregard this link. Some of these do follow links but leave them out of any ranking calculations. (Yahoo, Google); some ignore the links completely (MSN).

Ask.com is the only search engine that does not abide by Google's "no follow". This is a true indication that Google's algorithms are not regulated for all search engines. Ask.com owns about 2.5% of the search engine market share and in November 2008 there were 255 million search queries. We cannot simply ignore or disregard a source of such traffic. Ask.com is another potential gateway for visitors to our site. Twitter also supports positivity for your Alexa rankings by sending visitors to your page. In particular, usage data is sign of quality for Google and all other search engines. If you can lure people to your site via Twitter, then this is definitely an SEO value.

Does Twitter pass any link juice? Yes, it does.

SEO is not just all about building links. Optimizing a site is about creating and boosting content that can be drawn upon when needed. Each time you refer your site to a directory and every time a link to your site is published on the web, a clear walkway to your site is being opened and discovered. If people see a link and they like it, they will follow.Other metrics are involved when visitors land on a page from an outside link and these are: number of unique visitors, number of page reviews and time on site. The metrics do mattrer for the search engines.

Twitter is a social media tool meant to create community and relationships, and it does have an SEO value.Overall, not only is Twitter a source for universal communication and discussion with friends, family and peers, it is enormously useful as a marketing tool. With online products, Twitter can be used to create a hype surrounding the topic, to assess all feedback as well as spreading VIRAL messages about news, services and recent updates. It is also useful for pushing websites up the ranking of search engines fast.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Top 15 Social Networking Avenue

It is true that humans are social animals, and the gradual evolution of social interactions between individuals within specific groups has resulted in social networking sites in the 21st century. This has been made possible by the technological advancements made in the past 50 years, resulting in the development of the Internet, which has completely changed people's lives. Literally, almost any information is now available on the screen of a computer with the help of the Internet. Similarly, it is now possible to socialize with other members of online social networking sites in the comfort of your home simply by clicking a few buttons of the computer.

Online social networking is achieved with the help of some dedicated websites, which are known as social sites and facilitate the formation of communities of Internet users. The members share common interests such as hobbies, politics, sports, or religion. When a person becomes a member of a social networking site, he can start socializing with the other members in many ways, including sharing views regarding different topics, reading the profiles of other members, and even getting in touch with them. The other benefits of online social networking include developing friendships with members from different parts of the world and learning about different cultures and languages.

Facebook: Although there are more than a hundred social networking websites, the top 15 sites are the most popular. Nowadays, most people become members of Facebook, which can easily be classified as the most popular social networking site. It has been in existence since 2006, and initially, it was mainly meant for Harvard students. It was founded by Mr. Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. Gradually, it spread to other colleges in Boston, the Ivy League, and Stanford University, and today, it can boast of having more than 150 million members worldwide.

Having a Facebook account is like having a key to the world because it is possible to keep in touch with anyone irrespective of where the other person lives and without having to know his physical address, e-mail address, phone number, or screen name, as long as the person has been added as a friend. It is possible to write messages, chat, send instant messages, instantly share photos, blog, read, and watch all that the other person has posted. It is also possible to set up events or causes and invite friends, keeping them informed all the time. The success of Facebook can be attributed to the fact that it provides a common, level field where people from every walk of life can communicate with each other and socialize. Its popularity and wide reach has tempted marketers and businesspeople to use this website to market their products and services through articles and advertisements.

Twitter: Twitter is comparatively a new social networking site, but it has become very popular in a very short time. It is different in nature to Facebook, and its traffic interaction, website reach, and other factors are not of the level of Facebook. However, Twitter provides a better indication of what is popular, and its followers are more open and vocal. Moreover, the followers of Twitter are more interactive and take greater part in discussions. Twitter also gives a better scoop of celebrity chatter.

MySpace.com: This social networking site claims to be massive and the largest with about 191 million members.

MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook are the three most popular and biggest social networking sites. The other 12 sites, forming the top 15 sites, are enumerated below.

Linkedin.com: This is a business networking site with 12.5 million members.

Friendster.com: Most of the users of this site are between the ages of 17 and 30, and it was considered to be the most popular social networking site till April 2004 when MySpace overtook it. It has about 29 million members.

Stumbleupon.com: It was bought by eBay in May 2007 for $75 million, and it has 2.75 million members. It is basically a web browser tool that enables its users to discover and rate news articles, photos, videos, and web pages. It is also an ideal method of getting website promotion.

Del.icio.us: It is now a part of Yahoo!, but it was founded in late 2003 by Joshua Schachter. It is basically a social bookmarking web service and is used for discovering, sharing, and storing web bookmarks.

Digg.com: This is a great site for people who are interested in discovering and sharing content from the Internet. Members submit links and stories and vote and comment on the submitted links and stories with a spirit of cooperation.

Orkut.com: It has a membership of 5 million people. It was created by Orkut Büyükkökten, an employee of Google, and it is also run by Google. It had been created to help its members to develop new friendships and to maintain existing ones.

Classmates.com: It is one of the oldest social networking sites as it was established in 1995. It now has 40 million members. It is ideal for people who wish to be connected with old friends, classmates, and acquaintances from the entire course of their lives.

Meetup.com: Having a membership of 2 million people, the members of this site are joined together in various groups that have common interests, such as hobbies, careers, politics, movies, health, pets, books, or games. It is also a portal for offline group meetings in different places of the world.

Yahoo! 360°: This site is similar to Orkut and MySpace, and it incorporates features of social networking, photo sharing, and blogging sites. It provides a personal communication portal. However, at the moment, it is in the beta-testing phase.

Xanga.com: It is a free web-based service with 40 million members. It hosts videoblogs, weblogs, photoblogs, audioblogs, and social networking profiles.

Care2.com: It is a social networking site that was created to connect activists from all over the world. It currently has 7.2 million members.

Ryze.com: Its basic purpose is to link business professionals. This free social networking website has 250,000 members.
These are the top 15 social networking sites. However, there are many other such sites that meet the needs of other social groups.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Facebook 101

As businesses increase their use of social media to attract new customers to their products and services, Facebook can be a valuable tool for attracting your ideal client.

According to HubSpot Blog:

"Facebook has over 200 million active users and that number continues to grow steadily. It is the third most trafficked website in the world (behind Google and Yahoo) and the most trafficked social media site in the world. As early as July 2007, Facebook started calling itself one of the top people/social search engines on the web, though some disagree."

Don't make these Facebook faux-pas - they might cost you a great opportunity.

Introductions: When joining any online groups or attending networking events, make sure to introduce yourself to the host of the event. It is proper to let the host know that you are appreciative of them taking the time to put this event together. You will put yourself in a higher category than those who just attend and lurk in the corners.

Speak to everyone: While it is natural to want to make your presence known to the movers and shakers in the room, it is also good to speak and mingle with the average "Joe/Jane" in the room, you never know who knows whom. But most importantly, it is just common courtesy to speak to everybody.

Share but don't Sell: Relax. When people can see that they can relate to you, oftentimes it will lead to a conversation about what you do. Be sure to also add value to your networks. Answer questions; leave encouraging comments- anything to build up others is a plus.

Be genuine: Be nice: This may seem like a given, but you would be surprised how many people check their manners at the door, especially online. Remember to say "please" and "thank you." First impressions are lasting impressions.

Give before you take: Share useful articles and links to presentation and valuable resources that interest customers and prospects on your wall, to establish credibility.

Follow up: Be sure to make some kind of contact with the persons you've met at the event. Politely remind them how you met, comment on what you enjoyed about the interaction and see how you can be of help to them in the future. Also, if someone has made a comment about a blog, post or tweet you sent out, be sure to acknowledge them. You are letting them know that you are paying attention and you care about what they have to say.

Respect others: The best way to do this is to treat others as you would want to be treated.

Following these simple yet important etiquette tips are sure to lead you on a smooth path to making great social and business connections.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Facebook Acronym

The creation of an acronym for the word F.A.C.E.B.O.O.K. was developed to help you look at it through new eyes as a good way to be transparent and successful on Facebook. Share in this article are a few tips to help you in your journey of learning how to use Facebook to grow your business.

One way that you can think of Facebook is as a business component that is an extension of your business. As an extension of your business, Facebook can help you reach others online that you may not have had the opportunity to reach.

Below is the acronym to help you remember how you can use F.A.C.E.B.O.O.K. in unique ways:

  • F: Friendly should always be the way you choose to be positive with others via Facebook. Even if someone doesn't treat you respectably, you shouldn't respond negatively. As a business owner, your online presence is very important and how you treat others need to reflect this.
  • A: Access to you is something you clients and business partners like to have when doing business with you. Using some of the communication applications that Facebook provides is a way to build in accessibility. Doing a search in the Application of Facebook will render many helpful application such as Social RSS or Clobby.
  • C: Connecting with your mentors, clients and business partner via Facebook means that you are able to have an open dialog or communication stream with them. This could allow you to attract new clients or business associates.
  • E: Encouraging others is another way to grow your circle of influence on Facebook because being positive draws others to you. As you encourage others in a positive way then you too will receive encourage from those you are connected to via Facebook.
  • B: Building your reputation online in your industry is another good example of how you can use Facebook. As you connect with others and share your information, your reputation with grow.
  • O: Opportunity to network is one of the main reason to use Facebook. As you network, keep in mind that being pushy can be seen as negative. Show respect to others and get their permission before you blast them with information about you and your products.
  • O: Overflowing goodwill is a great thing because you will be given the opportunity to give to others through your overage. Such as giving away freebies to those who "like" your fanpage on Facebook.
  • K: Knowledge-sharing is important to growing your circle of influence online. By sharing your knowledge with others, you can become known as a subject-matter-expert which can help you cultivate a speaking career.

Hopefully, these tips will encourage you to implement Facebook in your business if you haven't already. If you have implemented it in your business, maybe you learned something new that you can do to use Facebook to grow your business.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Fact or Fiction: Social Networking

Social networking sites are fact or fictional? Whether these sites can help one to improve in the online business? These are some of the questions that appear frequently in the internet. Let us find out the answers for the questions in this article.

1] New York Times! The leading newspaper in United States published interesting and surprising news that the account holders in Facebook have crossed 500,000,000. Let us not analyze the reason for this increase in numbers. While some claim that the users are from various parts of the world and others say it is due to the free registration.

The point we are going to discuss is whether this social networking website has helped any ordinary person who is not well aware of the search engines, SEO contents etc. to improve in his online business. Everything is possible in the internet as there numerous successful entrepreneurs who were an ordinary person earlier. So, the increasing members in social networking sites are healthy one.

The following is the statistics of some social networking sites.

* Buzznet - This website is used by music and pop lovers globally. The membership number in this site has crossed 10,000,000.

* Café Mom - This website is a landing place for all the moms. Almost 1,250,000 members have registered in this site.

* Classmates.com - The site is useful for children of all ages. Competitive tests and classes are regularly conducted through these sites. Notes and question papers for college students can be downloaded from these sites. The approximate members in this site are 50,000,000.

* Flixster - This is a popular movie site where the members have crossed 63,000,000.

* Facebook - it has crossed 500 billion users. 50% of the users log in every day. 35 millions users update information in these sites every day and more than 3 billion photos are uploaded monthly.

So, with the above details you can clearly come to a conclusion that people are in search of certain information. They visit sites like these to fulfill their requirement. They share their ideas with others and find solution to their queries. When one gets the required result, the other user starts using the same site for gathering the information.

Now, the question is whether you can draw audience at the first instance just by communicating with many people. It is practically possible only if you're using the internet marketing in the right way. As an individual, you need to decide your fortune. All the facilities are available in the internet. Using it wisely, one can successfully shine in the online business.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Utilize Your Twitter Account

If you're not using Twitter, you should be. Consider how much trouble you have on a regular basis getting your emails through to someone's inbox. Spam filters, trigger happy deleters, and people who just don't read email can result in hundreds of lost emails.

Twitter is different. It provides direct, constant access to your prospects without filtering and with no spam risks. As a marketer, that kind of access is unprecedented and can help make up for all the lost prospects via email.

But, that doesn't mean everyone is having the best of luck. Some people - a lot that I've talked to - are having tremendous issues getting those followers to click through and convert. Others are simply having trouble getting followers.

Luckily, there are some specific strategies you can use that will significantly improve your overall Twitter performance.

* Follow the Right People - Just because you have trouble building relationships on Twitter doesn't mean everyone else does. Find someone who is a networker extraordinaire and tag on to them. Follow them, find the people they connect with and get involved.

The joy of Twitter is that you can see pretty much anything anyone is doing and you can get involved at any time. It's about reaching out to those people and landing the largest possible share of the market.

* 90% Useful Information - Everything you post should be valuable, useful information that your followers will be interested to read. Don't post what you had for lunch (unless you're a dieting guru trying to inspire your followers). Post things that they want to know.

The key here is to generate a mixture of useful information that can be leveraged at any given time to develop an ongoing relationship with your followers. Some people do this by reposting new blog entries. Others offer videos. Others just offer simple advice or answer questions.

* Have a Marketing Plan - As long as you see Twitter as a diversion, that's all it will be. You need to start thinking of Twitter as the valuable, high tech marketing tool that it is, and that requires a solid marketing plan.

Write up a list of tweets for the next 4-6 weeks, at least one for each day, and then use a tool like TweetLater to load them up in advance. It's hard to write tweets on a daily basis, but if you do it all at once, it might take an hour and you're set for weeks.

* Link to Twitter and Populate Your Bio - Generating followers for a Twitter profile is never easy. To supplement that, add links to your Twitter profile everywhere you can - on your blog, on your sites, on Facebook, in your articles, and in email newsletters.

Additionally, make sure that anyone who clicks those links finds a well written, concise bio that they can learn more about you from. Most people won't read your tweets to find out. They need to be told what you have to offer.

* Real World Marketing - It's too easy to get caught up in the online world and forget that you can get new followers by handing out business cards, flyers and twitter cards with your username on them. This works very well for Facebook as well.

* Aim for Retweeted Content - Aim for content that gets retweeted as much as possible. The more viral your messages can go, the more people will come see the original tweeter and possibly follow you. Images, videos, and insights into news pieces are all good examples.

* Get Some Good Tools - There are many tools out there to make Twitter easier to use. Install it on your mobile phone, add it to your web browser (TwitterFox) and load it up into schedulers (TweetLater). You can even use a service like Ping.fm to post to all your profiles, including Facebook, at once.

Twitter is not going anywhere and as it reaches a wider audience and starts to approach critical mass with more users on it than off of it, marketers will have no choice but to build their lists. Right now, it's still at the in-between state.

But with advertising platforms, sponsored tweets, ever changing rules and a vastly increasing user base, it's growing too rapidly to ignore.

Prepare yourself for the future now, and along the way make some new friends, generate some additional sales, and master the marketing tool of the 21st century.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Secure Your Facebook

There are a lot of things that I encounter that most people don't due to the nature of my work. And honestly, many of the problems I'm called upon to fix can be avoided by taking simple steps to practice what I'd like to think is "common sense" security with a healthy dose of mild paranoia.

That being said, I'm going to relate to you, my top 5 Facebook security tips to help you learn some of these common sense techniques while employing that healthy dose of mild paranoia.

Tip #1: Assume that Facebook (or any social network for that matter) is not secure.
I know you read all the social networking articles about how Facebook has upgraded their security, changed their security settings to protect you better, and so on and so forth. However, there are about the same amount of news articles being posted of how the Facebook security settings didn't work as they were intended which allowed everyone to view your profile information or your friends, how some hacker accessed Facebook account information on hundreds (and thousands) of users exposing login information and other personal data, and the list of flaws could go on.

The point is, as long as there are hackers and identity thieves, there will be flaws in even the most promising security. Assume that nothing is secure.

Tip #2: Don't post anything you would not want a stranger to see.
Just recently, a friend of mine saw that two of his Facebook connections had posted their new cell phone number on their wall. When my friend decided to call them out on such behavior, the two friends replied that only their select friends could see the post based on the security setting used when posting. See Tip #1 above if you believe that the information you've posted and set to secure is indeed secure.

Tip #3: Social Engineering is the hackers tool of choice.
Social engineering is the art of becoming friendly with a person and thereby gaining your trust. Once trust is established, the hacker can then casually get you to disclose your personal information easily and effortlessly.

As part of my student's assignment in my computer security courses, they are taught how to employ social engineering and have the assignment of just watching for signs that someone is using it. One student took those skills to a cell phone kiosk and while chatting casually with a woman about a cell phone she was using, gained information about her 4 digit pin code to lock her phone and that she used that number for everything including ATM machines. By the end of the conversation, he knew where she worked, her full name, and what she did for a living. He did all this by pretending he wanted to buy the phone she was holding in her hand! He was shocked not only by the fact that he was able to effortlessly get this information out of her, but that he, with little training was able to accomplish it.

Keep in mind that most hackers don't need complex scripts or tools to betray you. You give them the information freely every day. And if you have any doubt about that, think about how many times you hear people disclosing personal information while on their cell phones near you!

Tip #4: Pay attention to your friends.
The biggest sign that something isn't right is when your friends start behaving in ways that are not common for them to behave. What I mean by that is, recently, I had one of my Facebook friends inbox me that she was in the U.K. stranded and needed some money to get home. As it turned out, her account was hacked and this message went to all her friends. I knew she wasn't in the U.K. but had just launched a new solo business. Because I was paying attention to her posts and the way she interacts, I didn't fall for the scam.

Many times, account hacks are not so easily detected. For example, a teen received a link from a friend in Facebook chat. The friend always sends various links to him via the chat. The sad news was that the link was to a malware site that totally destroyed his laptop. This situation leads me to Tip # 5 below.

Tip #5: Always err on the side of caution.
This is where the healthy dose of paranoia comes in.

As in the case of the teen given the link from Tip #4 above, the teen should always respond back to the friend before clicking the link. If the hacker is on the friends account, one of two things will happen. Either he/she won't respond back to the chat ping, or they will not be able to answer the question regarding the link properly.

Let me explain. Let's say that this teen and his friend normally share links having to do with monster trucks because they both love them. But they hate cross-overs and SUVs. The teen could have responded to the chat link with the following message, "Is this another video about that awesome Cadillac Escalade?" A hacker, not knowing that their being baited, will respond, "Yes!" Thinking that this should be the appropriate response. If the friend legitimately sent the link, then the friend will definitely ask you if you are a hacker on the account because his friend would never respond like that!

The point is, there is a way to test your friends using very intimate details about your relationship that only the two of you know and has not been publicly announced on your Facebook wall. Obviously, if this teen and his friends bash cross-overs or SUVs, then this example might not work. But I think you get the picture.

Remember, security is a process - not an endpoint.

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