Category Archives: Social Media

Reach Over 100,000 People for Only $1 Per Day

If you have a small business, chances are that your advertising budget is not enormous. Those without a marketing department (and that’s most of us!) might be at a loss for how to properly get the word out about their businesses when word-of-mouth isn’t keeping the appointment book filled to capacity. Newspaper ads can be pricey, and, let’s face it, with smartphones, tablets and laptops, how many people read the classified section of the newspaper, anyway? Trade magazines offer good advertising potential, but again, they tend to be expensive. Radio and television ads can be effective, along with being high in price. What’s a small business owner to do?

 

Did you know that for only a dollar, you can reach as many as 4,000 Facebook users? That means that over a month’s time, you have the possibility of showing over 100,000 people your ad, all for a mere $30. According to Brian Carter on The Moz Blog, if your company can’t justify spending $30 per month on advertising, knowing that you’ll reach a quarter-million readers in two months’ time, then you probably shouldn’t be in business.

 

So, what are some of the benefits of advertising on Facebook, in addition to the enormous potential you’ll have for reaching thousands of people for each dollar you spend? Here are some of them:

 

**You’ll be able to target your clients.** If you put a billboard on the side of the highway, you’ll be in prime view of lots of people. They’ll be old and young, male and female, working all types of jobs and on their way to all sorts of endeavors. Chances are, you’ll attract some of them, but the majority of the passersby will glance at your billboard and put their eyes back on the road. When you use Facebook ads, however, your ad will be in front of the type of people who are likely to use your service or buy your product. Do you tend to cater to men, women, teens, young adults, middle-agers, people in the Northeast or those on the west coast? Let Facebook know who you’re looking to target, and those are the very people who will see your ads.

 

**You’ll be in front of your fans’ friends.** Have you ever noticed those “sponsored stories” on the right side of your Facebook feed? It might say that your friend, Jane Smith, “liked” Target or Nikes or Mom and Pop’s Fish Fry. If you value Jane’s opinion, you might be likely to check out whatever it was that she liked. When you put up a Facebook ad, people who are in your target demographic will be looking at your page. If they like it, and indicate their pleasure by clicking the thumbs-up icon, suddenly those people’s friends will begin to read about it on their feeds. And on and on the cycle goes.

 

**It’s a small investment.** Spending $30 per month is a reasonable investment to make. If a few months go by and you’re not getting the results you want, then you’ve only spent a hundred bucks. If you’ve gotten some “likes” and can interact with your new fans, then the organic part of this particular marketing strategy will still be in effect, even after you stop paying for the paid ads. For just a dollar per day, it makes sense to give it a try for two, three or four months.

 

Marketing and making the best use of every advertising dollar is something that every business owner has to figure out, no matter what the size of the company. If you take advantage of the low rates and high visibility of a Facebook campaign, you may be well on your way to making your brand more well-known.

 

Do you use Facebook ads? If you have any hints or tips for our readers, please share them in the comments section below!

 

Google+: How to Maximize Your Account

If you use Google for just about anything, and we all do, you’ve probably been offered a Google+ account. If you’re already using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites, you might have wondered whether it’s worth it to take on another one. In fact it is! A few reasons include:

1. Google+ is second in social media popularity only to Facebook. Although it only launched in 2011, it boasted 343 million active users at the end of 2012, says Forbes, and is only expected to grow over time.

2. Google+ is closely tied to Google Authorship. If you run a search for just about anything, you’ll see articles and content come up with headshots next to them. With Google Authorship, the headshot next to the content that you’ve written will be yours, and a photo in search engine results can increase your chances of having your article opened by users.

3. Google+ is another excellent social media marketing tool that you can use to increase your brand recognition and online reputation.

Once you decide that Google+ will be beneficial to your social media presence, it’s important to fill out your profile as completely as possible. Upload a professional and friendly-looking headshot. Don’t forget to smile, and choose colors that complement your natural features. Remember, this will be the photo that is shown in Google search results once you get your Authorship account set up. While you’re at it, pick an image that you like for your header. Choose one from those available, or upload your own. Create a tagline that tells visitors what you stand for, in a nutshell.

Add people to your Circles by searching for them by name or through your Google account. You can designate them as Acquaintances, Friends, Family or simply those who you are Following. This is important later as you begin to share items with those in your Circles, because you can choose which groups to allow or not allow to see your posts on various topics.

Once you have some Google+ members linked to your account, it’s time to start sharing! Be sure to use all of the features offered, such as the capability to upload videos, photos and links. Feel free to include more complex articles and posts than you might on other social media sites; remember that you can filter them to avoid annoying your family members and acquaintances if need be.

Add a Google+ badge to your other websites to allow your readers to find your profile easily. Also, add links to your work to your profile in order to create a readership on other sites to which you add content. Remember to always link out to your very best efforts, and to use those same efforts in creating content for your Google+ account; this will help you keep your profile, as well as your Google Authorship account, to the very highest caliber.

Remember that the goal of having a Google+ account is to build your Internet reputation, increase your brand recognition and establish yourself as an authority in your field. By working carefully to utilize all of the features of Google+, you can see a marked improvement in your social media marketing results.

How to Use Pinterest in Your Business

pinterestIf your business has any sort of web presence at all, it’s likely that you have a Facebook account, and perhaps a blog and a Twitter account as well. One social media site that is relatively new but has grown exponentially since its launch in 2010 is Pinterest. If you’re not familiar with the site, it’s based on images, pictures and videos. Right away, your first thought may be to dismiss Pinterest because it does not seem to apply to your company or brand. Au contraire! Most businesses can benefit from getting involved with Pinterest. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Always attribute everything properly. This is probably the most important tip, because following it will keep you out of ethical and legal hot water. If you use an image from any source other than your own camera or website, you must make sure that it links back to the right place. Do not take other people’s or other companies’ work and fail to credit them; this amounts to stealing, and is a huge no-no when it comes to Pinterest (or anywhere, really!).

  • Remember your target audience. Your Pinterest account is not a personal site, but a business site, though you can certainly feel free to set one up for your own likes. On this work-related site, you want to keep in mind your target demographic. What types of articles are they reading? Make a list of several potential topics, and create boards for the top three. Add to the number of boards as you see fit.

  • Mix things up. If you are selling products, then here is your platform to feature some of your best images. If you’re selling services, however, you might feel that you don’t have enough material to share. Create a video, type out some great text about an upcoming sale or a fun fact about your industry, or create an infographic to put on your boards. Try to offer a variety of material, because you want to appeal to a variety of pinners.

  • Remember the point of Pinterest. Sharing your images only goes so far; the real point is to get people to re-pin your material without intentionally or unintentionally stealing it. What this means is that you should watermark your images with your website, so as it gets shared, viewers can always find you, even if your link ends up being improperly attributed. (If only everyone followed the very first tip above!)

  • Keep up the communication with your followers and sharers. Just like other forms of social media, Pinterest relies on its users to interact with one another. If someone shares your work, thank them by leaving a comment. You can tag them with the “@” sign, just like you would on Instagram of Facebook, and you can use hashtags (#) as well.

  • Share your thoughts and personality with your followers. Whenever you pin anything, make sure to add a thought or two to the pin. Also, feel free to give your boards interesting names. Taking the time to set up your boards in a witty or whimsical way will attract followers who will want to see what fascinating thing you’ll say next!

Pinterest is a great tool for just about any business, even one that might not seem to rely on images as a marketing tool. If you can set aside a couple of hours to explore the site, you’ll undoubtedly think of even more ways to use it in order to gain a following and make more of a name for yourself or your brand.

Do you have any tips for business owners wanting to use Pinterest? Share them in the comments section below.

Viral Content…. Good Luck!

What do Grumpy Cat, Gangnam Style, and laptop-shooting dad Tommy Jordan have in common? You know about them. And the reason that you know about them is that they were featured in memes or videos that went viral.

Unlike computer viruses and viral pneumonia, viral content is something that you actually want to catch! Your blog or website might be humming along, attracting a fairly steady number of readers each day, until, bam! You post some type of original content that “goes viral.” Within a day or two, you’re getting record-high numbers of hits, and from then on, if you’re lucky, your daily traffic will be higher than it was before you were discovered, so to speak.

So, if creating viral content were as easy as it looks, everyone would be doing it. The fact is that no one can really predict ahead of time what will be forwarded, shared, posted to social media sites and talked about to the extent that they go viral. You can, however, stack the odds in your favor by understanding what factors make content so appealing that readers feel absolutely compelled to pass it along to others:

  • Viral content should be easy to read, understand and digest. Your readers have short attention spans. Even if an individual reader wants to take the time to focus on a masterpiece, it’s likely that his friends won’t, and the content will fail to go viral. You need to create content that is easy on the eyes. Infographics, charts, engaging videos and memes with bold fonts are good bets for creating viral content. If the content is comprised of text, be sure to break it up with plenty of white space, bullets and other formatting that makes it visually appealing.

  • Viral content should elicit an emotional response. Try to think positive: Positive emotional responses are more likely to be shared with friends, colleagues, family members and acquaintances than negative emotional responses. Why is Grumpy Cat so famous? Because people think she’s cute, because people like cats, because people like identifying with others who know that cats can have grumbly demeanors. If something tugs at your heartstrings or makes you laugh out loud (literally!), you might feel inclined to click the “share” button. Of course, you can create viral content that elicits a negative response, as well: Do you remember the video, Kony, 2012? Controversy aside, people felt angered by Ugandan warlord, Joseph Kony, and wanted to make a difference by sharing their indignation along with the video.

  • Viral content should make people feel good about sharing it. Why do you share items with your friends? To increase their knowledge, to make them laugh, maybe to make sure that they know that you’re on the same side of a social issue? Put yourself in your readers’ place: Is the content that you’re sharing practically begging them to share it with others, without asking it in words or text? If so, you just might have a virus on your hands!

The main point to remember is that creating viral content is not only incredibly difficult, but also a shot in the dark. You need to create a piece that is one-of-a-kind, but mainstream enough that people will want to forward it to their friends. If you can hit the nail on the head, then you just might find yourself with a greater readership than you had ever imagined.