Tips to Become Better Integrated in Your Niche Community

Author: Guest blogger Lindsey Patterson:

The new wave in marketing is clearly social media. However, social media marketing involves more than just creating accounts on every social network. Businesses that are using social media to its full potential are seeing more click-throughs and more conversions. These companies are using social media integration strategies to engage customers, expand their reach and enhance the online reputation of their brand.

Social networks provide platforms where communities can form around specific topics, industries and interests, and your business can become an influence in the conversations revolving around your own brand.

google plusUsing Google+ for Your Business

Google+ is fast becoming a necessary part of any social media marketing plan. With personalized search results, Google+ is one of the best ways to reach your niche community. Take advantage of the following G+ capabilities.

1   Become a member of any Google+ Communities which relate to your industry. You can’t circle an individual until they circle you, so Communities allow you to extend your reach and create business contacts when appropriate. You can also influence conversations amongst consumers about your brand.

2   Google+ Hangouts are an easy way to create content marketing. You can hold panel discussions with experts from your field or Q&A sessions with actual customers about new products and services. Record this video chat session and upload it to YouTube from the same G+ network. One Canadian photographer, Billy Wilson, has had success creating a following on Google+ using Hangouts On Air. He brings together artists, musicians and personalities every week to discuss world issues in a Hangout called, “That Show With Billy Wilson.”

3   Being that Google is already a search engine giant, establishing Google Authorship is the way to place your business at or near the top of search results. This is established simply by linking your G+ profile to your company website or blog and vice versa. Google ranks Google Authorship posts at the top of the results. The link to your post, which will include your profile picture, will stay ahead of any knock-off posts which might have followed your original content.

4   Google+ Events is a great way to promote parties, promotions or sales, and webinars for your business. The invitations sync automatically with Google Calendars, and attendees can share photos of the event directly to its photo album using a mobile app.

facebook_like_buttonDevelop a Community on Facebook

Approaching one billion users, Facebook is obviously a marketing force that can’t be ignored. Zappos, an online shoe sales company, has created a successful Facebook marketing campaign. Their slogan, “Let’s be in a Like-Like Relationship” is a clever invitation to become a fan of their Facebook page. Here are three other ideas which can help you develop a Facebook following.

1   Offer certain “fan-only” content.

2   Start a photo contest such as Fan-of-the-Week where fans can share photos of ways they are using your products.

3   Giveaways encourage fans to invite their friends to like your page.

 

Integrate Your Platforms

An essential part of any marketing plan is knowing the message you want to share. The delivery of this message should vary with each platform but the message itself must be clearly maintained. Consumers lose interest quickly in businesses that copy and paste content into multiple platforms. However, you can link your accounts and platforms to help spread the word about your brand. For example, Vivint, a home security and automation company, is an active user on Google+, using it as a platform to connect people to their blog and websites. The final three tips for integration are taken from Vivint’s example.

1   Post regularly to a company blog and share the links on social platforms.

2   Use a variety of content for posts including video, articles and photos.

3   Use widgets on your blog and websites to encourage users to share content.

With these tips, you can use Google+ and social media platforms to develop a community. When customers feel a part of your community, they develop trust, which results in more loyalty and referrals for your business.

 

Lindsey Patterson is a freelance writer who specializes in technology and the latest social trends, specifically involving social media. She is currently a social media advisor to Vivint.  Be sure to follow them as well via Vivint’sTwitter.

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Joe Soto is the CEO of One Social Media. A leading expert in social media marketing, Joe has over 16 years of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, online lead generation, and Internet marketing.

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

tortoiseSocial media success does not happen overnight, and that is always worth remembering. Just like in real life, relationships and bonds between you and your customers can take a long time to build.

I’ve witnessed too many businesses leap into social media marketing with gusto, only to give up shortly afterwards because they did not have the 1.6 million Facebook likes and a ton of sales after their first week.

Be patient and work your strategy for the long run.

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Joe Soto is the CEO of One Social Media. A leading expert in social media marketing, Joe has over 16 years of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, online lead generation, and Internet marketing.

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Canadian Astronaut is Now a Social Media Superstar

 

chris hadfield

Col. Chris Hadfield in Space

A few weeks ago, Chris Hadfield’s name was not so well known, even in his native Canada. The 53-year-old may have been the country’s most experienced astronaut, the first Canadian to walk in space and a veteran of two Shuttle missions, but few people would have stopped him in the street to ask for an autograph. Then, on December 21st, Hadfield (pictured) arrived at the International Space Station for his latest mission and everything changed. In a deliberate campaign to take earth by storm, Hadfield harnessed the power of social media to inspire the sort of interest in space exploration that NASA and other agencies have been trying to attract for more than a decade.

Now he is on the way to becoming a star in his own right, the first internationally recognizable astronaut since the grainy black and white television images made Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and the original Apollo astronauts into superstars. Hadfield used his Twitter feed and a high-powered camera to bring the beauty of the world, as well as the banalities of space, to hundreds of thousands of people on social media. With seemingly incessant 140-character bursts accompanied by stunning photographs, shot from a glassed-in section at the bottom of the space station orbiting 400 kilometers above the earth, the former fighter pilot with a love of music and a poet’s turn of phrase has seen a 15 fold increase in Twitter followers since he blasted off on a Soyuz rocket before Christmas.

It’s not just Twitter. He took part in an “epic” Ask-Me-Anything session on internet forum Reddit last Sunday – under the headline “I am astronaut Chris Hadfield, currently orbiting planet earth” – that drew 7,786 comments.

He has made slick YouTube videos about life on the space station. And on Friday he and two colleagues did NASA’s first live Google+ Hangout from space, answering questions submitted during a live video downlink.

But this social media blitz is no accident. It is part of a plan cooked up before Hadfield’s latest mission began. Elder son Kyle, 29, came up with the idea to get his father’s space message out through Twitter, while younger son Evan, 27, runs the unofficial mission control from Darmstadt, south of Frankfurt in Germany. He devotes up to 16 unpaid hours each day to run his father’s various social media sites, including Facebook, Tumblr and Google+.

The effect of Hadfield’s undertaking, which has featured breathtaking photographs of January’s Australian wildfires, a spider’s web of Beijing streetlights and the green hue of the northern lights overlooking Britain, follows in the great tradition of Armstrong and Aldrin’s moon landing in 1969, or the Apollo 8 crew’s photo in 1968 of the earth rising on the moon’s curved horizon, which helped fire the public’s enthusiasm for space exploration.

“He’s managing to grab the attention of segments of the public that were not typically interested in the space program,” said rookie Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques.

Hadfield also beamed back video showing how astronauts prepare meals and explained why tears sting in space, because they stick in one’s tear ducts rather than roll down one’s face. He took his guitar to the space station, both to pass the time and record original music. “We have to view spacecraft and the space station as a place where people live, not just as life rafts where you barely survive,” said Saint-Jacques.

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Joe Soto is the CEO of One Social Media. A leading expert in social media marketing, Joe has over 16 years of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, online lead generation, and Internet marketing.

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The Best Mobile Apps for Valentine’s Day?

imeetYes, love is in the air. Valentine’s day is here and perhaps you are doing some last minute planning. You’re in luck. There are several mobile apps to help make your Valentine’s Day an unforgettable one. From using Pinterest for last minute gift ideas, to using DateEscape in case you want to fake your way out of the date you are on.

Here’s a fun Infographic from PGI to help you plan out your Valentine’s Day! Enjoy!

 mobile apps for valentines day

Infographic by PGI | Design by Column Five

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Joe Soto is the CEO of One Social Media. A leading expert in social media marketing, Joe has over 16 years of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, online lead generation, and Internet marketing.

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Social Super Bowl XLVII [Infographic]

 

With the recent Super Bowl XLVII, viewers took part in the action by sharing their opinions about everything related to the game, half-time show, much-awaited advertisements, and even the blackout that occurred. And with the number of laptop, smartphone and tablet users, the social media world became abuzz with trending topics like #blackoutbowl and #SuperBowl.

This also reinforces the emergence of the second screen, and how mobile devices have changed how we watch TV.

Whispr Group compiled all the information related to the behavior of netizens during the event into the infographic below:

super_bowl_infographic

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Joe Soto is the CEO of One Social Media. A leading expert in social media marketing, Joe has over 16 years of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, online lead generation, and Internet marketing.

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What’s Your 2013 Social Media Plan Look Like?

social media planIt’s 2013 and there are still many businesses, big and small, without a social media plan.

Diving into social media without having a plan is like trying to build a new home without a blueprint. For the past three years I’ve seen it so much I now consider it to be the number one biggest mistake made in social media marketing.

You wouldn’t start a new business without a business plan. Why would you put your business on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and start a blog without a plan?  In 2011 my wife and I took our children to Walt Disney World for a week. She spent more time planning out that week than most business owners I’ve met in the last three years ever spend on their social media plan.

If I met your marketing team today, would they all have a copy of and be on board with your company’s social media plan? Would they know what or how you were going to measure your campaigns?

Social media ROI becomes questionable when you don’t have a plan in place that you can measure.

Intuit recently shared an infographic showcasing a plan for managing your social media presence and answers the most common questions of ”How do I use it? Why should I use it? What do I say? Who has the time?”

social media plan infographic

 

Infographic by Intuit | Design Credit: Column Five Media

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Joe Soto is the CEO of One Social Media. A leading expert in social media marketing, Joe has over 16 years of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, online lead generation, and Internet marketing.

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New Law Prohibits Employers from Accessing Personal Social Media Accounts of their Employees

Social Media PrivacyIt’s official! Effective January 1, California and Illinois based employers are no longer allowed to ask for their job seekers and employees’ usernames and passwords to their own social media accounts. This is based on the new legislation signed by Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn last August. The legislation, amends the State’s ‘Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act.’, moves to prohibit employers to pry on the private social media accounts of their current or potential employees. A month later, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation; which added the prohibitions to the State’s Labor Code. The other states that have implemented these privacy laws include Delaware, New Jersey, Michigan, and Maryland.

The legislation was prompted by both worker and privacy advocates who were concerned about the issue of employers making use of these social media accounts as basis for their hiring and employment. With the help of this legislation, employees will not feel the need to be-friend the person in charge of human resources or even delete their social media accounts. Additionally, employers are banned from sending out such requests to their employees. This holds true for jobs that need comprehensive background screening.

While this law prohibits employers from gaining access to the private social media accounts of their employees, it does not stop them from being able to review the publicly available information found on their employees’ social media accounts. At the same time, they can still monitor employee data and email stored on company computers.

Thanks to this new law, employers are prohibited from terminating employees for failing to give access to their personal social media accounts or even give up their accounts in such sites.

 

[Source: Computerworld]

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Joe Soto is the CEO of One Social Media. A leading expert in social media marketing, Joe has over 16 years of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, online lead generation, and Internet marketing.

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Social Media and the Movie Industry: A Love-Hate Relationship [Infographic]

One Social MediaFor several years now, online piracy has been an ongoing issue; particularly with the film industry. In fact, the annual sale of movie tickets has always been on a downward trend. But why is it that movies have been able to withstand this curve? The irony there is that it is the same medium that has continued to keep the industry afloat all these years—the internet.

So how does Hollywood make use of social media and viral marketing to make up for the loss of ticket sales? Here’s an infographic created by law firm Allmand Law to give us some insight.

How-Is-the-Film-Industry-Avoiding-Bankruptcy-12_18_12

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Joe Soto is the CEO of One Social Media. A leading expert in social media marketing, Joe has over 16 years of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, online lead generation, and Internet marketing.

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What Can Your Business Learn From ‘The Great Social Customer Service Race?’

The following is a guest blog post from Ashley Verrill, a market analyst with Software Advice.

metrics measured“The Great Social Customer Service Race” was to created to evaluate how efficiently the nation’s top brands provide consumer support on Twitter. We wanted to learn what kinds of tweets received a response, and how quickly.

To conduct the race, four Software Advice employees used their personal Twitter accounts to send customer service tweets to 14 leading consumer brands in seven industries. Each company received one tweet per weekday for four consecutive weeks. During the first and third weeks, our employee participants used the brand’s Twitter name with an @ symbol. Using the @ triggers a notification to the account owner that they’ve been mentioned in a tweet. In the second and fourth weeks of the race, only the brand name was used.

The questions fell into five categories: urgent, or I need help right this second; positive (“thank you!”); negative; a question from their FAQ page; Technical, or needs more than one interaction to solve. The evaluations in the infographic are based on the time it took the brands to respond and the percent of total tweets that received a reply.

Here’s a snapshot of the results:

  • 90% of the responses occurred when the @Brand was used, less than 8% came from Brand mention with no @
  • The negative questions by far received the least amount of responses (5%). Others: Urgent (24%), Positive (22%), FAQ (24%), Technical (24%)
  • Bank of America and Home Depot were the only ones who responded to no @ mentions
  • Bank of America had the overall best response percent at 17.5%
  • MasterCard responded the fastest when they did respond with an average 34-minute response time
  • Starbucks, Visa and Apple didn’t respond at all

Some lessons learned include:

Don’t leave the customer hanging. Coca-Cola and McDonald’s committed huge errors when two of their replies came several days after the questions were sent. For the instant-gratification customer, this is the same as not responding at all.

Don’t miss messages with important keyword triggers. When we designed questions for the race, we specifically included questions with important intent, sentiment or risk of switching brands. Social listening software can be programmed to send service messages to the front of the line if they contain keywords such as “help,” “mad,” “thank you.” These rules are imperative for brands that need to automate tweet prioritization.

Don’t be a robot. Customer service expert, best-selling author and speaker Micah Solomon told me recently that being human in your engagements with customers on Twitter is one of the most important considerations. Twitter is a social platform, your responders need to talk and act like they would interact with their real friends and family. Say thank you. Be personal.

Listen for your brand, @ or no @The social customer service innovators watch and respond to non-@ mentions because they see the opportunity to really surprise and delight. Most social listening software can be programed to listen for mentions without the @, with the @, and #brandname.

The Infographic:

social customer service race

About Ashley Verrill

Ashley Verrill is a market analyst with Software Advice. She has spent the last six years reporting and writing business news and strategy features. Her work has appeared in myriad publications including Inc., Upstart Business Journal, the Austin Business Journal and the North Bay Business Journal. Before joining Software Advice in 2012, she worked in sales management and advertising. She is a University of Texas graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Joe Soto is the CEO of One Social Media. A leading expert in social media marketing, Joe has over 16 years of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, online lead generation, and Internet marketing.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - LinkedIn - Pinterest - Google Plus

The Rapid Rise of Native Advertising and What it Means to Your Business

Native AdvertisingYears ago we thought an “advertorial” was special and unique. Today, advertorials are predictable and often skipped over like pop-ups or banner ads.

This year’s most important buzz term in advertising, “native advertising,” has gotten the attention of the online advertising community. Yet, most are still confused how to define what it really means.

We now live in an online world where native advertising “contributes value to any page it graces by improving user experience and adding value for consumers,” as defined by Solve Media, a digital advertising firm.

Chances are you’ve read, clicked on, and found native advertising valuable at some point online, without realizing you were interacting with what many are considering to be the biggest online advertising growth opportunity for 2013.

“Creating brand content and distributing it through native ad formats is the way that world-class businesses now connect with their consumers,” states Dan Greenberg, CEO of Sharethrough in a recent TechCrunch article.

Here’s an Infographic by Solve Media to help you better understand native advertising:

 native advertising infographic

 What are your thoughts? Will you redirect some of your ad budget to native advertising in 2013?

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Joe Soto is the CEO of One Social Media. A leading expert in social media marketing, Joe has over 16 years of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, online lead generation, and Internet marketing.

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