[Video] Social Media Revolution…Is Social Media just a fad?…Umm No.


If you are on the fence about utilizing social media for your business…this video should help you decide. Statistics are a wonderful thing :).

Convinced? Okay, fantastic. Now what to do? There are unlimited resources all over the web to help you get started. You can even find some here:

Facebook Essentials

Twitter Essentials

 

 

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Dustin Smith
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HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard

Is Social Media Marketing Effective?! Small Business Owners Give Us Insight…


The Effectiveness of Social Media Marketing by Small Business Owners

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***First off, if you are not sure what “Social Media” really is, you should check out this post first. ***

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So we hear a lot of hype about social media marketing (SMM) and how amazing it is, but is the  hype legitimate? It is best to not just trust the marketers, but actually research results and studies.

MarketingSherpa surveyed small business owners (the opinions we can really trust on the subject) on how effective social media marketing is for certain aspects of their marketing campaigns.

The results, to some, will be shocking and to others like myself they are exactly what is expected. SMM is, at the very least effective and in many cases extremely effective.

If you’ll notice, the chart indicates that in the area of reducing consultant costs SMM isn’t overbearingly effectively…that might be because SMM wasn’t meant to replace consultants (though it apparently has done a rather good job as only 47% say it is not effective). Using SMM increasing brand awareness, it gets your business’ name in front of a multitude of faces and sparks interest. In that realm (the top statistic), SMM is remarkably successful. So much so that it would be silly to not utilize this marketing outlet for your business or brand.

So if you are on the edge of whether or not to get on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, etc, and use them to your advantage…stop hesitating and get after it. You’ll see success after you figure out what you are doing. There is a world wide community out there to support you and feed you ideas, opinions, and solutions. You just have to take that first step.

So here you go, take that step:

Twitter Essentials

Facebook Essentials

Free Social Media Tutorial

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Dustin Smith
iMarketingDS@gmail.com
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Bad News Travels Fast, Is This Good Or Bad For Your Business?!


Bad News Travels Fast, Is This Good Or Bad For Your Company - Dustin Smith

Bad news travels fast…what can you do? …  Respond.

25% of Americans polled say they are far more likely to spread bad reviews than good reviews. This seems like rather bleak news right? Well, lets think about this optimistically. If customers are reviewing your business poorly on the web, that gives you the opportunity to respond to that customer, address their complaint, and possibly regain that custom as well as advertise your business to whomever was tuning in on your conversation. If they weren’t complaining online at all, then you wouldn’t have the opportunity to communicate with them.

Now, if you aren’t paying attention to what is said about you online, then yes, bad reviews on the web will be bad for business.

Another poll reveals that 68% of customers who leave negative feedback receive a response from the company…Here is the important statistic: 18% of those polled said that the response was enough to make them loyal customers. (Reference)

So what are some simple tasks you can undertake to monitor your reputation on the web…

1) Monitor Review Sites. Be sure to monitor local review site like Yelp.com, Local.com, Google Places, etc. On Google Places you can also claim your business listing. Here you can monitor what is being said about your business or service, its location, and more.

2) Monitor Link-backs. You can view who is linking to your website with Google Analytics, Alexa Ranking, etc. Spend some time finding out who is linking your website and whether they are spreading good vibes or just knocking your business. You should be able to contact the individual via comments or some other social outlet. This is another way you can address the individuals complaints.

3) Monitor your own site, blog, and social networks. Don’t forget about the basics. All of those outlets you are trying to reach customers through, you need to monitor those. Many customers will give feedback (positive and negative) right on your Facebook wall or they will mention you in a negative tweet.

Full Article:   MediaPost Publications Study: Bad News Travels Fast 03/09/2011.

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Dustin Smith
iMarketingDS@gmail.com
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Facebook Essentials


Facebook Logo for DustinlSmith.com blog postHere are some resources that can be used to increase your Facebook following, ease your management of your Facebook account, and increase the appeal of your Facebook fan page:

Facebook Page/Profile Tools

FBanners:
FBanners.com is a website that give you the ability to select a pre-created “Banner” that creatively and effectively uses the 5 photo slots at the top of your profile to display a message. You also have the ability to develop your own custom banner. This is a great tool for brands and businesses. An example of such a banner can be found on my Facebook Profile… go ahead and friend me while you are checking it out 😉

faceitpages:
This is a fantastic tool for small businesses and brand promoters. Through FaceItPages you can create a creative, user friendly, appealing welcome page for visitors of your Facebook page. You have dozens of options to customize your page like linking Twitter and WordPress to the page, designing 5 menu tabs that go to designated web pages, linking Youtube, and much more. More information can be found on my post:“Fantastic Facebook Page Creator and Editor!”

HootSuite:
Simply a must…HootSuite is a social media management dashboard. With HootSuite you can organize your tweets, pings, post, etc. all from a central dashboard online. You can also schedule updates to go out when you are unable to send them yourself. This is a great tool and I highly recommend it. You can get to HootSuite from here:
HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard

Facebook Applications

LinkedIn Application:
This is an app that allows you make your LinkedIn profile appear as a tab on your Facebook Page. We all know LinkedIn is powerful for networking, so this app is very cool and very useful. Check it out in action on my Facebook Page.

NetworkedBlogs Application:
This application allows you to link your blog to your Facebook Page, allows you to gain followers and follow other bloggers. Here it is on my Page

SlideShare:
This app is useful for sharing product or brand presentations with Facebook users. You can link this to your Facebook Page as a tab just like the previous two apps. You can also search and view other SlideShare presentations through this app.

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Here are some tutorials by James Hickey on how to use Facebook and how to grow your following on Facebook:

Facebook Training – James Hickey

Growing your Facebook Page – James Hickey

I have made this a permanent page on my website at
Dustin Smith – Ventown Inc.


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Dustin Smith
iMarketingDS@gmail.com
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5 Ways You Might Need to Change Your Local Marketing Campaign


5 way you might need to change your local marketing campaignAs you know, local marketing is key for businesses, especially small businesses that rely on regular customers from the local community. It is also very difficult to do effectively and requires a lot of research, time, advice, experimentation, failure, endurance, etc.

Don’t give up folks! Keep at the marketing grind! I read an interesting article that provides some insight into mistakes made in local marketing campaigns.

5 Ways You Might Be Failing at Local Marketing.

I prefer to say rename it as 5 ways you might need to change/update your local marketing campaign.

1) Use Long-tail Keywords. Typically when people search locally, they are using more specified keywords. Instead of “Computers”, they might search “computer stores Austin, Tx“. Location is important. You want to optimize your website for local searches including location.

2) List your business with Google Places. If Google offers some free way to get your business on the web, or get it more traffic, don’t hesitate, Google is your friend. Register or claim your business on Google Places, that is another chance for your business to come up in a google search. It also provides potential customers with location and positive feedback from previous customers.

3) Be sure to monitor Yelp.com. Right now Yelp is the big provider out there for customer recommendations, reviews, and local business listings. (Note: I feel like there is a new player coming into the picture to compete with Yelp) If you receive positive reviews, you want to respond with gratitude. If you receive negative reviews you want to address the issue and improve your service. Customers want to be heard and want to develop positive relationships with the businesses they frequent.

4) Build your Facebook page out. Come on guys…Facebook is the 2nd most trafficked website in the world, your business should have a presence there. You can develop great connections and network with customers. You can also build a welcome page with your logo and product beautifully designed. Check out this post for more info on that: Fantastic Facebook Page Creator and Editor

5) Don’t rely only on coupon-based services. This one is probably more like common sense. Build your own marketing presence, rather than just relying on Groupon or LivingSocial to do your work.

Check out the above link for the original article.

Thanks for reading!
Dustin Smith
iMarketingDS@gmail.com
Connect with me on LinkedIn
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HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard