9 Tips for More Effective Facebook Marketing


Facebook is NOT welcoming of the marketing efforts of its users; and often, family and friends on Facebook are ANNOYED by marketing efforts. Both of those statements are undeniable. So trying to “market on Facebook” requires good sense, strict moderation, and an understanding of how Facebook might work for marketing purposes.

Personally, I rarely post any marketing messages on Facebook. I post them on Twitter frequently, but I also try to make sure that 75 – 90% of what I post on Twitter is either personal interaction, plugging good free content, or plugging other people’s stuff. I do think, however, that monetizing my content on even free social media platforms is perfectly acceptable. Why? It’s simple. Even though the platforms are provided to me for free, I’m also providing the content that allows the network to exist. If nobódy posted on Twitter, they’d be broke.

So again, in moderation, with good sense, and with a priority on relationships over sales, marketing across these platforms should be an acceptable thing. Now about the good sense part.

Why is it That Social Platforms Are So Effective for Marketing?

People are social, by nature, so they love recommending stuff they like. Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms have a rapidly expanding user base. Authenticity is demanded as people will give honest and public feedback. The platforms are accessible and easy to use by design, even by people with few technical skills.

For the most part, marketing across social platforms is free, but doing it badly can cost dearly.

Why Is Facebook So Important to Messaging and Marketing?

With 500 million (and growing) unique users worldwide, Facebook is the number one social networking site in terms of activity and subscriptions. What started as a garage initiative by Mark Zuckerberg has now become the biggest phenomenon on the internet.

A user interface that allows for quick communication and the ability to create fan pages and groups at the clíck of a button are what make Facebook extremely popular. Another important reason for its immense popularity is the wide variety of social applications that have been developed and made available within the Facebook environment.

Facebook provides a wide variety of avenues to communicate with the audience, which opens up an entirely different world of possibilities to have a fruitful dialogue with customers. Some of these methods used popularly by marketers are:

Advertising: The first, which is the most obvious one, is advertising on Facebook. The difference, however, is the fact that you can create an advertisement in a matter of minutes and also specify the details of your target group in terms of demographics and types of discussions where you want your advertisement to appear.

Fan Pages: Facebook allows every brand, as well as individual users, to create fan pages for their favorite celebrities and their own businesses. Large brands have also created their official pages on Facebook that have a huge, immediate fan following world-wide. The fan page has immense utility to convey first hand information about the brand and also to collect immediate and frank feedback from your customers.

Branded Applications: One of the most effective ways to engage a user toward your brand is by creating an application; this could be a game or a contest, with your branding coming across subtly through it.

What makes Facebook even more exciting is the way it allows you to target your communication sharply just to the customer segment you want to attract. It also provides analytics and page insights that give good feedback and measurement on the activity done.

Facebook is envied by other platforms and internet companies because, at least for now, they own the social graph. If Google has mapped the Internet’s URLs, Facebook has mapped the Internet’s personal relationships and connections, and that’s extremely valuable. Why else would a company with virtually no physical assets to speak of (other than offices, servers, and datacenters) be worth billions of dollars?

9 Tips for Using Facebook to Market a Message

If you’re thinking about jumping into the idea of marketing (or messaging even without the goal of profit), here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Facebook, like any other online platform, has terms of use. Respect them or be prepared to be banned as well as criticized mercilessly.

2. Facebook is about relationships. You don’t have a “relationship” with a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman – so don’t be one on Facebook.

3. Being personal is everything. Successful Facebook marketing campaigns revolve around personality.

4. There isn’t a magic formula for making any message “go viral.” You can’t control a virus – that’s what makes them viral.

5. People like Facebook for entertaining stuff. In fact, entertainment is defined as “holding one’s attention.” Remember this.

6. Facebook ads are more personally targeted than ads anywhere else.

7. Being “liked” can work very, very well for your message. Being “unliked” (no, there’s not a button, but it can happen) can bury you.

8. Facebook is in control. Always remember this and don’t ever, ever assume its available tools won’t change. They have and they will.

9. Don’t build a business on Facebook marketing – or Twitter marketing – or newspaper ads, radio ads, TV ads, or leaflets dropped from hot air balloons. Build your business on a great product, a great message, and great relationships.

What did I miss?


About The Author

Brandon Cox is a Communications nut, a blogger, designer, web entrepreneur, and a Pastor at one of America’s largest churches, Saddleback Church. And he loves helping people blog for income.

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SEO and Social Media Matter for Press Coverage


When businesses think about search and social media, a great deal of the time, they are thinking about traffic, customer engagement, and brand awareness. While these are all good things to consider, there may be more to that last one that you have spent much time thinking about.

Brand awareness goes beyond just having a random customer find your site in a set of search results or through a link from their Facebook news feed. Have you considered how channels like search and social media are used by media outlets and journalists? The fact of the matter is that journalists and bloggers alike utilize both to a great extent while covering their beats.

Do you take press coverage into consideration? Comment on this at WebProNews here.

Search and social both play significant roles in PR. This is a topic that WebProNews recently discussed with TopRank Online Marketing CEO Lee Odden. Odden calls journalists customers, and in many ways they should be treated as such when it comes to getting your product or site in front of their eyeballs.

Odden says to look at what it is you can do as a marketer to make it easier for the journalist to do their job. Optimize your content for what a journalist is looking for. This is one way you can potentially increase your media coverage, which can obviously increase brand awareness.

Odden makes a great point online journalists often having tighter deadlines, and turning to blogs and social networks for sources and quotes. For example, the real-time nature of a Twitter search might be just what a journalist or blogger need to find someone who’s talking about the subject they’re writing about, at nearly the moment they’re looking for it.

For that matter, Google’s real-time search can help for the same reason, and most journalists and bloggers frequently use Google to search for what they’re looking for. If what they’re looking for happens to be related to a newsy topic, they just might see Google’s real-time results literally before anything else. If that topic happens to be related to something you’re talking about, you just might end up in those results too. Google is also indexing updates from Facebook Pages here now, by the way.

The point is, if you are looking for increased media coverage, there are ways to increase your chances of getting in front of the right people, and it is certainly not limited to real-time search. Sometimes journalists/bloggers will simply tap their contacts within their social networks (or email of course) to find sources. This is as good a reason as any to engage in social media on a regular basis and network with lots of relevant people.

If attracting media attention is what you’re after, consider these five tips I offered in a SmallBusinessNewz article last year:

1. Do something that’s different – Simply do something that makes you stand out: something that gets people talking. If it creates enough buzz, the media coverage will likely follow.

2. Look for niche publications – the more niche the publication, the more likely they probably are to cover you.

3. Personalize your message – When you’re writing an email to a publication to talk about your business, for example, personalize the message for the specific person you’re contacting, so they know it’s not just a manufactured piece that you’re sending all over the web. Journalists like exclusivity.

4. Find multiple contacts – If you can find more than one contact for a particular publication, it may be wise to send your story pitch to them. This will increase the potential visibility among the publication’s staff.

5. Provide plenty of details – When sending such a pitch, it’s a good idea to include as many details about the product/story as possible. The more details available, the less research is required, and time is more valuable than ever, especially for a journalist.

Another piece of advice I would give is to not let your press center hold back your marketing opportunities. I’ve seen a lot of companies fail to keep their own press centers up to date with the latest news, even as big announcements are made, and even if they have issued press releases. Often times, these releases won’t even be available on the site until later. If you want to increase your chances of more media coverage, you should always have your latest news readily available in your press center, or via your blog – wherever you make announcements. And always provide contact info.

About the author:
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow WebProNews on Facebook or Twitter. Twitter: @CCrum237

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39 Free/Low-Cost Tools for Marketing Your Small Business Online


Thousands of free online marketing tools clamor for attention, with new ones popping up every week it seems. You know you should be doing more to reach out to your customers, but just researching which tools to use can be a vast time investment, even if they don’t require a big financial outlay.

Below is a compiled a list of the most popular (or most useful) low-cost or free small business marketing tools. You might be using some of them already, but you’re sure to find a couple that will round out your small business marketing toolkit nicely. And, if you’re just starting out marketing a new business online, this list may help point you in the right direction.

Directories

The Open Directory A staple of the SEO crowd, this directory can be tricky to get into but well worth it for the link juice it passes along to your site.

Yahoo! Directory – It’s not free – this directory will set you back a couple hundred bucks a year – but it’s well worth it for inclusion.

Best of the Web Directory – This directory has been around a while and can pass along some good PageRank to your site.

Niche Directories

Find the directories in your industry that pass along good link building opportunities. Some examples to get you started: SBDGraphics.com for ad agencies, web developers, printers and other graphics professionals; sbdpro.com for small businesses and businesses that serve them; Cpapro.com for the accounting industry; SEOAlpaca.org for alpaca breeders, and so on.

Press Release Distribution Services

Marketwire – The most bang for your buck from an actual wire service, Marketwire’s prices are lower than PR Newswire and Businesswire. This newer service is built for powerful online exposure, and you’ll enjoy the full online distribution with any geographical AP wire distribution. (Sometimes you can get statewide wire distribution for nearly the same cost as only your local metropolitan area.) It’s great for building inbound links – just choose the SEO Enhanced option.

PRLog – A good-performing free press release distribution outlet, PRLog press releases rank really well and for a really long time if they are written with SEO copywriting best practices. Press releases include three links, though they are URL based (starting with http) rather than text anchor. PRLog also lets you create your own newsroom where all your press releases reside, as well as an “about us” page and product showcase area.

PitchEngine – A relatively new PR-for-social-media site that promises to let you create and share press releases easily and for free and syndicate content to Google News. Lets you include HTML in your press release, so you can use keyword text anchor links. The site is marketing itself quite aggressively and will likely build a big presence quickly. The only catch is your release will disappear off the site after 30 days if you aren’t a paid member ($50/month for your own press room).

Email Marketing

AWeber – AWeber makes it easy to start building your email marketing list, if you haven’t already. For less than $20/month, you can build unlimited newsletter lists, send unlimited email blasts, and email unlimited autorespond messages to up to 500 subscribers/list. (Then it’s $29/month up to 2500 subscribers.) Also offers a recurring 30% commission – a pretty good affiliate program for a service you’ll appreciate enough to recommend to others. (Disclosure note: the link above is our affiliate link. We’ve been using the service for 3 years now, after trying out Constant Contact and researching about 20 other providers! Most either do autoresponders or email blasts/newsletters – not both.)

Content Sharing Websites

Squidoo – Create a lens around your business area. A good one with lots of information will even rank in the search engines and can bring traffic to your web site.

Scribd – Share your expert content like white papers and articles. You can make them available for free or sell them. You can submit documents in PowerPoint, Word, PDF and many other file formats.

SlideShare – Post your presentations and documents online for others to view and share. This is a great way to get exponential exposure for your sales or marketing materials – or share documents privately. See some tips for getting more visibility with SlideShare: http://bit.ly/aNXmS2

Flikr – Does your product or service translate well visually? Use this popular photo sharing site to get more eyeballs.

Blip.tv – A video-sharing alternative to YouTube, blip.tv lets you embed links in your descriptions and create a TV station showing all your videos in one spot.

Social Networks

Facebook – Create a page for your business. Feed your blog in. Start a group. Get fans. Advertise to targeted users if your products appeal to the Facebook crowd (which is basically everyone nowadays). See using the new Facebook business page layout to learn more. Stop by our page and become a fan, too!

MySpace – Take a second look at this medium for social networking. According to MarketingProfs, more than half of MySpace.com users are 35 or older. Explore using MySpace for your business.

LinkedIn – Like a virtual Rolodex. Build your professional profile, link up with other professionals, join groups or even start a group. Participating in Q&A’s related to your profession is a great way to build credibility and visibility.

Ning – Build your own social network around your business. You may even get your network into the search engine results pages. Learn more about using Ning for business. (http://bit.ly/amLKcE)

Read “Utlize Social Media to Gain Additional Exposure for Your Site” (http://bit.ly/bcoWEQ) for more information about social networks and how they can drive targeted traffic to your site.

Social Bookmarking

Digg – Getting your content on the home page of Digg is one way to bump up your web site’s traffic by thousands within minutes. This can result in valuable links to your site. Start with this beginner’s guide to Digg.

StumbleUpon – Build friends and send them your articles to rate. More thumbs up will get your article shown to more people outside your network and can result in thousands of visitors every day. Tips for using StumbleUpon.

Reddit – Even if your content gets buried on Digg, it can flourish on Reddit – which can be a catalyst for jumping to the home page of other social bookmarking sites. Learn more about the types of topics that do well on Reddit.

Blogs

Your own blog -

Write great content relevant to your business area that people will find useful. Use it to link to deep pages on your site to help them get indexed in the search engines. Build your thought leadership and let your customers get to know your business better. Try WordPress for an easy-to-use platform that’s also search engine friendly.

Others’ blogs -

Read and comment on other blogs in your industry. Use your comment signature to link back to your blog or web site. Build relationships online and spread the link love from your own blog to others’.

Twitter

Micro-blogging. Update your status daily or a couple times a week. Use keywords in your posts and profile to help gain followers on Twitter quickly. Link to your unique content in your updates and take advantage of the multitude of new applications created to help you manage your Twitter experience.

Affiliate Marketing

Post Affiliate Pro

Traditionally links generated through affiliate marketing have not been helpful for search engine optimization – until Post Affiliate Pro, that is. This easy-to-use affiliate program lets you set up a referral program in minutes and keeps your links simple and search engine friendly.

Technorati

Claim your blog at Technorati to make sure it’s indexed in the blog search engines and have your updates broadcast across the network.

Your Own Web Properties

Create A Knowledge Center

Build a content area on your site where you can add articles regularly. This can be as formal as white papers or case studies, but it can also work with less formal articles, as long as they further your company’s thought leadership position and credibility. They will also boost your search engine rankings if you contribute regularly and ensure your site architecture is optimized. See how we’re doing this with SEO Advantage’s new knowledge center.

PowerReviews

People are going to look up user reviews whether on your site or elsewhere – might as well take advantage of the user-generated content for additional search engine visibility. You’ll also rank higher in trust with your efforts at transparency.

SurveyMonkey

Voting/polling/surveys. A tool of engagement that lets you gauge interest, measure customer satisfaction or just provide some fun. (People love to give their opinions.)

Awards and Contests

Enter them and host them. Winning an industry award can add to your credibility, and giving them out can get you lots of press coverage and links. Get creative.

Search Engine Optimization

Make sure your site architecture is optimized for maximum exposure in the search engines. Create link-building campaigns. Add to your content regularly. Enlist the services of a search engine optimization company to guide your efforts or handle implementation completely.

Research

Google

Designate the keywords you’d like to keep track of, and Google will send you alerts of news and pages indexed on those topics “as it happens” with Google News Alerts. You can also enter multiple terms at Google Trends to compare the general level of buzz around those terms.

AllTop

An “online magazine rack”, this site aggregates content and organizes it. Select your topics and have the latest content delivered to you, or just browse the site when you’re in research mode. Also, be sure to submit your site so it shows among the related content.

WordTracker

Find keywords with a more comprehensive tool than free pay-per-click research tools, which may skew results. A free trial will give you an idea of how it works.

Yahoo! Pipes

See who’s talking about your company or brand by pulling together RSS feeds from different sources around the Web using the beta Yahoo! Pipes. This handy video shows you how.

Analytics

You need to measure all your online marketing efforts. If you’re looking for a free analytics package, try Google Analytics or Yahoo! IndexTools. (Which is better?) However, you’ll probably want some help implementing and interpreting your analytics package to get the most from it – ask your SEO company if they offer this.

About The Author
Stone Reuning is president of SEO Advantage, a search engine optimization company that helps businesses harness the revenue generation potential of their websites. Referenced in books such as “Writing Web-Based Advertising Copy to Get the Sale” and the BusinessWeek bestseller “The New Rules of Marketing and PR”, http://www.seo-advantage.com/ offers information to help small businesses compete online.

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Email Marketing Not Dead Yet


Because email marketing is one of the oldest forms of Internet marketing, many people think it is outdated and not useful. But according to blogging legend Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, it is anything but dead.

He began utilizing email newsletters since his parents wanted a way to get the latest content from his blog. Rowse originally thought that RSS would kill email marketing but now realizes that email is one of the most popular ways that people, both young and old, access information on the Web.

As a result of his email marketing efforts, two thirds of the people that subscribe to his blog now subscribe to his weekly newsletter as well. Only one third of the people that subscribe to his blog also subscribe to his RSS feeds. Consequently, email is now one of Rowse’s most effective forms of marketing.

On a side note, Rowse along with two other blogging rockstars Chris Brogan and Brian Clark, have joined together to create a philosophy known as the Third Tribe. Traditionally, bloggers have been linked into one of two groups. The first group does not like to sell or market at all. The second group, also called the Internet marketing crowd, markets continually.

Rowse, Brogan, and Clark are building a site to help people who want to find a balance between the two groups. WebProNews will keep you posted on the Third Tribe as more information becomes available.

About This Article:
This article was provided via WPN Videos – Email Marketing Not Dead Yet on November 10th, 2009

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The Value of Video Branding


Although online video has been around for some time now, it has seen extensive growth in the past couple of years. Based on research from comScore, YouTube is even the second largest search engine following Google. According to Kevin Ryan, CMO of WebVisible, marketers have finally realized their need to utilize video.

He went on to say that they understand the importance of having their own YouTube channel. This allows brands to have control over the message they send out to the public. Another method for maintaining that control is hosting video on your own site, as we do here at WPN. With video hosting, there are costs involved as well as the need to provide high quality production to reinforce the brand.

Overall, people are beginning to take video a lot more seriously. Ryan still refers to the space as the “Wild Wild West” but says we are starting to see inklings of what it could look like in the future.

 
About This Article:
This article was provided via WPN Videos – The Value of Video Branding on Oct 9th, 2009
 

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MONAVIE EMV – Energy Drink and Business Opportunity


MonaVie has just come out with an “all natural” energy drink to rival competitors like Red Bull and Monster called ‘EMV’. The product is now also endorsed by Indy driver Tomas Scheckter (as well as other athletes and a few Major League baseball teams), and seems to be the real deal. See videos

Visit the MonaVie Direct web site

MONAVIE EMV
MonaVie EMV is an innovative and healthful alternative to other energy drinks found in the marketplace today. The drink is lightly carbonated and most all energy drink users like its taste.

Benefits
• Increases energy
• Enhances performance
• Promotes alertness
• Supports endurance

Features
• Formulated with Palatinose™—a natural carbohydrate energy source that provides longer lasting energy
• Made with 80 percent juice from seven healthful fruits, including acai, acerola, camu camu and cupuacu
• Contains an all-natural, proprietary energy blend of Palatinose, D-ribose, guarana, green tea, cha de burge, maca, yerba mate, panax ginseng and L-tyrosine
• No artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, or preservatives

MonaVie Emv’s claim is:
No jitters. No crash. Just pure, natural energy. MonaVie EMV is free of synthetic stimulants and this advanced formula provides a healthy alternative to traditional energy drinks. The proprietary, 100 percent natural energy blend features revitalizing ingredients that provide a quick “pick me up” and longer lasting energy. Now you can escalate your energy anytime you want-without worrying about unwanted side effects. Healthy. Sustained. Energy.

=================================================

The Business
In the health and wellness industry, Monavia is one of the top leaders and earners. MonaVie offers the most innovative and dynamic Compensation Plan in the direct selling industry. There are 8 ways to earn income (see below), and 50% of the sales volume paid out in distributor commissions, which makes MonaVie a powerfully rewarding opportunity!

• Direct Sales
• Bulk Order Bonus
• First Order Bonus
• Star Maker Bonus
• Team Commissions
• Executive Check Match
• Leadership Pools
• Multiple Business Centers

  See:  View the MonaVie Income Disclosure Statement

MonaVie’s strength lies within a very effective form of distribution—relationship marketing. With this person-to-person approach, you are able to share the benefits of the MonaVie independent business opportunity with others and be rewarded for doing so, based on your sales and the product sales of those in the organization you helped create.

For more information about MonaVie brand products and/or how to join the MonaVie family go to: the Mona Vie signup page,

(OR you can go to the Mona Vie homepage, click on the “enroll” tab and ENTER: 2134080 to begin).
NOTE: Mona Vie is also now available in the UK!

Would you like to just try Monavie?
Now you can! Go to the MonaVie Direct web site and place an online order that will ship direct to your home or business.

About MonaVie LLC
MonaVie LLC is a rapidly growing company that distributes products to markets around the world. Introduced in January 2005, MonaVie develops and markets scientifically formulated, premium quality products, specifically for person-to-person distribution. Developed with a philosophy of Balance-Variety-Moderation, MonaVie brand products deliver phytonutrients and antioxidants to promote and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

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Alex Jeffreys Student's Videos Spoof


This is a fun video I just did using bits and pieces of some of the video contest entries made by fellow Alex Jeffreys’ students. This is my feeble answer to Derrick Siu’s 500 video.

Sorry I couldn’t add everyones or even find everyones videos …

Student videos used (in order of appearance)…
Steve Harold – http://www.steveharoldmarketing.com/blog
Garry Parkes – http://garryparkes.com/
Nigel Yip – http://www.nigelyip.com/
Dave Dunn – http://www.davedunnonline.com/
Jim Kowalczyk – http://blog.nettcash.biz/
Jeff Sargent – http://sargentmarketing.com/blog
Renee Olson – http://marketingwithrenee.com/
Rob Brooks – http://www.marketingwithrob.com
Paul Livingston – http://www.plivingston.myccblog.com/
Doug Stewart – http://dougstewartonline.com
Derrick Siu – http://thenetexperiment.com/
JJ and Jason – I think
Alan Kiel – http://alankiel.com/
Gaielle Sharp – http://www.sharpmarketingmethod.com/
Theresa Mahew – http://theresamayhew.com/
Lori James – http://www.everythinghomebiz.com/
Nitin Mistry – http://marketingnicheprofits.com/

If I missed anyone’s video credits, please let me know …

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