10 Ways Social Media Can Grow Your Business

Social media is more than just a buzzword. There are opportunities and measurable results that it offers that can be extremely beneficial to companies of all sizes. While Facebook and Twitter may be included it’s more than that.

Many times people get so caught up in tools that little time is collaborating and strategizing about what Social Media can actually do for them and their business, successfully. Tools are great if you know how to use them, but at some point the tools need to have a purpose.

I often hear small to mid-size companies ask to help implement Social Media strategies into their overall marketing plan with a skewed outlook of what Social Media is and what its benefits are. However, if you know what Social Media isn’t, then it’s a lot easier to grasp what it can do.

If you have a good product, a detailed business plan, and customer service policies in place and willing to invest time, here are a few things that Social Media can do for your business:

  • Gives you the opportunity to begin listening to what others are saying about your company online.
  • Allow you to have one-on-one communication with your consumers.
  • It can be used to gather feedback about new products.
  • It personalizes your corporation/brand
  • Provides channels to produce and distribute exclusive content that can be shared which in return extends the voice of your brand.
  • Can be used to share exclusive information and offers to your loyalists.
  • It’s an extension to your public relations strategies
  • Provides platforms to build communities for your brand enthusiasts around your product and company.
  • Offers opportunities that will bring exposure to your company.
  • Provides potential opportunities for word-of-mouth buzz about your company and products.

While the above are not the only benefits, it is a good place to begin thinking about the benefits that Social Media provides. Once you know what it can do, building a strategy and developing a plan is your next course of action.

I want to hear from you. How has Social Media helped you or your business grow? What would you add to the list?.

How To Enhance A Brand’s Image and Presence with Video on Social Media

twitter-video

As a brand, it is important we encompass a positive image and unique presence on Social Media to grow and be of value to others. If your brand is new or having issues with doing so, I am here to share information on how your brand can make that happen.

When promoting a positive image and unique presence, a brand needs to keep in mind it’s about connecting with the audience and customers. By doing so, the brand creates a path for customers to build relationships, spread the word and keeps them coming back for more.  One way this is done is to put a face behind who your customers and audience speak and do service with on Social Media. As a consumer on Social Media , this is something I and many others look for to get a better feel and understanding of who we are conversing with but what some look for doesn’t stop there.

The key to keeping the positive image and presence is to be authentic, original and unique in doing so. This is done by enhancing it through the use of video which takes it above and beyond the profile face pictures you find on other brands websites, blogs and Social Media networks. By using video, a brand is giving their audience and consumers a look from the outside in and further deepening the connection. There are several ways to make this happen.

  • Create a short video with enthusiasm from each team member within the brand. No one likes, “Just another boring video” so it’s important to create it with zazz and make it interesting and fun. In this video, state your name, what your position is, and what makes your position fun and enjoyable.
  • Give your audience and consumers a look into the daily life by showing them around your companies work environment in a different video. Put them in your shoes. After all, they are your brand and fuel your success and growth.
  • Create an additional personal video of the person responsible for managing the Twitter account. Basically, the person tweeting and engaging. If more than one individual tweets from the account, make sure each one has a personal video. Tweet the video link at the start of each day or when the account is changing users. Include in the video the person’s name, a relevant greeting and the question, “Is there anything that I can help you with today?”
  • Thank your consumers and audience weekly in a video. Give a shout out to people on Twitter that follow you, people that have liked your brand page on Facebook. Make it personal, show gratitude and let them know they are never forgotten.
  • Post all videos on the brands YouTube account, landing page on Facebook  and Twitter as I discussed above. As far as the team video, post it on the brand’s website as a welcome.

By using video, the brand is raising their profile, promoting a positive image and enhancing brand value for others. This connects the brand with their customers and audience in a unique way and shows them the brand has took the time to create it for them. Basically saying, we care about and value our audience and consumers. I understand this might be time consuming but by investing in this time it is sure to create a remarkable ROI as many customers are looking for this type of aspect in a brand and sharing what the brand is doing.

So is your brand ready to enhance their image and presence by being unique, authentic and make a lasting impression through the use of video?

 

How Do You View, Define and Use Social Media?

Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere

As we all know every individual views, defines and uses social media in many different ways. I have created a unique and fun way to see how you view, define and use each network. Below, you will find twelve sentences in which you fill in the blank with your answer. I look forward to your responses. Have fun!

1. The most important thing to remember about Twitter is ______.

2. Facebook is good for ______.

3. I see Instagram as _______.

4. The most common mistake on Linkedin is _______.

5. In the next 5 years, I predict Social Media will ______.

6. The most positive result I have seen from Social Media is ______.

7. I use Social Media to _______.

8. The network I use most is _______ because _______.

9. I consider Google Plus to be _______.

10. Pinterest is a great way to _______.

11. My tip to someone using Social Media for the first time is _______.

12. When it comes to Politics and Religion on Social Media, I ______. 

How an individual or business views, defines and uses social media is determined by their reason for adapting to the many networks and how well they invest their time and utilize each. Feel free to pick one or more sentences and in a comment convey your response. As we begin to read the answers of others, we will give more meaning to the different kinds of business we each work in, thus how answers differ.


Tuesday Tip: Social Media With Frosty

Does Social Media give you the Chills? Using Social Media for the first time can leave you standing still and feeling all alone in the cold.

As an individual or business, grasping the concept of Social Media does not have to be frightful. It can benefit your business in many ways. It is a resource to learn, find a career, share valuable information, grow a community and a brand. With so many platforms available, it can be overwhelming to learn each one at the same time.

Frosty is here to say, this is okay. Start with one network that is the most inviting to you. The people on the network can even answer your questions or you can do your own research online. The resources are right at your finger tips. All you have to do is warm up to the idea of positive results, get involved and your results will follow you according to the efforts you put into them. Welcome Social Media with open arms, dedication and consistency.

Content Marketing and How It Helps Small Businesses

Content marketing is becoming more and more popular as a tool for attracting customers resulting in awareness for your brand and information an individual is looking for. Here’s a look at what content marketing is and what it can do for your small business.

Content Marketing Is Educational

Content marketing is a tool used by businesses. The basic idea behind content marketing is that valuable content is posted with the intention of attracting customers. This type of marketing concentrates on giving possible customers new information that they can use in their life. Hence, it teaches them something, and the most important part is that it is free.

Content Marketing Is Not the Same as Copywriting

The purpose of copywriting is to get the customer to do something. More often than not, copywriting tries to convince a potential customer to purchase a product. On the other hand, content marketing’s aim is to give information that is valuable, but create that information in a manner in which it serves a marketing purpose. Underlining these distinct purposes, however, there is a common goal: to get possible customers acquainted with the product offered, and make them purchase it.

Customers Are the Focus of Content Marketing

Content marketing isn’t all about you or your business (though it does help point the readers towards your business). Instead, it’s all about your customers; it gives them valuable information that they can use in their lives. The reason it works so well is that people are generally not interested in hearing you talk for hours on end about how great you are. That bores them, which is one of the reasons copywriting can only do so much for your business. To go the extra mile, you have to keep in mind that people are much more likely to purchase from a business that has given them valuable and interesting information in the past. Additionally, content marketing tends to be ranked higher by Google, which means that it is easier for people to find you and your small business.

How Content Marketing Helps Your Business Grow

Content marketing creates awareness of your brand and can increase your business’s credibility and trustworthiness. The reason is that most often, people find themselves looking online for answers to their questions. Simply put, they search for information that is valuable. If they find it on your business’s site, a connection will be created between your business and the potential customer. When a connection is established, trust is more likely to follow, particularly if the content they found was really useful. Another reason why content marketing is such a useful tool for growing a business is that it is more likely to be shared on social media sites. People rarely (if ever) share copywriting they found online. However, if they find good content that really teaches them something, they might want to spread the word.

Content marketing can be a powerful marketing tool when used wisely. Its secret lies in helping both the business that created it and the individual who is in need of information, allowing for trust to build and making it more likely for that individual to make use of the business’s products if they need them.

10 Tips For Networking Success

Networking events have been a big part of the business and social scene for as long as anyone can remember. When attending an event, it is imperative to encompass the goal of helping others first which is old cliché that is often left at the door. When headed to your next event, keep in mind you want to have earned the right, honor, privilege, and respect to be able to meet with them again.

The key component to keep in mind when attending a social or business event is to not sell yourself. Instead, make it the opportunity to build a relationship.

1. Leave your troubles or problems at the door. Enter with a smile, be energetic, positive and outgoing.

2. When entering the networking event, you should thank the host then move on to finding someone new to introduce yourself to. This will help keep you in the right frame of mind as to why you’re attending.

3. When you meet someone for the first time, use it as an opportunity to get to know them. Don’t try to sell them anything. Rather, begin to establish a relationship by giving them your entire focus and listening.

4. Think ahead and always have a plan when attending. It keeps you on task, makes it easier to stay focused and achieve your expected outcome.

5. When giving a person your card, personalize it by hand writing your cell or personal email number on it. This will cause the recipient to feel that they are receiving something special.

6. When a person is talking to you, be sure to look directly at them. Giving a person your full attention with your eyes will encourage them to share more.

7. Start a conversation with someone who is standing by themselves. They’ll be happy to have someone to talk to them and, as a result, will many times open up with valuable information. Avoid approaching two people who are talking.

8. During the course of a conversation, use the other person’s first name two or three times. People always like to hear their own name and it will help you to remember it when the discussion is over.

9. As a way of demonstrating your networking skills, introduce each new person you meet to at least one other person. Be the one that gives, connects and is resourceful.

10. Follow up with a handwritten “Thank You” card to those you had direct contact with and include something from the discussion. This shows how well you were listening and that you are interested in building a lasting relationship.

A networking event is not a time to see how many business cards you can acquire or how popular you can become. Rather, it is a time to develop a few relationships that have potential in growing your business.

How To Ensure Social Media Success.

Do you struggle with what needs to be shared on your social media pages to ensure social media success?

Social Media consumes a big part of our day. We receive real time news, access information on a particular topic, search for communities of relevance to our niche interests and to simply stay in touch with family and friends.

How we maintain relationships and communicate with each other will never be the same because social media has made it all so much more accessible, effective and fun.

There is a right way and a not so right way to use social media. The key is to make the right choice to ensure social media success and see impressive results. This is done by being committed, consistent, strategic and educating.

Commit

Don’t use social media just because it’s the popular thing to do. You must have a reason and thought out plan of why you want to use it. You must then be willing to create meaning, purposeful and valuable content for yourself and others, equally.

Consistency

Being consistent on social media is the key to building loyalty and relationships. The more you show up, engage and create value on a daily basis the more others look forward to engaging with you and trusting you.

Strategic

To be successful in social media, you must have a strategy. This is your chance to shine and show who you are, what do you and how you can help. Create content that is knowledgeable, trusting and authentic. By doing so, you are helping others become successful and see positive results.

Educate 

Many companies and individuals use social media for a variety of reasons. If you want to become successful in social media, you must educate and inspire those who follow and engage with you. This is your chance to be a teacher and inspiration to others. Remember, brands and people arrive daily and are looking for answers and solutions so never be afraid to share a how to article just because you think, “oh they know how to do that.”

There are many components to ensure social media success. The key lies in being committed, consistent, strategic and educational. When encompassing these components, don’t forget to be kind, be real and know your personal boundaries when sharing and respect others’ boundaries as well.

Entrepreneurial Startup: 5 Cash Flow Management Tips

Whether or not you work out of a home office, you will always want to ensure that your cash flow management is solid and highly competent. Ensuring that cash flow is adequate is one of the greatest duties of any startup entrepreneur who wants to run a successful business. The worst thing that can happen to any business is that it manages its cash flow very poorly. Here are five cash flow management tips for startup entrepreneurs to take notice of.

Remember the Difference Between Profits and Cash

First of all, profits are not cash. They are merely accounting. Startup entrepreneurs who understand this will succeed. Accounting can be a lot trickier than you might expect. Further, it is impossible to pay bills with just profits. For example, if a startup entrepreneur pays his bills while his customers don’t, it will be problematic. The fact remains that profits can be made without making any real money.

Don’t Work Out Cash Flow Mentally

There’s nothing worse than working out cash flow in your head. It’s just not intuitive, and, furthermore, making a sale doesn’t even always mean that one has the money. At the same time, incurring an expense may not really mean that your business has already paid for it. Inventory is typically purchased, paid for, and then stored until it turns into cost of sales.

Remember That Inventory Eats up Cash

Prior to being able to sell products, a business has to either purchase or build these products. Even when you place said products on the proverbial shelves and wait until they’re sold, you still have to make sure the suppliers are paid. Remember that each dollar you have in inventory is actually a dollar you do not have in cash.

Working Capital Is the Best Survival Skill

Working capital is the accounting term for what a business has left over after one has subtracted present liabilities from present assets. In a practical sense, this is actually money in the bank that’s utilized to pay the business’s running costs as well as expenses.

Receivables Should Not Be Taken For Granted

Accounts receivable is a reference to the money that your customers owe you. In other words, and this is highly important, accounts receivable is not something you can count on to be able to pay expenses. It’s best to remember that each dollar in accounts receivable is actually a dollar less in cash. This is a great way to look at cash planning if you’re a startup entrepreneur.

These are the five best cash flow management tips for startup entrepreneurs. Being a startup entrepreneur does not necessarily mean that you are also adept at handling the ins and outs of successfully running a business. If you fail to watch cash flow management, then you will also fail at running your business.

How To Ensure Your Business Stays Busy During The Holidays

The holidays can be a slow time for some businesses and a busy rush for others. What makes the difference, and how can a business ensure they stay busy over the holiday season? Read further to find out.

Keep Moving Even When There’s a Lull

Instant gratification tastes good, but realizing there’s more to receive in the future is a skill that business owners must master. Customers may be doing more relaxing than purchasing during the holidays, but what does this mean for a business that relies on cash flow? This is where the saying, “patience is a virtue” can really come into play. A business owner who recognizes that with consistent effort comes reward, will come out on top every time. No customers? Keep on moving, keep on promoting and keep on offering better-than-average service!

Let People Know that Business is Booming

People will assume that because it’s the holidays most businesses are closed for an extended break. It’s important for business people to make it known that their companies are not only still around, but are thriving and excited to provide service to their customers during the holiday season. Customers will be pleased to be in-the-know regarding the business’ holiday hours, and sales can happen more organically than perhaps planned.

Prepare Social Media in Advance of the Holidays

Social media is a great way to make potential customers aware of holiday business hours, closures, and special holiday promotions. One method of preparing updates in advance is to use a program called HootSuite, or another one called TweetDeck. Both programs make it possible for business owners to prepare tweets or Facebook updates and schedule them so that they are posted during the busy holiday times. This way, even if a business owner is busy eating turkey dinner, Facebook page updates will be updated and tweets will be made. Social media is an excellent way to keep customers on the cutting edge of what’s going on during the holidays.

Design Exclusive Holiday Promotions

Make the holidays a time to generate even more business than normal. People love deals, especially deals that they can offer to people as gifts during the holidays when there may be a lot of people for whom they need to shop. A promotion that happens only during the holidays, or special store hours that start early in the morning or go late into the evening, are both fantastic ways to encourage customers. Often people who have never been interested before are intrigued due to new scheduling times.

Whatever a business owner does to make themselves known during the holidays will be a benefit to them. Customers are out there and they’re ready to spend, even when it’s the holiday season and they appear to just want to mingle and drink eggnog. If no customers are coming through the door, work anyways! Moving forward is always a “step in the right direction,” and making use of social media platforms is a most excellent way to do that. Keep on going, make customers aware of the business thriving, and see the results in more sales, leads, and customer interest.

10 Real Estate Blog Topic Ideas

Does the mention of a real estate blog leave you scratching your head for topic ideas? Chris Brogan once said, “No matter what, the very first piece of Social Media Real Estate I’d start with is a blog.” In response to reading his advice, I have to agree as a blog can be used as a marketing tool to help increase and drive sales. Real Estate blogging is one of the best ways to provide engaging and resourceful content resulting in rich and valuable information for an individual in the market for a new home. A real estate blog provides the opportunity to give potential clients a proof point and you, the agent, the opportunity to create content related to your niche. 10 real estate blog topic ideas are:

  • Discuss real estate market trends
  • Create detailed listings
  • Provide details about the neighborhood such as crime stats, schools, shopping, local events and festivals
  • Buying and selling a foreclosure
  • How to stage a home and the impact it has on a sale
  • Discuss the different neighborhoods your firm handles
  • Home decor and building tips
  • Real Estate laws and terms
  • Types of mortgages
  • Write what it’s like to be a realtor and why you chose the career

Real Estate blogs do not have to be wordy or a certain length. They do have to be consistent, current, concise, to the point and valuable for your readers and potential clients. As a realtor, if you haven’t already started a blog, it is not too late as there is almost no competition in most markets and plenty of business to go around. There are many other topics you can cover on the blog so feel free to use an editorial calendar for any ideas that may pop into your mind.

What are your ideas for a real estate blog topic? Good Luck!