Going mobile is a good first step to expose your business to a whole crop of potential customers, but many businesses don’t know how to reach mobile users.
The first phase of inbound marketing for your business is to attract more users to your website. Mobile users are a vital resource in driving traffic to your website. A recent study of Twitter users found that users of the mobile platform are more likely to be engaged with brands and interact more often with Tweets.
It may not come as a surprise that mobile Twitter users are more likely to interact on Twitter more often than desktop users. Mobile access means you can check-in on Twitter anytime, anywhere. Mobile users are 79 percent more likely to use the platform multiple times during the day. Many mobile Twitter users rarely use Twitter on a desktop, so if you link to your company website, make sure the site is optimized for mobile viewing.
When it comes to driving traffic to your website, it is important to remember that mobile Twitter users are much more likely to click on a link they see on Twitter —up to 44 percent. Mobile Twitter users follow more than twice as many brands, and they are more likely to be able to recall an ad they saw on Twitter. Mobile Twitter users drive the engagement of others by creating and retweeting links. A business can increase the likelihood of their call to action or link being retweeted twenty-fold by simply asking users to “please retweet.”
We’ve all searched Facebook for a popular celebrity or business. But when you get 12 profile matches all claiming to be that celebrity or business, how can you tell which profile is real?
Enter Facebook verified accounts. Facebook verified accounts are designed to help users identify authentic users. When a user sees a blue check mark on a profile page, he or she will know that is the real profile page for that person or business.
Facebook has made this feature available to a select group of users with a large following: celebrities, journalists, government officials, and popular brands and businesses. A small, blue check mark appears next to their name in their profile. If you roll over it with your mouse, a small grey information box pops up telling you it is a verified page.
This feature will be particularly useful for journalists and businesses that have come to rely on Facebook as a platform to connect with followers and customers. The feature is similar to Twitter’s verification system. Like Twitter, at this time, users cannot request verification by Facebook. Facebook has a page in its help section about verified accounts and has issued a public announcement introducing verified accounts, http://newsroom.fb.com/News/619/Verified-Pages-and-Profiles. They remain, however, fairly vague about what criteria they will use in evaluating the legitimacy of accounts. The verified account feature is already live on Facebook.
At the heart of any social media strategy is community building. Bringing new people to your Facebook page, getting comments on your blog, and generally starting and nurturing a conversation about your industry and your brand. Studies have even shown that when it comes to online business, community members represent up to 65% of generated sales. That’s significant.
So while we know that community is essential to a successful online marketing strategy, there are still some companies that are at a loss as to how to cultivate and nurture the type of community that they want. This means a community that will grow, thrive, and ultimately generate sales. While there are a few things you can do, the most important to is properly manage that community.
A community manager is a specialized role and companies that can afford to have a person dedicated to this job are going to be better off. But smaller startups and the budgetarily challenged may not necessarily be able to devote an entire staff member (or more!) to their community management goals. No matter what your particular sitatuation, ManoByte wants to provide you with a few ways in which proper community management can offer value to your business. These tenets hold true whether you have a full time manager or are trying to do everything yourself. The bottom line is: community management is important and valuable.
Community managers can listen.
Someone that is in the trenches with your community is in a much better position to listen to your customers and potential customers. They participate in discussions, mediate comments, and should be reading everything that gets posted about you, whether it’s on your Facebook page or an unrelated forum. This information can be invaluable to a company that is trying to build a reputation from scratch or improve one that has been tarnished. If you know what people are saying about you, it is much easier to create a strategy that addresses their concerns.
Community managers can improve customer service.
Customer service is a huge concern in virtually every industry. With the current state of social media, a customer service slip can become a full-blow crisis with little notice. Having a community management strategy that puts someone on the front lines can make your whole customer service process work more efficiently. A community manager can shepherd customers to the right people when the have a problem, can make sure issues are followed up on, and can even provide basic FAQ answers and links, relieving overworked customer service agents when necessary.
Community management can improve your ROI.
Ultimately, the goal of any marketing strategy is to improve your bottom line. Community management can do that. By properly responding to customers on your blog and across social media platforms you can create advocates, grow your community and ultimately generate more sales. Community management can improve profitability.
Are you convinced? Tell us why or why not in comments.
As an online marketer, sooner or later you’re going to have to face facts. It might seem daunting, or even like a waste of time at first. But it’s more than necessary. It’s an essential part of any well-rounded social media presence and should be a priority for all types of marketing professionals. It’s LinkedIn.
But if all you’re going to do is slap together a resume and add your fraternity brothers as contacts, you will not be harnessing the true power of LinkedIn. That’s why we’ve put together this list of five rarely spoken of tips that can help you to get the most out of this particular social experience.
This may indeed go against a lot of LinkedIn advice you have heard before that encourages you only to add those people you know outside of social media, either personally or professionally. But the sheer number of people on LinkedIn means that if you limit yourself in that way, you’ll never see the site work its magic for you. That doesn’t mean sending unsolicited messages to tons of strangers. Instead, find people with common interests. One great way to do this is by connection with people who are in the same LinkedIn groups as you are. Which brings us to tip number two.
Whether your main focus on LinkedIn is lead generation, professional networking, or competitor research, Groups and the discussions that take place within those groups can be invaluable. But don’t just join one group, find a lot of relevant groups and join them all. You don’t have participate in all of them, but the notifications you receive may prompt you to chime in or just make you think. And remember, if you can’t find the exact group you want, you can always create one yourself. Chances are you aren’t the only one looking for an “Oregon State Dog Walker’s” group or a “Social Media Marketers Who Live on Sailboats” group. (Okay, maybe you are the only one looking for that second one).
No, it’s true. You can use LinkedIn for more than looking for jobs and connecting with former colleague. If you take advantage of the tools they offer, you can actually generate high quality leads from your LinkedIn presence. Part of this strategy should definitely involve using groups, including those of your own creation. But you can also mine LinkedIn advertising, which is highly targetable, as well as any integration between your other social media efforts and your LinkedIn profile in order to generate leads with genuine interest in what you have to offer.
You should already have an amazing LinkedIn profile, since you know the importance of a complete LinkedIn profile. But one thing you may not have thought of, particularly if you’re the creative marketing type, is that being fancy on your LinkedIn profile, whether you are an individual or a business, can actually be a hindrance. People use LinkedIn search to find profiles and if you use words that are more cute than descriptive, it’s less likely that they will be able to search for you. You want them to find you, right? Be straightforward.
Sure, LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch with contacts when you’re sitting in front of a computer and you can type in their names, but what about in the real world where you actually meet people? As the saying goes, there’s an app for that. The LinkedIn CardMunch app will turn real business cards into LinkedIn contacts instantly. Get it. Use it. Watch your network grow.
If you’ve been reading the ManoByte blog over the last few months, hopefully you have already figured out that one of the best ways (and by best we mean actually profit generating) for a business to use social media is for lead generation. And while each social media platform has its own best practices for generating valuable and relevant leads, today we are only going to discuss Twitter, a site that is chock-full of leads for your business, whether you are a B2B or B2C marketer. These five tips will help you to understand the true impact of Twitter on your business’ bottom line and how you can make it as useful as possible.
Anyone can visit Twitter.com and set up a profile, then start tweeting madly. This is clearly demonstrated every time a parody account is created mere seconds after a news event. In fact, ease of use and access is basically the whole point of the site.
But if you’re a marketer and you’re only using Twitter.com to develop and implement your lead generation strategy, you are missing out. Instead, you should be taking advantage of management tools like HootSuite and search engines like Followerwonk. These applications can add a ton of value to the time you spend on Twitter by making it easy to find the most influential people on Twitter and track entire conversations that are relevant to your brand. These tools exist to make your job easier. Try them. You won’t regret it.
For the majority of people, social media is fun. They don’t sign on and constantly check updates because it makes them money, they just want to. Even if social media marketing is your job (like it is here at ManoByte), social media can still be fun. When you are mining Twitter for leads, though, make sure you don’t get swept up in the fun chats, tweets, and hashtag games. You actually have to link out to your content sometimes, too. Participation is great, but you have to take it to the next level and have those followers click through to your site and give you some info. Then you’ve got a lead.
You may not spend that much time on your own Twitter profile, either creating it or looking at it. But for a company, your profile is often the first thing people see. Make sure you include a way to contact you right there in the profile. You can send them to Facebook, if that’s where you put most of your content, or to a landing page that asks for their email. Seize the opportunity to send new followers exactly where you want them, which may very well not be your main homepage.
Keeping your followers engaged is a key part of a successful Twitter lead generation strategy. But your followers are definitely not the only leads you can find on the massive network that is Twitter. You should always be looking for new potential followers and reaching out to them as well. Maybe they’ve had a problem with your competitor, maybe they’re comparison shopping: you should be there, offering to help and showing them all the advantages you have to offer them. Don’t be content with your followers. Find more. Do more. Earn more.
It may be cliché by now, but when you send Twitter users to your site, use landing pages. Do it. Give them a way to enter their email address, subscribe, add, friend, follow, like, whatever. Get their information and turn them into a lead.
While there is no magic potion that can generate leads for you (we’re still working on that one) there are proven ways to use Twitter for lead generation. Just follow these principles, stick with the strategies that work for you, and you’ll be surprised with the results. We would love to hear your thoughts on what has or has not worked for you with Twitter. Please leave us a comment
Last week we got started on the topic of podcasting and how it could fit into your overall inbound marketing strategy. Choosing a format for your podcast, getting the right software to get you recording and buying any special peripherals, including microphones, are all important steps in getting the ball rolling. However, your content will never reach the ears of your expectant audience without knowing the best way to share it online.
The first thing you need is a place to host your podcast. Once you’ve saved your sound file on your computer in an MP3 format (to ensure that the largest amount of people will be able to easily access it from a variety of devices), it needs to find a home online. Some audio hosting websites like OurMedia or PodOmatic will host your files for free while other online services may charge you a small monthly fee. Do some research and find out which is right for you.
Next, upload your MP3 and share the link on your other social media platforms like your blog, Twitter feed and Facebook page. In doing this, you ensure your users will know exactly where to find the material you’re publishing.
But wait, there’s more! It’s also important to create a feed for your podcast. A feed is a way for users to stay afloat of the regularly produced content that you’re publishing. You can think of it as a digital magazine subscription.
The website FeedBurner lets you create a feed for free. If it sounds too confusing, take a look at these steps. You should end up with a unique address for your feed that users can put into programs like iTunes to receive regular updates about your podcasts! Make sure you share this url with your followers as well.
Finally, do a Google search for podcast directories. You’ll want to be listed under all of the relevant topics that you cover so that if any potential podcast listeners out there are interested in what you have to say, they’ll be sure to find you in the vast landscape of cyberspace. Happy podcasting!