Remember MySpace? One of the first super popular social networking websites fell to the wayside after Facebook, and then Twitter, hit the scene. However, MySpace always maintained a special spot in the hearts of magicians as a music-sharing tool for unsigned bands and solo acts. And now, almost a decade after its hay day, MySpace, backed by pop-star-turned-actor Justin Timberlake, is getting a makeover. Redesigned with a look that reminds us of Pinterest, the website looks fresh. But can Justin Timberlake bring sexy back to the digital community that bit the dust?
One can’t say, as a whole, whether or not women like to shop or even if they handle the majority of household shopping. However, women do control 85 percent of purchasing in the United States. In line with this statistic, brands have taken notice and often approach marketing with a focus on the females in the audience.
When it comes to online marketing, and social media marketing in particular, the same is true because not only do women control the market, but they are far more active on social media than men. Recent data suggests that women are 55% more likely to buy from companies that they interact with on social media than those without an active online presence. Furthermore, over one third of women believe that the number one reason to login to social media accounts is to remain privy to coupons and deals offered online.
An important fact to keep in mind when crafting women-focuses campaigns, is that increased social media engagement results in increased real-world engagement for many of these women. In other words, Facebook activity from a brand may inspire women to visit that store, not necessarily buy online. So offer incentives to buy online if that’s your goal.
According to a recent survey released by The Nielsen Company, nearly 25 percent of the time Americans spend using the internet is at social networking sites (like Facebook and Twitter) and blogs. This data represents a 43 percent increase from recent years, and should suggest some useful marketing strategies for businesspeople using the Internet to promote products and services. Social media is a MAJOR player when it comes on online business success. Take note!
Website is search engine friendly? A few hundred dollars each month.
Social media profiles updated regularly? Free! You can do it yourself. Or inexpensive if you outsource.
Website designed for user-friendly experience? A grand upfront.
Finally putting a face to the name? Priceless.
The point being: Optimizing your online presence for better business is totally achievable. It’s a matter of making your website search engine friendly by incorporating the right keywords and perfecting the HTML coding. Then, you need to keep your content fresh and relevant with frequent social media updates and a trendy blog. Finally, make sure the website itself is easy to navigate and aimed at marketing your product or service. You can easily outsource these different elements and succeed in having a well-marketed business brand. However, the last task that is imperative to developing a worthy reputation for your business cannot be outsourced, and it cannot be done online (though it can be nurtured online). Developing in-person business relationships is important to the success of your company because people want to purchase goods from an individual, not from a faceless company. When people can feel good about where their money is going — to you and your family — when they make a purchase, it works in favor of the company behind the product. Be sure to attend that networking event, go that cocktail party and, importantly, bring your business cards. Working toward developing genuine business relationships will work for your business.
A lot of the work that goes into search engine marketing for your business’s online presence happens “offsite.” Offsite means that the work is done beyond the space of your business’s main website. For example, a blog located at a separate URL, Facebook or Twitter activity, or a monthly email newsletter all act as off-site SEO. All of this activity is aimed at bringing more visitors to your website, but it doesn’t happen at your website. It’s important to keep your offsite activity up-to-date and frequent, but keep in mind that offsite activity works best in conjunction with onsite SEO. The two work together like oars on either side of a canoe to keep your online marketing moving swiftly in the right direction.
Part of your online marketing strategy is determining what keywords people will type into search engines when they are looking for you online. Those keywords are the words you will target in your online marketing campaign. Make sure they exist in the content of your website, too!
HTML is the code the dictates how your website will look when it is opened in a web browser. This code allows you to tag certain words and mark them as more important. Incorporate your keywords into your HTML tagging and make sure it is done correctly.
Social Media Links
You know those little Facebook and Twitter icons that you sometimes see in the corner of a website? Sometimes there’s even a button that says: “Like us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter.” You’ll want to do this too. It streamlines the website-to-social media connection, making it more likely to connect with potential clients across multiple media platforms.
At the top right corner of your website, place a text box that allows website visitors to enter their email addresses, thus subscribing to your company’s newsletter. Email is an excellent way to connect with customers. Just make sure that your newsletter is worthwhile with information about upcoming sales, discount codes and useful tips.
Join one of Ajax Union’s webinars for more information about both onsite and offsite SEO.
Offsite activity works best in conjunction with onsite SEO. The two work together like oars on either side of a canoe to keep your online marketing moving swiftly in the right direction.
As an online marketing company, we’re always excited to learn about new ways to further promote social engagement. Bidding on Google ads and increasing your ranking are all well and good, but at the end of the day don’t you want people to talk about your business with others? It’s a great feeling to know customers are actually excited about your services.
Coming up with clever ways to engage the customer will create a buzz and in the end, a buzz means more customers will visit your site. Women’s fashion retailer Free People has taken social media to the next level and integrated Instagram to their product lineup. Customers are encouraged to photograph themselves wearing the product and upload it to Twitter with the hashtag of the product name. Pending approval, some of those photos will appear on individual product pages. To remind customers, cards with hashtag information are shipped with qualifying packages.
This is a brilliant marketing idea for two big reasons. Firstly, when it comes to fashion, customers are terrified an outfit will look great on a model but not on their body type. Seeing clothing on people other than fashion models will give customers peace of mind. Secondly, it’s a fun way to keep customers involved in your business. It’s hard to forget the website that posts your sepia-toned pictures on it.
Here’s a great example of multi-faceted social media marketing:
This pint glass has a QR code printed on one side, and when you scan it, the glass “checks you in to Foursquare, tweets about your pint and/or updates your Facebook status.”
The finishing touch? The QR code doesn’t show unless you use Guinness (or another very dark beer) because a light beer won’t reveal the code.
Take a look at this infographic originally published by mashable to find out juicy tidbits about Pinterest’s fast climb. Did you know that Pinterst users can shared their pins on Facebook and Twitter? Or that Pinterest has its own phone app? Or that Pinterst is GREAT for business marketing? No? Then read on!
Thank you for joining our “How to Structure a Social Media Campaign” Webinar! A big THANKS to Sarah Mogin for teaching us how to successfully structure a social media campaign for our businesses. Now, let’s get out there and make some realistic goals and measure our success with all the free tools Sarah told us about!
For a list of upcoming webinars:
If you remain uncertain that Facebook is the best thing for your business, read on!
Make it about business. Yeah, yeah, it’s called the “Social Network.” But why not utilize it as a business network? Facebook boasts over 845 million active users to date, and by the end of 2012, that number will reach one billion. A large chunk of those one billions users are clients, business partners and potential customers. Not to mention your competition.
Activate frequent activity. Don’t let your Facebook page stagnate. Post often and post thoughtfully. By establishing yourself as a reliable source of worthwhile information, you’re soon to be the cool kid on the Facebook block.
Spy a little. Don’t feel like engaging in conversations on Facebook? What about if you use Facebook communication to ask questions that will help you market yourself better? Find out what potential customers want, and then provide!
Peer pressure. Although Facebook started out as a college-age virtual social scene, that’s just not the case anymore. Your peers use Facebook. Don’t let them call you a luddite.
Virtual store front. Facebook is especially useful if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar storefront. Nobody is going to walk past your store and wander in, but users can stumble upon your Facebook business page.
Make your ads count. Facebook allows you to create ads and use the information it collects about users to target very specific groups of people. Beyond age, gender and location, you can target users that are fans of a specific page or went to a specific college. This way you don’t waste ads on uninterested users.
Reach out to your target audience. Facebook users provide information about their likes and dislikes, activities, whereabouts and more. Use this data to reach out to prime candidates for your product or service.
Brand your business, not yourself. If you are worried about personal privacy when it comes to Facebook, fret not. A Facebook business page allows you to brand yourself however you like. Post a logo instead of a headshot, and develop a voice the represents your business, not necessarily yourself. Your privacy will remain intact and your business will flourish.
Facebook is SEO-Excellent. Google and other search engines are on to the importance of Facebook. Thus, creating a Facebook page helps your search engine ranking.
Free marketing. Ads cost money, but Facebook is otherwise free.
Facebook started out as a social tool. At first, only chosen college and university students had the privilege of logging on. Then, the doors opened to all students. Eventually, anyone with a valid email address could join the soon-to-be number one social network. But Facebook for business?
Facebook facilitates public and private communication, media sharing, collaboration, idea swapping and more. And while this all sounds very social, what is at the base of marketing if not communication and the sharing of both media and ideas? With Facebook, individuals market themselves all day everyday. Like most social media, Facebook allows users to present an ideal version of themselves to the world. How is marketing any different? It turns out, Facebook is the perfect conduit for online marketing.
Whereas individuals using Facebook acquire more and more “friends,” businesses utilizing Facebook try to earn “fans,” which translates as people who “Like” the page. Although the terms differ, the concept is essentially the same. Status updates and other posts become viewable to friends and fans alike. The only major difference between the two is that for the individual user, the “friend count” is just a number. But for the Facebook business page, number of “likes” is significant. The more “likes” a business page has, the more traffic that page will get from other Facebook users and through search engine traffic.
Friending someone on Facebook says, “I know you, I remember you, I like you,” or, in a more stalker-like fashion, “I like you, I want to know you.” Liking a Facebook business page says exactly the same thing, and it helps the business, to boot. So how do you get more “likes?”
Ajax Union has developed strategies for increasing the number of Facebook “likes” your business page has by linking Facebook ads with contests. Get in touch with one of Ajax’s marketing consultants to learn more about how Facebook can boost your online presence. And check back tomorrow for Facebook Marketing’s latest Top Ten list.
Join us for a LinkedIn and Facebook Timeline Webinar!
The webinar will be taking place March 28th at 12pm EST.
Ajax Union marketing trainers, Joe Apfelbaum and Sarah Mogin will teach you how to use LinkedIn and Facebook Timeline as tools to make your business more successful online.
Facebook Timeline will automatically go live for all business pages on March 30th (this Friday!). Sarah will prepare you for the change and show you how to be Timeline sauvy.
LinkedIn is a valuble platform to market yourself and your brand online, Joe will teach you how to use this social medium to your advantage.
We all know that Facebook is crucial for business marketing.
Some small business owners are feeling a little shaky about Facebook’s new Timeline pages. Personally, I was concerned about loosing some precious features of old Facebook, such as default landing tabs. But the new is proving itself to be better.
Read more about how Facebook Page Tabs work better as Timeline Apps here.
The most successfully branded companies have the whole shebang. Logo, color scheme, tag line, jingle, spokesperson…. they have it all. Giant corporations like Progressive, Geico, Nike, McDonald’s, Old Spice and Mastercard have the means to go BIG. But for small businesses that can’t go THAT big, you don’t have to go home. Social media has leveled the playing field for big and small business alike by putting a significant focus on authenticity and openness. Consumers, growing accustomed to seeing their favorite brands on Facebook, can now be targeted by small business. Do you sell homemade soaps? You can use Facebook marketing to target fans of the big brands like Dove and Dial. Have a discount shoe store? Market to those fans of Nike!
The reveal of Timeline for personal Facebook users was met with both excitement and resistance. Surely Facebook didn’t expect anything different. We all know change is hard, and those who embrace it will be 40 steps ahead those who don’t.
Timeline for company pages launched yesterday and the professional Facebook community has come up with some pretty slick looking pages. Check a couple of our favorites:
Here’s to happy Timline-ing!
…but not necessarily like that!
Facebook may not necessarily be a prime location for an e-commerce store, but nevertheless, it’s a premier venue for marketing endeavors.
A recent Bloomberg report revealed that several major companies, who opened up Facebook storefronts last year, also shut down that same year. Gap, J.C. Penney and Nordstrom are among the stores who learned that social media is not the best place to make the sale.
“We just didn’t get the return on investment we needed from the Facebook market, so we shut it down pretty quickly,” Ashley Sheetz, VP of marketing and strategy at GameStop, told Bloomberg. “For us, it’s been a way we communicate with customers on deals, not a place to sell.”
An analyst at Forrester Research likened trying to sell to people on Facebook to selling to consumers who are drinking at the bar with friends. Not lucrative! People don’t go to Facebook to make purchases, they go to Facebook to socialize.
All the same, the idea of marketing and making sales through social media is not dead yet. Strategists just haven’t quite hit the nail on the head.
Social media levels the playing field for small businesses by allowing for transparency and authenticity. It’s fantastic for marketing your company in a real way!!
According to Shareaholic’s recent Internet traffic report, Pinterest drives “more traffic to company websites and blogs than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined.” How so? Just like with Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, Pinterest allows for sharing, which means content that you “pin” can go viral. To find out more about the uses of Pinterest for business, check out this article from Entrepreneur.com.
Social Media Week, or SMW, as I’ll refer to it for the duration of this brief post, beings Monday, Feb. 13th. Sort of like a conference taking place in select participating cities around the world, SMW is an internationally-celebrated, week-long dialogue about the global impact of social media. Participants will discuss the economic, cultural and political roles of social media and trends emerging as social media transforms our social landscape.
Now in its fourth year, SMW is taking place in 21 cities including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, Sao Paulo, Rio De Janeiro, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Istanbul, London, Paris, Rome, Milan, Glasgow, Berlin, Moscow, Beirut and Hong Kong. Starting in 2012, SMW is adding Tokyo, Singapore, DC and Miami.
SMW boasts 60,000 participants each year, all attending by way of thousands of independently organized events. What are you doing to celebrate?
Learn from Ajax Union’s social media expert Sarah Mogin how you can use Facebook and Twitter to maximize your business web presence. Learn how to get more exposure and improve business with social media!
TODAY at 12 NOON! Register for FREE!
Register for free: http://www.ajaxunion.com/webinar
Join the webinar and hear Sarah bestow gems of social media knowledge!