Category Archives: Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing Blog: Is a Website a Cost or an Investment?

Small business owners are often faced with a number costs necessary to run their business. If these costs are not managed properly, the business and the owner(s) can be bankrupt before the business really gets off the ground. The biggest advantage a small business owner can have is an investment in a website to promote their product or service.

Reach Local or Global Customers
A quality website is the way to showcase your products and services. Regardless of whether your customers are local or global, your website is the best way to reach them. A well-created, aesthetically appealing, and functional website is especially important for small businesses because it is the most cost-effective marketing tool available to them.

Credibility and Visibility
Small businesses can maximize their business visibility with a comprehensive Internet strategy. Even if your services aren’t bought online, customers use the Internet to research what they are interested in buying. Regardless of the type of business you are in, your customers are researching and looking for you.

A well-designed and navigation-friendly website can also enhance your credibility. Customers can review testimonials, company information and your product or services portfolio to make an informed decision.

Brand awareness
By leveraging social networks like Facebook and Twitter, a company can gain brand awareness. Brand awareness results in more credibility for your company and will eventually drive leads and customers to you. By interacting with prospects with buy soundcloud plays agency and customers on social networks, you will build relationships that will also enhance your brand awareness.

When prospects tell me that they can’t “afford a website” or “can’t afford monthly marketing”, I wonder at their seriousness about being in business. Let’s face it. Digital (Internet) marketing is here to stay. You may hide but you can’t run from it. If you aren’t on social networks or marketing your website on search engines, how do you expect to remain viable? Look around you and check out your competitors online. Do they have a leg on you in terms of online visibility? If they don’t, that’s all the more reason to get online and leap-frog them by carving out your place in the big, competitive web world. If they do, what are you waiting for? You should’ve been online yesterday!

A website is an investment. Website marketing is “protecting your investment” and “growing your business”.

 

Is the Youngest Person in Your Office really Qualified to be Your Social Media Manager?

It's quite funny how business expertise is no longer a "selling-point". No one thinks what I do is an expertise or rather they think what I do is great but it's too expensive for them cause what I do, their office manager can do for a lower, cheaper price.

I met with a prospect last week, who went on and on about wanting to "raise the bar" and about how "he was miles ahead of his competition with his ideas and awareness about marketing" and how he really wanted my company to help grow his brand.

Today, when I called him to follow-up on the proposal I sent him, the one-sided conversation went like this:

  • Well, do I need that many hours? (BTW, we proposed a campaign for SEO, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Email Marketing for under $2 K per month)
  • My admin can do the FB posts because she has time during the day to post company stuff
  • I already have a LinkedIn account and I get all these connection requests which I can add myself.
  • We have a really sharp young lady in our office, she's only 23 and she's a recent graduate in finance. I bet I can have her manage our Facebook and Twitter, you know if the admin can't.

Long and short of it was that he had convinced himself that he didn't need me.  I could barely keep my laughter from spilling but I didn't say another word. I  just told thanked him for the opportunity to provide a quote and told him that perhaps we can be "plan B" in case he needs help. And then I hung up and laughed my head off.

Ok, so he really thinks a combination of his admin + 23 year old fresh-out-of-school employee + himself makes for a winning "marketing" team!

So here's my question to you all.

Who are you fooling Mr/Ms business owner if you think that "marketing" is something ANYONE can do?

Nothing against 23 year olds but do you think that "being younger" means being 'social marketing" savvy? And does the admin who has free time on her hand really know what to say on Facebook to "Drive interest/interaction" to your website? And do you really think that "adding connections" on LinkedIn is "social networking"??

For sure hire a 23 year old to be your marketing manager, IF:

  • the 23 year old is trained my someone like me (marketing expert)
  • the 23 year old is a "MARKETING" major and/or "has the marketing DNA",
  • the 23 year old is experienced in marketing, communications and is going to be "TRAINED" to be a marketing manager

Otherwise, think about this further and know that "age" is not the reason to hire or not hire someone. Expertise/ training/expertise/aptitude are MORE important than age.

Bottom-line: Just cause you know a 23 year old who can talk the Facebook/Twitter "lingo", doesn't mean the 23 year old is a "marketing expert"

Online Marketing Blog: Create and Maintain your Online Brand through Strategies that Work!

Online marketing is very important in today’s world. The internet has provided us with the opportunity to connect with potential customers, globally. In order for your business to be known and recognized to prospective customers, you must leverage the Internet.

Whether you are a small business or a large business, you face competition on a day to day basis. To ensure that your competition doesn’t leap-frog you, you need to employ strategies that can strengthen your brand and spread its reach wider. To do so, leverage the power of the internet to create your brand and to enhance it.

Here are some of the ways you can achieve online branding:

  • Create a website that is informational and complete as well as updated on a regular basis. A website is an investment, not a cost!  Don't go to the cheapest, lowest cost provider. Use a company who can guide you and help create a robust online presence
     
  • Share your vision and mission with your prospects and customers through positive messaging on your website and through popular networks
     
  • Use popular networks and public relations to share news and information about your company
     
  • Tell your target market what it is you do and what makes you different from the rest using online marketing strategies
     
  • Keep your brand message consistent.
     
  • Engage and connect with prospects and customers to let your target audience know that you are there. Out of sight is out of mind.
     
  • Share testimonials to achieve an image that showcases you positively to your potential customers
     
  • Use all available channels to reach out to potential customers and current clients.

 
Online marketing and branding are absolutely necessary for your survival in this day and age. Don't miss the revolution because you can't see the forest (the future) for the trees (the immediate lack of funds). If you are really serious about your business and growing it, then invest in the business and make sure that it grows. To that end, and to remain viable (meaning, remain in business long-term), employ online marketing strategies that work.

Jenesys Group is your online marketing partner. We provide proven strategies for Search and social networking. We help you manage your brand image and your online reputation. Visit http://www.jenesysgroup.com/ today and get started on the path to online success.

Search Engine Optimization Blog: Why Should I Care About FaceBook, Twitter, or Whatever?

For some business owners, technology is passing them by as they are stuck in marketing meetings, revenue reviews, or whatever other daily to do's of business that ails them.  Or business owners are still waiting and watching to see how new media or digital media will affect them.

Businesses that don't get it, are going to get left behind in the dust. 

Why  you ask?

Cause social media marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing techniques of the new age. Digital marketing or social media marketing can provide global reach (or local if that's all you need), visibility, and brand awareness, which can catapult your company to new heights, if it is used properly. The quick tidbits posted on twitter hourly or daily and the Facebook posts positioning your brand can benefit your company substantially. Leveraging LinkedIn to connect with movers and shakers and decision makers can help grow your sales pipeline.

Business owners must understand the advantage that marketing on these social networks can bring their company. Not only are the media free to use, their daily usage can bring recognition, visibility and traffic to their company's website.

 
Business owners struggling to figure this out, beware!
  
Don't go to your girlfriend's niece because she understands it better than you. Using these services personally and professionally are two totally different things. Marketing your company poorly on a social networking site will get you recognized too, however not in a good way..I might add. 
 
Knowing how to find the right company to market your website to social networks is important and essential in developing your brand and getting visibility for your company. Millions of people are on these social networks and they're talking about their likes and dislikes and their recommendations……you simply need to tap into these conversations to see what you can do to meet the needs of people seeking your products and services.

Don't get left behind in the dust, the dust of your competition speeding by you that is. Leverage new media, combine it with traditional media techniques, and see how your company's visibility grows online!

Search Engine Optimization Blog: What You Say Online, Stays Online!

Baring all in public is becoming more and more prevalent what with Facebook, Twitter, and other tools being accessible from everywhere including mobile phones and wifi connections that are freely and readily available.
 
Makes you wonder if anyone cares about online privacy anymore, doesn't it? Well, it's important, so here goes:
 
Remember, if you say it online, it's public!
  
You think it's hidden behind your privacy settings. But know that websites get hacked into and your privately shared information can become publicly visible. An agreement between Twitter and the search engines means that tweets are visible in search engine results. And copying and pasting a screen shot for the world to see, by a fictional friend whom you've never met, is a piece of cake. So if it is online, it can just as easily be featured on the front page of the NY Times. 
 
The Internet doesn't forget.
 
Yep, it is permanent. You may not realize how what you say today will affect you in the future. But fast forward in your mind 20 years from today and think how you’ll feel if you read something that you posted today. So before you post anything, think if your tweet or Facebook post could potentially cause embarrassment for you or your loved one in the future.
 
What you say has consequences for others too.

We've read news stories about cyber bullying causing suicides and harassment or potential lawsuits cropping up because someone said something that could harm another.  So think about that before you post how terrible your experience with xyz restaurant was. Or think of the potential for getting sued if you malign someone online. Last but not the least, think about the consequence of you or your loved one getting fired or sued because you said something in the "heat of the moment".

Search Engine Marketing Blog: More Marketing on Twitter – Promoted Tweets?

Well duh! Finally! Twitter wants your money. Twitter has started advertising in our timelines to begin making money from its user base. Twitter has started offering  "promoted tweets" that are visible in a user's personal profile based on followers and interests.

In the past three years since Twitter's launch, this is the first monetizing strategy that has been implemented.

Twitter has 25 million global users and with these promoted tweets, advertisers can get access to them. Tweets will be clearly marked "promoted" so that they can be distinguished from other tweets. Twitter plans to tailor the advertisements to the interest levels of its users for more personalized marketing.

(P.S. FYI Twitter also charges Google and Bing over $10M a year to access its content and make it visible in search engines.)

Here's what a promoted tweet looks like:

 
promoted tweet
 

Search Engine Marketing Blog: Top Five Security Concerns Online Social Networking Sites and More

Continuing with the theme of online privacy concerns and fears of corporate espionage from the past few days, here are the top five security concerns that each of us should be worried about:

Malware: Ugh this is one of the worst! Malware simply refers to software that is designed to secretly access your computer and steal your information. Browsers are the main way for malware to infect your computer. Malware can steal private information and cause serious privacy breaches for you. Some known data-stealing malware include Qhost, LegMir, and Gator.

Insider attacks: A fired employee, a disgruntled employee, or the heavy reliance on outside contractors who have access to your computers is a huge risk we all face. It is impossible to protect a company totally from insider attacks but there are ways to implement good security measures, implement frequent password changing policies, and ensure that only trusted employees get Carte Blanche to all your computers and their passwords.

Mobile devices: Mobile phones are susceptible to malware, worms, and privacy intrusions. Through the wifi networks they may access, the risk is even greater. Mobile devices may result in huge losses for you and your company if you are not aware and protected from these intrusions.

Social Networking websites: Yep, social networking websites such as Facebook & Twitter can create serious privacy violations for companies. Phishing is a way to steal ID's and is very, very common on social networking websites. "Baring all" in public is another threat resulting in increased cyber criminal activity and identity theft issues.

Corporate Espionage: Corporate espionage concerns are growing and leading to companies banning employees from using social networking websites. Corporate espionage is a real threat and is increasing, no doubt about that. It can result in companies becoming very vulnerable to hostile take-overs and losing market-share to the competition.

So although we propagate the usage of social networks, our intent is also to highlight the challenges faced from social networking websites. In fact, this may become the case for why social media marketing or social networking should be an outsourced activity. By using a third party, companies can actually protect private information because third parties like us would never be privy to private corporate information that could lead to corporate espionage. (Hmm….perhaps a good basis for a new white paper)

 

Search Engine Marketing Blog: Social Networking for Business Works, if Done Right!

More than half a billion users, a huge reduction in advertising expenses, a stable platform for your business promotions and a completely free channel to do your business promotion. Why wouldn't a business see the opportunity in marketing on social networking sites? Not only can you interact with your prospective clients and gain their feedback in an easy manner, you get a chance to build a better relationship AND influence new buying decisions through those relationships.

Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin have leveled the playing field for small businesses who have fewer resources to gain international or even national or state-wide exposure to prospects. The major advantage they provide is that your products and services get noticed by a whole bunch of people who could not have in the past known about you, at a fraction of the cost of television and radio and for that matter even other traditional means of marketing.

The most impressive aspect of business networking is the ability to directly access decision makers and buyers. And remember the good old days when you had to spend money doing a survey or a product launch pilot to get feedback on a new product or service? Well, no longer do you have to spend money there, just ask your trusted network on the social sites you play on and you'll get that feedback clear, detailed, and free and all in a matter of minutes.

Yes, there are disadvantages like spam, inquiries from unqualified prospects, reading stuff that has no bearing or relevancy to what you do or sell BUT remember, some bad with the good is inevitable.

So what are you waiting for? Yes, social media marketing is important to your industry and his and hers and every type of business you may be in. No, social media marketing is not just limited to service oriented or product oriented or customer facing or customer support organizations. No, it's not just for corporates or for business to consumer or business to business type of companies. Social media marketing is relevant, important, and applicable to all business types.

Remember, it's JUST ANOTHER CHANNEL much like TV, Radio, Billboards, and Direct Mail. But it is one of the MOST cost effective channels out there, at least for now!

 

Search Engine Marketing Blog: Social Networking Not for You?

Companies are still not leveraging the power of social networking and the reasons include lack of understanding, lack of awareness of the power of social networking and perhaps the fear of the unknown.  Time and time again, I ask my prospects and clients "how many sales people do you have in your organization". And time and time again they give me a number that is much smaller than their company's total number of employees.  When I point out that each and every one of their employees is a "sales person", they are a bit embarrassed and also a bit perturbed as they never thought about it like that.

Companies are afraid to embrace social networking for more reasons than one. Most claim that they need to know the return on investment (ROI). This shows that their biggest reason for not embracing social networking is that they really don't understand the benefits. Companies are also afraid of employee abuse and not being able to determine who is doing what during company time.

The benefits of getting each and every employee of yours on social networks are many. Yes, there is potential for abuse too and I won't ignore that. However when employees are empowered, policies & procedures are put in place, and monitoring tools (kind of top video monitors for babies) are deployed, employee abuse can be managed appropriately.

Each employee can become a brand ambassador for your company helping build your company's brand awareness and brand visibility. By getting every employee trained on the various nuances of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks, your company will see an increase in connections & lead generation activity. And when each one of your employees engage with customers using social networks, you can build better customer loyalty and relationship.
 
Social networks become a great way for your employees to spread good PR about your company and its offerings. It also allows them to learn what's happening in the marketplace, see what your competitors are doing, and hear what the customers are saying. The fear of the unknown comes in when companies fear "negative" feedback from their customers who may choose to share their displeasure over something, on social networks. However, this is a great way to actually hear the negative feedback, offer a solution, implement a corrective course of action for the future, and turn the customer around to make him or her your biggest proponent.

And don't feel that you have to take the "each & every" recommendation to heart. It may be difficult to "train" each and every one of your employees to be a brand ambassador. There just may be a few employees whom you want to hide from prospects & customers due to lack of communication or "customer service" skills. By all means hide them for the greater good!

I believe that companies must embrace this new way of doing business or be left behind. Are you ready?

Search Engine Marketing Blog: Facebook for Business – Strategies for Making Social Media Marketing Work!

Ok so we know that Facebook is the most popular network and that over 500M users use it more than they collectively use Gmail, Google and Youtube. But what does that mean to you as a business owner?

How will it benefit you? The question of Social Media Marketing and ROI (return on investment) is asked of me every single time I'm talking to a prospect or even in general when I share what I do with others. My first response is a factitious "Marketing has no ROI".
However I realize that businesses need to know that their hard-earned money isn't just going down this loosy-goosy marketing strategy that has no real tangible outcome or so they think.

So I decided that this list to make Facebook work for your company/product/service is what I'm going to share with my prospects going forward:

  • Think Conversations: Social websites are about two-way, interactive dialogs and therefore your Facebook interactions must be two-way, not one-way. Try to engage people with questions that allow their responses. Share the good and the bad with your fans & followers. Even if the consumer has a negative comment or experience or is not quite in agreement with your line of thinking on a particular topic, allow those discussions to happen. That's because if you prevent them on your page, that conversation will happen elsewhere and it may be more damaging cause you can't control it.
     
  • Think Branding not SalesSocial media websites are not meant for "direct" sales. Consumers on social networks want to network with others. They know that interacting with a company profile means that they'll hear about what the company does and what they sell but they still don't want you to sell to them. By showcasing accomplishments, clients, positive news, community engagement, etc.

    Remember, we do business with people we trust. Similarly, we buy from companies who leave a favorable impression and we stop buying products from companies who are found of ethical wrong-doing. So if you as a company can engage and converse without being intrusive, when the time for buying comes, who do you think the consumer is going to think of?
     

  • Think Visibility: I tell people that "if you and I could afford it, we'd all buy billboard, television, and radio advertisement" because those are all channels designed to reach large audiences. Well, social media websites are YET ANOTHER CHANNEL. Just like radio, television, and billboards create visibility for a brand, so do social media websites because of the large numbers of people who participate. If you aren't playing on social networks, you're losing out because consumers are searching for you on social networks. And if you aren't there now, you'll need to be there soon cause guess what, your competition is already there!

Another great reason to on social media websites is to get maximum links coming into your main corporate website which helps you from an organic search engine optimization perspective.  And finally social media websites are the MOST cost effective medium to reach the MOST people, period! If a cost-per-consumer calculation were to be done, social media websites would win hands-down.

Now there are a lot of disadvantages of using social media websites for corporates too and they include distraction from day to day work, non-targeted audience reach, etc. etc. but that's to be expected. Let's take a billboard example to compare: If your ad is placed on a major freeway, is every person driving down that stretch of the highway a prospect? Similarly, every individual on Facebook may not be your target prospect but you know what, they may know someone who knows someone who can use your services. And that's the bottom-line: Networking with your trusted network – that's what social media websites offer.

Agree? Disagree? Would love to hear from you….