Pop the Champagne! We’re 6 Years Old!

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If you would have asked my 23-year-old self if I thought I would be 29 and running a business, I would have laughed. If you had asked if I thought I would be 29 and celebrating 6 years in business, I would have thought you were lying.

I was 23 in 2011 and found myself laid off from a failing company and wondering what I would do. I knew I didn’t want to collect unemployment, and that I wanted to go back to school for my masters. My dad suggested that I start my own company and work for a few people on the side while I go to school, and that idea stuck with me.

I got laid off on Friday, and filed On-Word Marketing with the MN Secretary of State on Monday. I began working for a few companies I already had connections with, and started studying for the GRE. Over the next few months I took the GRE and was accepted to Bethel University’s Masters of Communication program.

The next year and half were a haze of highlighter ink, thesis research, and social media seminars, until finally, in October of 2013, I graduated from Bethel with a Master’s Degree in Communication. While all of my classmates were wondering what they would do with their new degree, I turned my attention to my company and began devoting all of my time to growing my business.

What I started in April 2011 as a way to earn a little bit of income while going to school, was now a full-time job. I never set out to be a business owner, but 6 years later that’s exactly where I find myself.

I am very fortunate to have found success in this venture. I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible, grown as a person, and met some incredibly talented people. I have had the opportunity to help some truly wonderful companies, and I am looking forward to helping even more companies with their social media presence.

So today I pop the champagne and celebrate all the clients, family, and friends, because without you, none of this would be possible. Thank you.

How to Use Social Media in Network Marketing without Involving Your Ego– Part 2

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You’ve learned how to leave your ego at home by not advertising to your audience and providing them with interesting content. Keep your audience interested in your content and continuously coming back to your site by following these simple steps.

Engage Your Audience
The next step would be to ask questions or post comments that your audience can respond to. You could say things such as, “Listen to ((Band XYZ’s)) track and let us know what you think!” or “The singer from ((Band XYZ)) used to be the lead singer in ((Band HIJ)). Which sound do you prefer?” Engaging the audience is a key part of social media. Let your followers know that you care about their opinion and give them a chance to voice their thoughts. Using your social media sites to spark conversation may set you apart from others in your industry.

Listen & Respond
After you ask questions of your followers, don’t think that your job is done. There is one key step that many companies can forget, and that’s responding to the answers your followers are giving to your questions. Just like in conversation you don’t want to ask a question, get a response and leave it, this would kill the conversation and doesn’t make your company seem interested. Once your audience has given an answer to your question, respond back. Let them know you are paying attention and genuinely care about what they think.

Frequency is Key
After these steps have been implemented, repeat. It’s important to keep updating your content, providing new information and keep your site current. These are the things that keep your audience coming back and commenting on your posts.

Remember you can give information about your company, after all people are following your company because they like you, but just be careful the content you’re providing doesn’t sound like a sales pitch. Rather your content should be informative, but also include a place for people to learn about your industry, voice their opinion and carry on conversations with you. Having all these components may create a well-rounded social media campaign that could keep people checking your site and responding to your questions.

View How to Use Social Media in Network Marketing without Involving Your Ego– Part 1 here:  http://bit.ly/Xg0mCj

originally posted on iblogmarketing.com

How to Use Social Media in Network Marketing without Involving Your Ego– Part 1

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You’ve created a social media profile, now what? Unless you are one of the biggest brands in the world such as Coca-Cola or Apple, the general population may not have heard of you and attracting brand advocates could be difficult. This means it will take some work to get noticed and as well as keeping visitors coming back. However, with these easy to follow tips, you’ll be on your way to success.

Leave Your Ego at Home
Most sites won’t maintain a solid following base if they only put out egocentric content. Avoid this ego trip by providing current content that will allow your followers to gain insight into your business and industry without being plagued with messages and advertisements about your company.

Don’t Advertise
It may sound counterproductive, but you don’t want your postings to sound like you are advertising to your followers. Just like you don’t like to follow people who talk about every little thing that goes on in their life and never give you a chance to respond, people don’t like to follow a business that is egocentric. People log into Facebook to be entertained and to create and maintain relationships, so sending them your advertisements may make your followers annoyed. If your followers see that all you are posting are things about your company and boasting about what you have accomplished people may get bored and either block or unfollow you.

Provide Interesting Content
Instead of creating all of your posts to let people know about what is going on at your company, use this space to post about things that relate to the industry you’re in. This means, for instance, if you’re in the music industry and there is news about a band, you can inform your followers of the current event. This could also be something as simple as hearing that a band is giving away a free song download; you can let your audience know about it and provide a link to the download site. (If possible, it might be a good idea to make the link open in a new tab to ensure the customer isn’t straying away from your site).

Stay tuned– Part 2 will include the final three steps that may help bring your social media marketing plan full circle without drowning your audience in egocentric posts.

*originally posted on iblogmarketing.com

Using SEO to Improve Your Rankings

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Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a tool that helps search engines such as Google or Bing find your site and bring it to people who are trying to find your site. The steps below should help you start to improve your search engine ranking while allowing you to understand how your customers are attempting to find your business.

  1. Do your research– Use sites such as Google Keywords (http://bit.ly/116mpfn) to research what words people are using to find your product
  2. Seamlessly integrate keywords into your web copy– No one wants to read a post that has the same 5 words repeated over and over again. When you’re writing your copy, make sure it flows while still using your keywords
  3. Include search terms in the title of your post– When Google spiders the web it will read the title first. If you add the terms into the title as well as the body of the post Google will pick up on your website faster and you will see more targeted results.
  4. Link your keywords to other postings on your website– Google puts a substantial amount of importance on linking. If your website uses relevant keywords, Google will notice. (Just don’t go too overboard. Over linking will not only make your human viewers slightly aggravated because they could potentially keep clicking off your post, but Google will penalize you for over linking.)
  5. Use SEO in your social postings– Google shows Twitter updates in its search results. Including keywords in your updates will gain exposure even when users aren’t searching social media sites.

SEO is constantly changing and improving. It’s a tool that is so important for any business owner or copy writer to know. With this foundation, you’ll be able to improve your search engine rankings and bring more traffic to your site.

image courtesy of searchengineland.com

What Is This 9-5 You Speak Of?

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The funny thing about working in social media is that you can try to set all the hours you want but just because you’ve finished all your work doesn’t mean a question or comment won’t show up that will need an immediate response. Social networks don’t operate on a 9-5 and if you aren’t around answering questions on a Friday night, your customer base might get a little frustrated.

Clients are no different. It could be 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning and a client could call and want something posted. Clients and social media fans don’t care that you have decided to take the day off; they will call you or post on your site if they need something and you have to be there to answer it no matter what time of the day it is.

What this all means is that if you’re working in social media, you can say goodbye to the 9-5.

The plus side of not working 9-5 is that if on a Tuesday and you have finished your work by 2, you can be done… well at least until the next comment comes in.

Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

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*Quote by Samuel Beckett 

If there is one thing I’ve learned while working with social media, it’s that no customer base stays the same. There is always room for change, and since your customer base is constantly growing and changing, so too should your social media strategy.

The best thing to do with a social media page is to constantly change-up the way you’re interacting with your customers. Now I’m not saying to change-up something that’s working well, but don’t get too stuck in your ways. It’s always refreshing to see something new on a brand’s page, even if it doesn’t work out exactly how you thought it would.

These types of changes could be adding photos into your postings, asking for the input of the customers, or asking the customers questions, changing the time of the postings, etc. Making small changes like this may make all the difference.

I usually try to do this every other month. I keep the things that are working, but try out new techniques; see if there might be something that works better.

I love the quote from Samuel Beckett because it reminds me that even if something doesn’t work, I can learn from the experience and make the next attempt more successful. I hope that it can help remind you that one failed strategy doesn’t mean you should stop switching up your social media.

*image courtesy of behappy.me 

The Best Social Media Site for You

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When companies first start using social media they initially go to Facebook and Twitter without fully examining their options. Each company is different and will benefit from a different social media site. I know there are a ton of sites out there that a company can use, but I have decided to look at Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google+, blogging and run through the benefits of each and how specific companies can attempt to help them understand which site will work the best for them.

Facebook

Facebook is a great site to be on if you have a longer message that you would like to get out along with active customers who will comment on your postings. If you lack the active consumers it may seem like you are just talking to yourself and wind up frustrated.

Twitter

Twitter is great if you have a lot of current information that you want to get out to your customers. This is great for things like the news, or restaurants who want to let their customers know about wait times for dinner or if they ran out of a certain item. If a company doesn’t have much to say, Twitter would most likely be a waste of time because there is so much clutter on the site that the message would get lost.

Pinterest

Pinterest is great for companies who have photos, links to blogs, and content that isn’t directly related to their company but that the company wants to show to their customers (e.g. A hair salon that wants to show the products that they sell, examples of hair that they have done, as well as tutorials from other companies about how to do hair styles).

Google+

Google+ is great if you are using Google Analytics for your website, if you use Google places for most of your reviews, or if you want to boost your Google ranking. Since Google+ is directly to all of your Google activity to using this site will make you have more links out in the internet world so you can possibly move up the Google searches. The only thing to be weary of when starting this is that the market usually desires a different message than the ones you put on Facebook and Twitter. If you decide to use this social media site you should ensure to create new messages than the ones you are posting to Facebook.

Blogs

Blogging is great for companies who work in a specific area where consumers want to stay up to date on trends in that industry, or if you have enough information to say about your company to keep the blog up to date and ensure it doesn’t become stagnant. The second this happens you will lose a great chunk of your audience because they don’t want to keep coming back to a site that contains no new information.

Linking your blog to your social media sites is a great idea. Make sure to keep the tagline short, sweet and enticing. It should have a line that will draw users in, make them wonder what the posting will be about.

The trick to starting any social media campaign is to pick one or two sites and do them really well. It’s important not to spread yourself too thin because if you do that all of your sites suffer.

Hopefully this posting gave you a little more information about the social media sites out there. Again, I will stress that there are more sites out there to use, but since the majority of people are on these sites I wanted to allow you to see the different ways to use them and maybe show you which site you want to be on.