Social Media Marketing – It’s All About Interaction

This is written from the perspective of a business owner that is using social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.) to promote their business.

There are at least a couple mentors I have that do not use social media, and they don’t encourage those that they mentor to use social media. Here is their reasoning. Unless you have a definite plan and process in place, social media can be a tremendous waste of time. Even the best of systems for marketing on social media requires your time to make it work. Interaction requires time. The lesson from them is get a system and work your system for a set amount of time every day. Begin to get other systems in place. Multiple streams of leads insures the long term success of your business.

To interact effectively with others on social media you have first got to identify who you want to network with. Who do you want to be your friends on social media networks. Only invite folks to be your friends that you truly want to build relationships with.

After you establish friends that you want to interact with, then you begin to network with them. You begin communicating with them.

If you have been a student of something that you are passionate about for a while, get involved in social media and then become a teacher of what you’re passionate about. The big “secret” to attraction marketing will involve you becoming expert in at least one aspect of internet marketing. If you don’t do that you will not have anything that will be attracting others to you.

If you’re great at building a lead capture page, start a blog and talk about that. Help the rest of us out.

You need to engage people in social media. Having 50 different Facebook, MySpace or Twitter accounts and never using most of them isn’t going to get you anywhere. So start interacting with people on the social media you’re involved in.

Listen to what others are saying on the sites you’re involved in. If you have anything of value to add go ahead and interact with them.

Make sure that you add value. Another way to say that is make sure you share something with them that you think they don’t already know. This is where the power of studying whatever you’re becoming expert at will kick in. You must have more than a cursory knowledge of anything to be of value to someone.

Start interacting with people. You have to communicate to be social. Be there when someone needs you with something that is beneficial for them.

Begin to focus on a target market. At the end of the day our report card is our bank account. But there is a balance between being a member of a community and adding something to that community and just being a taker. People will pick up on what your motives are in short order. That will dictate how much trust or confidence they place in you.

Small Business – SEO Basics – Where Do You Begin Promoting Your Business Online?

Many small business make the mistake of beginning with their website when they want to begin promoting their business online. For those who are inexperienced, this would seem the logical place to start. Unfortunately, just having a website is not enough. You must be able to get traffic to the website in order to do business online.

Ideally, you would have consulted with an SEO specialist before having your site built. For most, that is not the case. There is a great deal to learn when it comes to how search engines work and how to get buying traffic to your website. You do not have that kind of time to spend. The logical solution is to hire someone with experience to help you along the way. It does not have to cost a great deal but you do need to spend money on your website to get the full potential from it and to bring your website in front of your prospective buyers.

One of the first things your web consultant will want to do is define who your target market is. This is done through keyword research and market analysis. Once your market is clearly defined and the choice keywords selected, you will be able to make the little changes to your website and all of your promotion materials that will bring traffic to your website. More traffic means more sales.

In a few months, once your website begins to build traffic, your consultant will be able to help you monitor the progress of your success. She will take the time to put together a monthly report so you will be able to see what is working and what is not. Once you see trends of success, you can then tailor your efforts and streamline them into spending more time on what is working and less time on what is not.

Because search engines and traffic trends are ever changing, your SEO consultant will be a valuable asset to your business. Their business depends on staying on top of these trends so you can be sure your website promotion campaigns are as current and effective today as they were in the past. You are busy running your business. You do not have time to spend staying on top of another industry, namely SEO.

Your SEO consultant will take the time to work with you to find a solution within your budget. Even small business, or should I say, especially small business, can benefit from a helping hand when it comes to SEO. This service is not reserved for big businesses. Who knows, when you start getting enough traffic to your website, your small business may just turn into a big business.

Divorce By Social Media (Facebook, Classmates)

A recent client of mine told me about how his wife had reconnected with an old boyfriend from high school through Facebook. They hadn’t seen each other in 38 years and considered each other their “first love”. As we all know, a “first love” is a tough bond to break especially when there was physical intimacy involved.

He told me that her old boyfriend found her on Facebook and sent her a contact note. She responded back by telling him she was married and had 4 children. He wanted to hear more about her life and what she had been doing all those 38 years. Unbeknownst to her, he had been divorced and was thinking about her. Eventually, her marriage seemed unfulfilling to her too and unfortunately, she shared that with her exboyfriend. He was an engineer and had been divorced for 3 years. He wanted to reconnect with her and she thought it would be nice to see him too.So she traveled to Ohio to meet him and never told her husband where she was going. She just packed her bags for a “weekend getaway”.

When she returned she told her husband of 30+ years that she was divorcing him. She wanted out and had talked to a lawyer about putting the divorce together. She told their grown children that she was divorcing their father and told all kinds of lies about him. She also told the children that he was unfaithful and abusive towards her. The lies got even worse the more time she spent with her old flame talking on the phone and chatting on Facebook. With her lies, she turned her children and family against him.

The lies were so destructive and painful he nearly had a nervous breakdown. He begged, pleaded, groveled, wept and cried to get her back. She destroyed this man’s life because of an affair she wanted and tried to justify it with her own lies. This woman was very deceitful and filled with hate.

When I met with this man at my office, he was beside himself. He had nowhere to turn and his children wanted nothing to do with him. His wife hated him and was bent on taking him down. He asked me, “Dr. Mike, where do I go from here? I have done nothing that she has accused me of. I have been faithful to her and loved her, but she always seemed unhappy.I’ve tried talking with her, planning vacations, etc., but it just never worked out. I even asked her to go to marriage counseling, which she refused. I know I wasn’t a perfect husband, but I tried everything possible to make her happy. “

He told me that he found out who the guy was, what kind of job he had and the type of people he was involved with.He also knew how many times he was divorced and even current relationships the man was involved in. He had all the emails they sent each other with the time and date stamps on them.He wanted to know why another man would take his wife away, knowing full-well she was still married. That was a fair question. Relationships can be so complex!They are hard to understand at times. “Who should get the blame,” he asked? I told him, “They both should. He shares in equal blame.The reason you feel it’s more your wife’s fault is because she is the focal point of your pain.”

If you suspect that your spouse/partner is reconnecting with a former girlfriend, boyfriend, lover, etc., you need to confront them immediately. The longer you delay the more damage there will be and the possibility of your marriage will come to an end is likely. Confronting your spouse is not a bad thing – doing absolutely nothing is. You need a game plan when you talk to your spouse/partner. If you accuse them without knowing what you’re going to say, you’re headed for trouble so plan on that! More and more relationships have ended from social websites than ever before. If you are tempted to look up an old boyfriend or girlfriend, don’t. There is no reason to risk hurting your relationship with your spouse/partner by looking for past loves. Protect that relationship you’re in, guard it and enjoy it! Trying to rekindle a relationship with an old flame never works, especially if you’re in a committed relationship.

Do you suspect that your spouse has been cheating on you by using Facebook or Classmates.com? Have you seen the signs of them spending time texting excessively or on the computer? Then deal with the problem right away, don’t wait!

Barrier Busters of the Top 6 Most Common Misperceptions of Mobile Small Business Apps

The trends are very telling – mobile small business apps is the smart way to reach your audience.

The latest research shows that the primary reason small business continues to place traditional advertising such as their annual yellow page listing is because everyone else does.

With the sharp downward trends of traditional advertising it’s time to go where your audience already is. Let’s examine closer where you can improve a much higher promotional ROI with your mobile apps for small business investment.

First Steps Toward Mobile Apps for Small Business

1. Know your current ROI.

What is your yellow pages (or other print) actual ROI?

How many new customers came to you through your print listing?

What was their average purchase amount?

Does your incremental sales margins cover the cost of your print ad?

2. Start small. Take just say 10-15% of what you are already spending and pilot some of the mobile small business apps.

3. Leverage both. For example, use your yellow page listing to include a promotion that drives traffic to free Facebook business page such as opting in for a discount coupon.

The Most Commonly Perceived Barriers for Mobile Small Business Apps

Anything new and different always has initial barriers.

Let’s explore whether they are fact or fiction so that you can decide if this exciting and fast growing medium is right to consider for your business.

We’ll start with the most common perceptions.

  • Time – Overwhelmed business owners have little time to research new technology for mobile small business apps and consumer tastes.

Fact- Customizable templates offer turnkey solutions for even the most non-technical business owner.

  • Cost – Normal development costs for mobile apps can be costly. Typically $4,000 to $15,000. Don’t forget multiple technology formats and future software changes create additional costs.

Fact – Affordable options are now available for the smallest promotional budget.

  • Branding and Customization – Mobile app templates don’t allow me to express my unique brand, benefits and features for my business.

Fact – Menu driven templates allow you to choose which small business apps functions will engage your target audience the most. You can even choose your own logo, color, look and feel that mirrors your web site and print collateral. This custom menu approach saves you thousands of development dollars.

  • Technology – How could I ever keep up to be sure my mobile small business apps can be viewed on Android, Apple iOS, Blackberry and Windows smartphones. How about all the different tablets?

Fact – Exciting cloud based solutions mean all that back office technology stuff is done for you so your business apps are always easily accessible to your customers, no matter what device is in their hand. More importantly your information is secure.

  • ROI Tracking and Control – How do I keep up with a repeatable tracking system for my mobile apps?

Fact – You select the measurable traffic and customer conversion indicators you want to track and the system does it for you. Once you decide what you want you can maintain your system in less than 15 minutes a day.

  • Type of Business – My business isn’t about connecting with local mobile shoppers like restaurants and Realtors. I don’t see how mobile business apps would work for me.

Fact – If you have a product or service that provides additional value to help people with solutions they need there are mobile business apps waiting for you to connect to. Because of the widespread use of smart phones across all demographic groups (1 billion by 2016 globally!) every business has a sizable audience to reach.

Think outside your local market. With mobile apps it’s time to consider regional, national and even a global reach.

While this article emphasized smart phones don’t forget to include tablet users, another exploding mobile platform many small to mid-size businesses are not effectively connecting with.

With a world gone mobile the time is now to rid all the barriers in helping your mobile small business apps connect with growing your business.