How To Create Facebook Interest Lists

Facebook Interest ListsDoes your personal Facebook Newsfeed seem chaotic sometimes?  If you’ve got lots of Facebook friends and have liked lots of Facebook pages then you could literally spend hours scrolling through all of their status updates.

If you’re using Facebook for business you may just want to focus on the posts that are business related and keep your ‘friends, family and entertainment’ posts for when you have more time to browse them.

Here’s the solution:  Facebook Interest Lists.

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Quick Twitter Tip: Expert Lists

Twitter TipsTwitter Lists are a very useful tool for curating tweets from topic experts.

For instance if you’re a personal trainer you might want to create a Twitter list called ‘Health Experts’.  You would then add Twitter accounts to your list of people who talk about health and fitness and give really great tips.  (Note:  you probably don’t want to include your direct competitors).

This does three things. Continue reading

Twitter For Business: What Is A Hashtag?

What is a hashtagWhat is a hashtag?

Placing the # (hashtag) symbol in front of a word or words (no spaces in between) in some social media sites turns that word or words into a clickable link that when clicked gives you a list of all the status updates/tweets/comments that have included that #hashtag in it.

Why is it there?

The #hashtag makes it easy to find conversations that are talking about the same thing.  Let me explain:  It’s a bit like going to a library and looking for an autobiography.  If the library didn’t have a specific labelled section for autobiographies and all the books were just randomly stuck on the shelves we’d have trouble finding them.  The hashtag is giving the update/tweet/comment a label to make it easier to include it in a particular section of conversation and makes it easier to find.

Where can I use it?

Although Twitter is probably the most well known social media site for the #hashtag, you can now use them on some of the other social media sites such as Google+, Facebook and Instagram.

How is it used?

#Hashtags are used in lots of different ways including:

Following conversations around television programs:  most popular programs feature a #hashtag so viewers can comment and talk to each other on social media sites about what they’re watching

But for business they’re generally used in these ways:

Conferences & exhibitions:  to connect conversations to do with the events:

event hashtag

Local networking:  to find people in your geographic area to network with:

local hashtag

Industry discussions:  to talk about your industry developments, news and network with your peers:

Industry Hashtag

Categorising:  to make it easier for people to see what the post is about:

category hashtag

And not forgetting:

A way to recommend someone using #ff (also known as #followfriday):

Follow Friday Hashtag

Can you search a #hashtag ACROSS social media sites?

Funny you should ask that 🙂

I came across Tagboard.com when I was reading an article on Social Media Examiner.  #tagboard is a website where you can create your own #hashtag boards so you can follow the #hashtags you’re interested in across multiple social media sites.  You definitely need to put this on your list of social media tools to have a look at!

Tagboard for hashtag

What #hashtags do you use on a regular basis? Tweet me @kljsocialmedia

 

Twitter for Business is like playing Snakes & Ladders!

Twitter Snakes & Ladders - kljsocialmedia.com

Remember the game Snakes & Ladders?  I used to love that as a child – I’d play for hours until I beat those snakes and got to my goal … the 100th square.

When I started to use social media for my business it struck me that it was very similar to Snakes & Ladders … I was playing Social Media Snakes & Ladders!

LADDERS:  Some activities will help grow your followers, you get more engagement and you make useful connections.

SNAKES:  Some activities will cause you to lose followers and it feels like tumbleweed is blowing across your @Connect tab.

So to help you get to your goals on social media here’s some Snakes & Ladders for you to think about if you’re using Twitter for business.

LADDERS

  • Include important keywords in your Twitter bio (helps you get found in a search)
  • Retweet  other people’s tweets  (help others – it’s not all about you)
  • Create lists to filter out the noise (do most of your networking with the people most important to you)
  • Tweet links to your blog posts (give people useful info & send them to your website at the same time)
  • Use bit.ly to shorten links and track clicks (continue to tweet things that work and change the tweets that don’t)

SNAKES

  • Only tweeting once per week (you need to be consistent and tweet every day)
  • Not checking your @connect tab (you need to know if anyone’s talking to you)
  • Leaving the generic twitter egg as your photo (we need to know who you are)
  • Following anyone and everyone (it’s more effective if you follow a targeted network)
  • Only tweeting sales messages (it’s not an advert channel – talk to people too)
  • Not using a website link in your Twitter bio (a missed opportunity to get more traffic)

Keep ‘playing’ Twitter for your business, beat those snakes and reach your social media goals.

If you’d like to learn more about the principles of social media for business my FREE ebook is packed with useful tips you can put into practice today.  Click here to download it Generating Leads with Social Media

Using Twitter to find local customers

How would you like to find tweets that mention your topic of expertise, from people who are geographically close to you?  Imagine how useful that could be to you!  It would mean you could start up a conversation on Twitter and then have the opportunity to take it offline.

A recent client, who has a tyre repair service, has a search set up for the word ‘puncture’ – whenever he sees a tweet that includes that word he sends a reply to let them know he can help, and quite often he’s then booked to do the job.

While you can use the basic Twitter search box to do this you need to know something about search operators to get really specific, which can be complicated.  However the Twitter Advanced Search page lets you search locally without knowing anything about search operators.  Unfortunately Twitter seem to have hidden this option quite well – but don’t worry, because I’m going to tell you how to find it!

To access the Twitter Advanced Search page type the keywords you want to search for in the usual Twitter search box and press Enter on your keyboard.

Twitter Search

You’ll see a results page that gives you a list of tweets that include those keywords. Click the down arrow next to the ‘cog’ in the corner of the page then click Advanced Search.

Twitter Advanced Search Button

 

 

 

 

 

This reveals the Twitter Advanced Search page where you can really narrow your search.

Twitter Advanced Search Page

Type in your keywords then go to the Places box.  Enter the geographical area you work in and then click Search.

You’ll get a list of tweets that include your keywords, from people who are in the location you searched on.

To save this search for future use click the drop down arrow on the search results page next to the ‘cog’ and click Save Search.  The next time you want to look at this search click in the basic search box and a list of your saved searches will appear.

Using Twitter search in this way helps you find opportunities and people to add to your network.

D is for Discovering

One of the great things about using social media for business is that you can discover things.  Information about all sorts of things is strewn across the internet – most of it in the public domain for us all to read.

Research has become so much easier due to social media sites.  We can hear what people are saying about our products and services – good and bad (giving us the opportunity to amplify the positive comments and respond to negative comments).  Set up some Google Alerts to see what’s already being said about your company.

We can listen to conversations to find out what needs our customers have, helping us refine what we offer and tailor our social media content (blogs, videos, free reports etc.) to help answer their questions and drive traffic to our websites.  Find a Discussion Forum where your target market hangs out and browse the topics being discussed – you might be surprised at what you find.  Take a look at Social Mention and listen to the conversation across 80+ social media sites.

Social Media advertising can be very specifically targeted because of the information people fill in on their profiles.  Take a look at Facebook Ads or LinkedIn Ads and see how many people you could reach.

The same profile information also helps us find and connect with prospective customers, suppliers and referral partners.  Try the Advanced People search on Linkedin or take a look at www.followerwonk.com and hone in on your target market on Twitter.

Make a point of discovering things on social media on a regular basis and act on what you find – it’ll definitely make a difference to your social media marketing efforts.

You can discover more about social media on my Facebook Page – come over and introduce yourself.

Want to know more? E is for Edgerank

C is for Compelling Offer

One of the objectives of using social media for business is to capture the email address of those people who have an interest in your product or service.  You’ll notice many websites featuring a form which asks you to enter your name and email address to receive their free newsletter.

If your email box is anything like mine it’s already chock-a-block and takes some good time management to keep it under control.  So unless it’s a company I already know really well I’m highly unlikely to enter my details in the hope of getting an interesting newsletter every week or month.

However, if I come across a website or Facebook Page that asks me to enter my details in return for a compelling free report, video or ebook that has some information that will solve a problem for me or will be extremely helpful to me, then I wouldn’t hesitate in handing my details over.  It’s a no-brainer.  I’m happy and the company has my email address enabling them to keep in touch and build a relationship with me … and ultimately sell to me.

If you want to build a targeted list of prospects then think about what you could give away as your Compelling Free Offer.  If you’ve spent some time researching your target market you should know what things interest them in regard to your product or service.  Set up a sign-up form on your website or Facebook Welcome Page, feature your Compelling Free Offer and see if you get more people giving you their details.

Take a look at these 12 Most Compelling Free eBooks by Business Bloggers to get some inspiration.

What’s your Compelling Free Offer?

Next time: D is for Discovering

B is for Blogging

A blog is a platform where you can publish an ongoing supply of short articles that gives your customers and prospective customers some interesting, useful information to do with the products or services you offer.  The blog post is written on a blog page (like this one), preferably housed within your website.  There’s some great free blogging software around that’s fairly easy to use – this one being WordPress

If your business wants to include social media in their marketing mix then a blog page, in my opinion, is essential.  It’s essential because it helps you do the following:

  • You can use it to attract visitors to your website – Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn are good platforms to use to post links directing people back to your blog posts, which creates traffic to your website.
  • Well written blog posts that include relevant keywords people would use to search for your type of product/service can boost your search engine optimisation efforts.  River Pools & Spas are an excellent example of how effective blogging can be for this.
  • An informative blog post can help showcase your expertise.  Writing regular posts that are helpful to your target market can help you become the person they think of first when they’re ready to buy.
  • A consistent blogging strategy that focuses on your customers’ needs goes a long way to building that know,like and trust factor.

If you’re not sure what to write or you’ve run out of ideas to blog about, take a look at Nikki Pilkington’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge.  It’s packed full of creative ideas, inspiration and tips, so you never have to worry about writer’s block again!

Check out C is for Compelling Offer

Social Media Marketing is like an Expo

Many small businesses fail in social media marketing because they set up a Twitter or Facebook account and don’t know why they’re doing it or what to do with it.  But if you think about it, using social media for marketing your business is just like using an Expo (trade exhibition) to market your business.

Let me explain:

If you were to take an exhibition stand at a trade show you’d think about several things (hopefully!)

  • You’d find out what was the most appropriate exhibition for you to attend; whether your target market was likely to be there; have any other businesses similar to yours attended and did they have any success.
  • You’d set some objectives – decide what you wanted to achieve from the exhibition.
  • You’d think about the information you wanted to get across to people visiting your stand; what would they find useful; what would make them want to know more about your product or service.
  • You’d think about how you were going to convey that information; would you use brochures, demonstrations, videos.
  • And while it’s nice to chat to people at a trade show, you’d likely want to think about how you would convert them into prospective customers.
  • Once you got back from the exhibition you’d think about what worked well, what you could have done better, and what you would do differently at the next one

When you think about social media marketing you need to go through the same steps:

  • What’s the most appropriate social media site for your business; are your target market likely to be there; do your competitors have a presence on them and if so are they having any success?
  • Set some objectives – what do you want to achieve from being on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn … is it building awareness, generating leads, giving greater customer service?
  • What content (information) can you give your prospective customers that shows you know what you’re talking about; how will they know you can solve their problems?
  • How will you deliver that content – text, video, audio, slideshow etc?
  • It’s great to have followers and people clicking like buttons but are they moving through your sales funnel?  How will you convert them to leads?
  • How will you measure your social media activity?  How will you know if your social media marketing efforts are working?

So if you’ve ever been to an Expo and had a really successful day think about the steps you went through and then adapt them for your social media marketing activity.

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A is for Autoresponder

If you’ve ever signed up for a discount coupon, free report or ebook download on a Facebook Page or a website you would have entered your email address into an ‘opt-in’ form.  This means that you give permission for that company to send you further emails.  The emails you receive after you’ve downloaded the free report are a way for that company to start building a better relationship with you.  They might send you more free information, ask you if you enjoyed the report or if you have any questions about it.  Eventually the company will email you details of products or services they think you will be interested in buying in the hope that by this time you’ve grown to know, like and trust in them and what they do.

This series of emails you receive have likely been set up in advance and are called Autoresponders which means that every time someone enters their email address into the opt-in form those details are put into a database list on email marketing software such as Aweber or Mailchimp.  This then triggers the autoresponders.  The emails you recieve will have an unsubscribe button at the bottom for you to click on if you want to stop receiving them.

The company who set the autoresponders up are able to see which people on their list are opening each email and what links within the email they are clicking on.  This enable the company to tweak their subject line or email content if they find not many people are taking action.  The opt-in form and autoresponder are excellent social media marketing tools to help a company build a list of people interested in their product or service and they work best with an initial compelling free offer.

Next time:  B is for Blogging