Business – Socialmedia.biz http://socialmedia.biz Social media business strategies blog Fri, 29 Dec 2017 08:16:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 7 emerging social media marketing trends for 2014 http://socialmedia.biz/2013/12/09/7-emerging-social-media-marketing-trends-for-2014/ http://socialmedia.biz/2013/12/09/7-emerging-social-media-marketing-trends-for-2014/#comments Mon, 09 Dec 2013 13:01:28 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=26533 Continue reading ]]> pinterest-vine-gplus
Pinterest, Vine and Google Plus: three of the sites to keep an eye on in 2014.

Predictions to help businesses stay ahead of the curve

Guest post by Nikhil Jain

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

nikhil-jainWith 2014 knocking on the door, we thought it was time to put down the eggnog and take a hard look at what’s going to be hot on the social media marketing front the coming year — and what won’t be hot.

Before we do, let’s take a quick look at a roundup of trends that have originated from the most popular social networks this year.

Google: A reboot of Google+

  • Expecting a whole new surge of Google+ users (and rightfully so), Google made a wise decision to revamp the look and feel of its social network. The visually appealing, streamlined look was well received as more mobile users came to appreciate the larger displays and intuitively separated sections.
  • Google+ vanity URLs are now available for users who fulfill certain criteria. To long profile links that contain a host of squiggly numbers, good riddance, we say!

Facebook: Hashtags and Verified Pages

Not surprisingly, 2013 has been the year of updates for Facebook.

  • #hashtags were successfully implemented for profiles and pages. Now you won’t have to be ridiculed when you place them in your posts – they are now completely searchable.
  • Facebook rolled out Verified Pages a la Twitter’s verified account. Even the little blue checkmark looks familiar, doesn’t it?

Twitter: Twitter Trends expand worldwide

  • Twitter Trends is now available in 160+ locations, allowing users to narrow down current events to a specific area of their choice.
  • Want to leverage the power of Twitter for your business but don’t know how? Luckily for you and other business owners, the Twitter for Business website was launched to assist both new and existing users in growing their audience.

LinkedIn: Notify your contacts

  • LinkedIn finally gave its users the ability to mention contacts when posting, not unlike a feature that already existed long ago. Once mentioned, your contact will receive a notification that they’ve been mentioned in your post thus warranting their action.

Pinterest: Never miss a beat

  • Pinterest greatly improved its look, and besides the aesthetic appeal, it now boasts a new Categories section that aids searches for business and connections.
  • The new notifications feature is a natural – this feature ensures that you’ll never miss anything important related to your pins and activity on Pinterest.

2014: Image-based networks, social CRM, micro-video & more

The Internet sure came a long way, didn’t it? Now that you’ve taken a stroll through the major changes that happened throughout the year, let’s take a look at the top marketing trends to watch out for in 2014.

Google+ will finally shine (yes, really)

1Google+ is hardly the leader of the pack when its number of monthly users (359 million) is compared to Facebook’s (a whopping 1.15 billion). However, Google is ramping up its efforts to appeal to those who want to gain a competitive edge in terms of SEO and search engine relevance to build their network.

More people to invest heavily in social media

2No ifs ands or buts: More and more companies are looking to enrich their social media presence to the extent of hiring experts to man their campaigns rather than delegate the task to a junior-level employee. Business owners will increasingly embrace social media networking as a means to:

  • Build their brands
  • Create viral advertising campaigns
  • Instill customer loyalty
  • Reward customers
  • Reach out to more people, even those from untapped audience demographics
Image-based networks will rule

3That’s right. While video giants YouTube and Vimeo continue to dominate, image-centric sites like Pinterest, Tumblr, Mobli and the likes will soar and businesses will aggressively leverage their built-in shareability.

Increasing need for social CRM

4Social CRM is the product of a perfect marriage between social media and web connectivity. More businesses will realize the importance of this tool, which encompasses benefits such as the ability to:

  • Manage social networking accounts from the CRM platform
  • Monitor and track current conversations and trends revolving around your brand
  • Analyze, track and scale your social media activities to bring profitable results
Micro video will prove to be more exciting than YouTube?

5Instagram might have hit the jackpot when it added a new video feature. Twitter followed suit with its very own Vine. The latter allows users to post 6-second long videos, a smart move that kind of capitalizes on the speed and fun concept made popular by Snapchat. Think of the value you can off customers in creating and sharing videos in the blink of an eye!

Foursquare might slink away into oblivion … or will it?

6There are predictions saying that Foursquare might not make it to see 2015, citing stale traffic figures and financial problems in 2013, but we think that this location-based entity is not quite ready to die a premature death. Sometime in October, Foursquare made a bold move in rolling out self-service ads targeted to small businesses.

This opens a whole new world of convenience for self-reliant business owners who want to create ads without enlisting help from the Foursquare team. Apparently, this move pleases business owners like David Feit, Sky Room’s marketing director, who was looking for better ways to spread the news about the location of his luxury rooftop bar. With the self-serve ads feature, he was delighted to reach out to potential customers and pay only for actual check-ins. Other businesses have since benefited from the move, so we think that there may be hope for Foursquare yet to co-exist along with other social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Hype will give way to simplicity

7In a bid to woo customers, innovative marketers are shying away from loud, brash messages. More efforts are being made to create social media marketing campaigns that mirror that of Pinterest where minimalist beauty is king. Forbes revealed that consumers are increasingly being immune to the overly garish sensory input churned out by marketers who were too eager to take advantage of our highly digitized lives. In order for a marketing strategy to penetrate through consumers’ stubborn mindset, the campaign message (as well as accompanying aesthetics) needs to be clear, concise and simple – a far cry from the flamboyant efforts that are fast losing effectiveness.

Nikhil Jain is the CEO and founder of Ziondia Interactive. Nikhil has over 9 years of experience in the Internet marketing industry. In that time he has owned multiple ecommerce sites and a few hundred MFA sites and did a lot of affiliate marketing. He currently offers guest blogging services at Ziondia. Connect with him on Twitter at @nicksjain and on LinkedIn.
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PEER mixes the best of LinkedIn & video chat http://socialmedia.biz/2013/11/08/peer-mixes-linkedin-and-video-chat/ http://socialmedia.biz/2013/11/08/peer-mixes-linkedin-and-video-chat/#comments Fri, 08 Nov 2013 11:01:03 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=26394 Continue reading ]]> peer

Startup seeks to make online networking more efficient

Ayelet NoffAs professionals who live in an era where everything is social, where most things we do matter only if they are liked, shared or reposted, it is no longer a cliché to say that “it’s all about who you know.” Regardless of the profession we chose for ourselves, or the industry we want to master, we all learn at one point or another that personal networking is a crucial element in the process of expanding our business presence and reputation. The real question is simply how to make the networking process more efficient.

Take, for instance, the world of communications and PR – a world that is near and dear to my heart. Everyone from large brands to small startups wants to get their names out there, and social media has made that process easier than ever before. Yet, we still travel the world to meet people, to attend conferences, to chit-chat and build connections. Why is this real-world connection still so important considering the power of social media and other technologies?

The answer is because even in our digital age, real-world meetings help us build strong relationships with the right people, something that’s still incredibly hard to do using online tools alone. When I’m at a conference, I rely on my current network of people to introduce me to more relevant people. Then I can take advantage of face-to-face meetings to cut down the time it takes to build trust, to develop a meaningful connection, and to recognize whether there is real potential in the relationship. Though at the end of the day, I ask myself, is there not a digital tool that can achieve something similar?

Building personalized relationships in a way LinkedIn can’t

peer-itunesEnter PEER.

Made by VideoVivo, Inc. (disclosure: they’re my client), PEER is a new networking service that’s taking a different approach. Instead of relying on mostly text-based communication, PEER centers around real-time video conversations. It helps you find other users that are relevant for your networking purposes and guides you to start a video conversation with them.

To keep the quality high, the platform is not open to everyone. PEER requires you connect via your LinkedIn profile and it requires that you have sufficient real connections and experience.

PEER is aiming at the two main challenges of networking that are currently solved by real-world meetings: Finding the right people and building a strong connection with them. LinkedIn is a great network for finding relevant people, but it’s not so strong at building closer, more personalized relationships. Video-platforms on the other hand, are much more personalized, but they get bogged down with inappropriate content and don’t help you find the right targets. PEER blends the two together in a unique online networking recipe.

It’s an interesting take on online networking. Whether you’re looking for new customers or new potential business partners, you will come up against the problems PEER is trying to solve. One way to solve it is by hopping from one event to the next, but PEER is trying to offer an alternative that will let you find and develop new business relationships just by using your iPhone.

As a professional who is working with startups from all over the world, I understand that there’s more than one way to make a connection. PEER is taking an approach that combines existing networking ideals with a new and potentially disruptive strategy.

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How social networking can accelerate your career http://socialmedia.biz/2013/07/02/how-social-networking-can-accelerate-your-career/ Tue, 02 Jul 2013 12:01:57 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=25449 Continue reading ]]>

Focus on your goals, then expand your networking

Target audience: Small businesses, entrepreneurs, marketing professionals, SEO specialists, college students, job seekers, those considering a career change.

JD Lasica“In the past,” Porter Gale says, “I think people thought of networking as a transaction or a game. It was all about collecting numbers and handing out business cards.”

Porter’s new book, “Your Network Is Your Net Worth,” suggests a different approach, beginning with “the we instead of just the me,” as she says in our 8-minute interview above. Her approach is about helping others, offering value, creating partnerships, finding influencers and creating content — whether that’s a blog post, a video interview or a brainstorming session to solve a problem.

Watch or embed our video interview on YouTube

Watch, download or embed the video on Vimeo

As vice president of marketing at Virgin America, Porter began to appreciate the value of a rich social network, and she translated those ideas of having a defined purpose and a mission to individuals. “Once you determine your passions, then figure out where you can accelerate your networking,” she says.

The book — my short review is below — has a few different audiences, particularly new college graduates who are trying to figure out their career path as well as those re-examining their career path or needing more focus.

Note: Porter is hosting an online course covering many of these topics on CreativeLIVE on July 30-31.

Review of ‘Your Network Is Your Net Worth’

your-network

While other books in recent years have jumped on the trendy anti-social media bandwagon, Porter Gale’s “Your Network Is Your Net Worth” goes in a different direction. The book makes an optimistic, hard-headed, clear-eyed case for the simple reality that social networking is not just about people and our connections to them – it’s also, at bottom, about how we shape our own identities and, ultimately, our destinies.

In the book’s 13 chapters, the author mixes personal anecdotes and frank revelations with a series of exercises that propel readers toward more effective business networking for the digital age. Her tone is conversational, helpful, honest and, above all, relentlessly positive.

Some readers will no doubt squirm at admonitions such as, “In our global, networked economy, you can’t allow your social capital to lie dormant.” Or: “Put greater energy into giving than receiving. What you will find is that the giving will come back to you tenfold.”

But that misses the bigger picture. Gale takes us up a level, entreating us to map our behaviors against the outcomes we’re seeking, all the while ushering us toward “long-term values-based relationships” and approaches that “apply the principles of happiness and positive living.”

You may flinch at taking the Funnel Test, a simple device that helps you to review your passions and define a 20-word purpose to anchor your networking. But go ahead, do it. Here in Silicon Valley, we go through the paces of crafting a 20-word elevator pitch to crystallize a startup’s core value proposition. Why shouldn’t that technique apply to our own lives’ work as well?

Gale, who headed up marketing at Virgin America, has the pedigree and the connections to trot out dozens of real-world examples that drive forward the narration: people like Shira Lazar, who’s blazing a path as a self-made Internet news personality, or Mark Horvath, who took his passion for helping the homeless and channeled it into a fantastic site (and cause), InvisiblePeople.tv.

“Your Network” is a revelatory pastiche of marketing smarts and up-and-at-‘em business pep talk mixed with a generous amount of personal growth and self-help advice. Read it, enhance your network and keep on the path to personal and business growth.

Related

When does ad retargeting make sense for your business? (Socialmedia.biz)

• Are you using social media to serve your needs? (Socialmedia.biz)

• 55 expert tips to produce better & faster content (Socialmedia.biz)

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5 apps that do the marketing work for you http://socialmedia.biz/2013/03/12/top-marketing-apps/ http://socialmedia.biz/2013/03/12/top-marketing-apps/#comments Tue, 12 Mar 2013 12:11:04 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=24343 Continue reading ]]> bufferapp
Photo courtesy of noeliamarejo via Creative Commons

Reach a broader audience with the help of these marketing apps

Guest post by Megan Totka

MeganTotkaDeveloping and executing strong marketing campaigns takes a lot of work. In large corporations, entire departments are devoted to this task. For small businesses and sole proprietors, marketing tasks often fall on employees or business owners that wear other hats, too. There is literally not enough time in the workday to accomplish all the promotional tasks that large and small companies wish they could achieve, especially considering the vast outreach opportunities the Internet age presents.

What if I told you that there is a way to do less work but actually reach more people with your company news, products and services? Interested? While I can’t advise you on the best ways to find more money in your budget, I can offer some suggestions developed by others that will give your business a smart marketing advantage.

Here are five leading apps that will market your business on your behalf, or at least give you some shortcuts to doing it more efficiently yourself:

perch app

Perch: Stay tuned into the competition

1Market research sucks precious time and money from company budgets but is necessary for development of effective marketing plans. The Perch app keeps an eye on local competitors for you through social media posts, online directory review sites and official website offerings. Businesses can see what others are saying about competitors and also be alerted of competing sales or special offers. Getting these little tips can mean the difference between proactive or reactionary approaches to competitor strategies.

postrocket

PostRocket: Facebook scheduling made easy

2In a nutshell, PostRocket is Buffer for Facebook. The app analyzes your Facebook page insights and picks optimal times to post your content with auto scheduler option. PostRocket offers optimization analysis that is easy to follow and more streamlined than basic Facebook Insights results. There is also a “SmartLink Converter” tool that posts your link in a photo format for greater visual engagement. PostRocket cuts down on the valuable time marketers devote to Facebook analysis and does some of the actual posting work too.

Tweetwally

TweetWally: Convert tweets to blog posts

3For companies that use blogging as a form of marketing, TweetWally literally does the writing. This app collects Tweets from company followers and formats them into a blog post on a particular topic or news event. This is helpful for hot, trending topics as well as the ones that traditionally hit home with customers or clients. A TweetWally blog post also provides a different dynamic to a blog that may have a standard look or style which makes it more engaging and fresh to visitors.

buffer

Buffer: Schedule your tweets

4Does your company have a schedule for posting Tweets each day to avoid overwhelming followers with too many links at a time? Or do you post everything all at once so that you do not forget later on? Perhaps you do not even have a Tweet-posting schedule or any idea what time of day is optimal based on your followers. The Twitter-specific app Buffer takes the guesswork out of posting frequency and completely eliminates the need to log in several times each day to update Tweets. Users can pre-write their updates, choose a customized schedule and go grab a cup of coffee while the app does the posting work.

TwilertApp

Twilert: Google Alerts meet Twitter

5Signing up for Google Alerts is a smart way to get a summary of the topics trending in your industry on a consistent basis. Twilert combines this helpful tool with information from Twitter in order to gather user-specific information in one concise email. With a quick glance, marketing decision-makers can develop a real-time plan based on trending topics on Twitter. Forget going to several different sites to find the information you need for effective Twitter postings – just check your email for Twilert’s data.

To save your business time and money in the long term, it is better to spend a little energy upfront and sign up for these inexpensive, and even free, apps. Existing technology is making it easier to take advantage of digital marketing. Let these apps work on your behalf and free up your staff for other more meaningful marketing tasks.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes in the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. This article originally appeared at Biznology.com.

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4 rules for successful guerrilla social media marketing http://socialmedia.biz/2013/03/11/rules-for-successful-guerrilla-social-media-marketing/ http://socialmedia.biz/2013/03/11/rules-for-successful-guerrilla-social-media-marketing/#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2013 12:12:59 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=24316 Continue reading ]]> guerrilla-marketing
There are easier, and more effective, ways to do guerrilla marketing (Photo by Sam Beebee).

Build some social media marketing backbone

Chris AbrahamWhen it comes to selling and marketing, you need to think of online brand promotion more in terms of the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) where you and your social media marketing campaign are a floor broker and you need to get your clients orders in. I hate to be cloying but social media marketing success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration, so get out there and make some noise!

I am not suggesting being rude, but I am suggesting that if you’re not getting a little bit of blowback, you’re not doing it right. I have been speaking to a bunch of social media people recently and they’re super-careful, afraid of offending something they call a “sensibility.” This is the same nervous sycophancy that people have been professing and preaching from the birth of the Internet and from the birth of history.

The Internet is a disrupting medium — social media doubly so. Being afraid of your own shadow is the opposite of disruption. I just won a designation as a top-100 guerrilla social media marketer in the world and that wasn’t because I was nice, careful, or shy — it’s because I make my way to the head of the line, to the front of the crowd, and even cut in line as often as possible by leveraging my relationships through favors and friendships.

Rule #1: Ask for stuff

I learned this in my 20s: people like being asked for favors and for help. Asking for help doesn’t make you look weak, it makes you look resourceful. And, generally speaking, people love helping, especially when helping you is easy for them (most things that are hard for me are impossibly simple for folks I know).

Rule #2: Engage

Are people discussing your company, your product, your services, or you? Feel free to interrupt conversations that are already in progress. There will never be a good time to participate because there will always be a couple of folks involved that may not like your interruption and consider you rude.

It doesn’t matter that 1% to 10% of everyone online grouses at just about anything and everything. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. And it’s not nearly that scary or dangerous, my friends. A lot of it is more about stress-testing you to see what kind of person you are; a little bit of hazing to see if you can take a punch or if you’re just going to log off at once!

Are you tough? Do you spook easily?

So much of the time they’re just testing your mettle and you’re bolting in tears, afraid of blow-back, pulling all your resources out of social media because “it’s not worth the risk,” or so say your managers and counsel. Oh, for heaven’s sake.

Rule #3: Reach out

Outreach is the lifeblood of social media engagement. The only pretty boys and girls who really mean anything nationally and internationally are the beautiful ones who have already been discovered.

There are millions of beautiful, downright gorgeous humans on planet earth, and yet charm, beauty, talent, and prowess rarely mean anything without fame. With fame, being pretty is maybe enough; however, it isn’t, as even the most famous, beautiful, talented, and charming celebrities globally still spend loads of money on publicists. It’s true.

Find out who the top influencers are in your industry. Find out where they live online and what they’re saying and reach out to say hello

All of that is just an analogy for your brand. You may think you’re talented, charming, innovative, creative, successful, ambitious, and beautiful enough to compel customers to find and hire you, but you’re probably not because even all of those companies, brands, talents, and creatives you so admire and look up to are spending multiple-thousands of dollars on speaking and book tours, on advertising and marketing, on press releases and phone calls to TMZ, on false-flag controversies done to excite attention, and all sort of very seedy, aggressive, and shameless shenanigans in order to make it to the top of the news.

So, if you don’t have the stones to get out there to identify your target market or markets, find out who the top influencers are. Find out where they live online and what they’re saying. Then discover how to contact them (be it via email, Facebook, LinkedIn, or wherever), and reach out and say hello. It’s not so much Peer-to-Peer (p2p) but rather PR-to-Peer (PR2P).

Rule #4: Share

I was going to say that the fourth rule is to share, but you’re all doing that. However, you may be doing it wrong. All you do is make it shareable. All you do is make it as easy as possible by sharing your content not only on your own site and blog but also across your social platforms and anywhere else you can reach. However, after all that work, so what?

If you only have 200 followers on each of your platforms, the likelihood of anyone actually stumbling upon your little squeak amongst the roars is downright negligible — and it doesn’t matter how well you orchestrate, how memetic your kitten graphic is or how revolutionary your infographic, it won’t matter.

“Why not?” you ask, indignant and insulted. Well, I explain it in great detail in my recent post, “If you perform only to an empty house your show will close.”

At the end of the day, you have to decide what you’re going to do.

It’s all totally embarrassing if you’re shy (and I can almost guarantee that most Online Community Managers are introverted by nature) and afraid of rejection or confrontation. Just because you’re afraid of engaging influencers online, interrupting conversations or really pushing your message deep and hard, you can’t just redouble or retriple your efforts by blogging, tweeting, sharing, and Facebooking more.

You’re still going to need to get off your duff or you’ll be playing your Stradivarius for passersby at best and at worst, alone in your room — always hoping to be discovered but forever frustrated.

Even worse than being frustrated, at some point your boss is going to either fire you, axe the social media budget, or abandon it completely. Not because buzz marketing, social media marketing, digital PR, or guerrilla marketing doesn’t work but because you didn’t do a good enough job working it.

Social media marketing: it works if you work it.

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5 business lessons learned from hiring a virtual assistant http://socialmedia.biz/2013/03/06/5-business-lessons-learned-from-hiring-a-virtual-assistant/ http://socialmedia.biz/2013/03/06/5-business-lessons-learned-from-hiring-a-virtual-assistant/#comments Wed, 06 Mar 2013 13:12:39 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=24284 Continue reading ]]> Secretary

Ditch the assumptions & consider the client’s needs

Target audience: Marketing professionals, business owners, harried executives.

Shonali BurkeWhen I decided to hire a virtual assistant, I had no idea how much I’d learn from the process.

Here’s the story:

I’ve recently relaunched my business and have very specific areas I want to grow it in. There were a couple of things I realized when I made the decision to dust off my entrepreneurial shoes:

• I needed to have a system with which to track, develop and maintain new business relationships – hence my exhausting search for a small business CRM (customer relationship management) system that would work the way I needed it to.

• I needed help with certain elements of my business, particularly on the administrative and marketing side of things. Do you have any idea how long it takes to do much of the nitty-gritty an entrepreneur has to deal with, as well as how long those tasks can take, particularly the marketing tasks?

Now, marketing is what I do. So when it comes to my business, it had better be good else baby won’t get a new pair of shoes!

Enter oDesk

I looked around, checked out various sites for locating virtual assistants, and then decided to place a job posting on oDesk. I’d heard good things about it from a few different friends and fellow women entrepreneurs (Donna Vincent Roa and Tinu Abayomi-Paul, to name just a couple), and it seemed to have a pretty solid system.

So I posted a job opening. I made it as detailed as I could. I specified certain skills, how much I was willing to pay, etc., and what I was looking for. Before I could even count to 10, the applicants started rolling in.

Over a period of a couple of weeks, there were 27 applicants. Most of them ignored at least some of the specifics of my posting. Many had frighteningly high opinions of their language skills, and some applied even though they would be incapable of using certain platforms I needed them to.

When I narrowed down the list to six or seven candidates, I asked them to follow a specific process to set up a Skype interview with me. It was easy enough: I gave them my Timebridge link and asked them to send me a couple of options for a chat.

Guess how many did exactly as I asked?

One.

Just one.

And the others? That’s where the lessons begin.

Know your software

1Well, there was the one candidate who couldn’t figure out how to use Timebridge, and kept asking me for help.

If your potential client wants you to use a particular piece of software, or platform, you better figure out how to use it … without asking the client for help.

Assess your limitations

2Then there were the candidates who were in China. Very eager, but unable to use Twitter. Or Google, which would make working on the social media marketing side of things difficult. No. It would make it impossible!

If your physical or geographical (or any other -cal) circumstances preclude you from working with platforms the client needs you to … why should they hire you?

Know the job specs

3Then there were the candidates who completely ignored specific do’s and don’ts – e.g., I did not want anyone working for an agency to apply, but they did anyway. And I may have considered them if they fit the other criteria, but they didn’t.

So they were doubly irritating.

It’s one thing to be ambitious in your reach, but the job specs are the job specs. And either you match, or you don’t. If you don’t, you’re far better off focusing on finding what is a good match for you.

Be open minded

4The person I ended up hiring was a bit of a surprise.

I thought I might find someone in the Far East, because of my small budget, but I actually found someone right here in the United States. I’m also paying more than I originally wanted to.

Ultimately, after talking to her, I believed she’d be worth it — someone I could work with over the long haul.

The right person for the job might be someone completely different from the preconception you had in mind. The same goes for PR agencies, business partners and strategic partners. Keep an open mind.

Cold calling can still work

5Something else I hadn’t anticipated happened. I got a few emails – not applications via oDesk, but direct emails – from virtual assistants who must have seen the job posting, checked me and my company out, and decided to write in personally.

Every single one of these was personable, and while I didn’t hire them, I am in touch with at least a couple who I may end up working with on different types of projects – maybe even client work – as I grow the business.

You never know where your next client might come from. “Cold calling” can still work, but only if it’s done right.

I’ve been working with my virtual assistant for close to a month now. While it’s early days yet, she is smart, eager to learn, takes direction well, and is teaching me a thing or two herself (anyone tried Join.me for screen sharing, now that Skype doesn’t let you do that without a premium account? It’s awesome!). She is conscientious about work, time (both when it comes to time sheets as well as learning some elements of the job on her own time) and someone I lean on just a little bit more every day.

And she better not get a big head as she reads this, Karelyn. Heh!

What about you? Have you gleaned business insights from places you wouldn’t expect? And do you have tips on working well with virtual assistants? Leave us a comment below!

Republished from Waxing Unlyrical.

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Techniques for working smarter — not harder http://socialmedia.biz/2013/01/17/techniques-for-working-smarter/ Thu, 17 Jan 2013 13:44:44 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=23767 Continue reading ]]> Work smarter because no one is impressed with how few hours you slept

Target audience: Businesses, entrepreneurs, startups, general audience.

David SparkBragging that you’ve worked a 16-hour day doesn’t actually increase your bottom line. Success comes from being smart about how you work, which doesn’t necessarily mean you have to forgo sleep and family to be successful.

Much of the advice Eric Ries’ book “The Lean Startup” speaks to working smarter, not harder. At The Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco, we asked attendees how they plan on working smarter, not harder this year. Check out this 1 minute 16 second video to see what they’re going to do. Will you do the same?

This video was produced at the 2012 Lean Startup Conference where I was reporting for New Relic. The original post can be found on the New Relic blog.

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5 Facebook marketing resources you didn’t know about http://socialmedia.biz/2012/11/08/facebook-marketing-resources/ http://socialmedia.biz/2012/11/08/facebook-marketing-resources/#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 13:31:02 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=23111 Continue reading ]]>

Facebook’s secret world of marketing resources

Guest post by Joanna Lord
SEOmoz

Afew years ago, many of us were skeptical about how Facebook was going to get marketers to spend a significant amount of time and money on their platform, which is clearly not the case these days. One thing I’m sure of now is that Facebook advertising is here to stay.

According to the State of Inbound report that HubSpot put out this year, “42% of marketers say Facebook is critical or important to their business.” That percentage has gone up 75% from where it was just a few years ago. Talk about up and to the right!

With all that pickup, one would expect Facebook to have some resources out there to help us market our companies more effectively on Facebook. Never fear, for these resources exist! Unfortunately, they are somewhat hidden. Here are five resources worth exploring if you are looking to drive traffic and sales through Facebook.

Facebook marketing page

1Say what? Yup. Believe it or not, Facebook runs a marketing page (with over 2.3 million likes) that they manage actively to help marketers use Facebook more effectively. They often post about webinars they are holding for marketers, answer specific questions posted to their wall, and spotlight valuable statistics that could help you make the case in-house to dedicate more resources to Facebook.

Facebook advertising page

2For those of you looking to try your hand at Facebook ads, you might find there aren’t a ton of resources out there to help you get set up and running smoothly. Luckily for us, Facebook has been investing in their help documentation. In this section, they outline how things work, show off some success stories, and answer top questions. You can also find some contact information for those nagging questions you can’t quite figure out.

Facebook business page

3This might be one of the least known resources that Facebook has put together. Instead of just focusing on how you can set up an ad and spend money with Facebook, they have worked to put together information on how you can get the most out of Facebook as a business. The page covers the basics like building a page and conversation etiquette, but it also gives tips on how to engage your audience and influence friends.

Facebook Studio

4This is by far my favorite of all the resources Facebook has put together for marketers. At Facebook Studio you’ll find a gallery of creative Facebook campaigns, explore award-winning campaigns, a directory agencies experience in Facebook marketing campaigns, and more.

Facebook Studio Edge

5This is a new resource for those looking to take Facebook campaign creation in house. Recently released, Facebook Studio Edge is an online course that walks a user through critical knowledge pieces like measurement, research, resources, and tools to help with Facebook marketing. You can request beta entry and get started today. I’m super excited to see them operationalize this learning curve a bit with the Facebook Studio Edge series.

Whoa, that’s a ton of good stuff!

As more of our time and budget shifts to Facebook, be sure to lean on the resources above to help steer you in the right direction. Perhaps one of the best advantages of investing in Facebook is that they are home to a community of others trying to do the same thing. Connect with other community members on the pages above, and see how you can help each other succeed. Best of luck to you all!

If I missed any other Facebook marketing resources (they don’t have to be hosted on Facebook like the list above), feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Joanna Lord is VP of growth marketing at SEOmoz and is a former partner at Socialmedia.biz. Follow Joanna on Twitter at @joannalord. This article originally appeared at SEOmoz. SEOmoz is not affil­i­ated with Socialmedia.biz. SEO­moz pro­vides the Web’s best SEO tools and resources.
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Guide to events & conferences in December http://socialmedia.biz/2012/11/01/guide-to-events-conferences-in-december-2012/ Thu, 01 Nov 2012 14:32:48 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=23148 Continue reading ]]>
A scene from Le Web London this summer. The original Le Web, in Paris, returns next month (Photo by kmeron on Flickr).

Ayelet NoffDecember, with all its holiday cheer, eases the pace of conferences and events in social media, marketing, and technology.

This December I’m most excited about Le Web in Paris, the city of lights, love and Internet innovation. This year Le Web will focus on how Internet-driven devices are taking over the world; just look at how much time people spend surfing “le web” on their phones. I’m also thoroughly excited for the 2012 startup competition where sixteen emerging startups will duke it out on stage. To learn more about this great conference read my take on Le Web.

For the full year, see our full Calendar of 2012 social media, tech and marketing conferences.

December

iMedia Agency Summit Dec. 2-5 Scottsdale, Ariz.
iMedia’s Agency Summit brings together agency and media leaders to focus on evolving agency partnerships. The Summit will cover how agencies of all sizes maintain integrity, value, efficiency, and creative sustainability in this ever changing digital world.

Inside Social Apps 2012 Dec. 3 New York
Inside Social Apps NYC 2012 is a one-day summit that unites prominent developers of social and mobile apps and games.  The Summit will address a range of topics relating to social and mobile apps such as: marketing, monetization, app and game design, and distribution on established and emerging platforms.

Media Apps Summit Dec. 3 New York
In one day, The Media App Summit will teach you how to build apps, maximize discoverability, and monetize your content, all within your budget!

Dallas Digital Summit Dec. 4-5 Dallas
Dallas Digital Summit, in its first year, will host hundreds of Digital executives, marketers, entrepreneurs, etc. Content will cover a wide range of topics from Social Media to E-commerce. This Summit truly covers all things digital!

iStrategy Dec. 4 Toronto
iStrategy promises a high-quality program of  keynote speakers, interactive workshops and live interviews. Held in Toronto, Canada’s high-tech hub, this conference promises to teach you how to transform your digital strategy.

Trends Plus Dec. 4 London
Trends Plus offers you the chance to explore the influences shaping tomorrow’s consumer trends, today! Attendees are sure to leave this event “in-the-know and inspired!”

AllFacebook Marketing Conference Dec. 4-5 New York
AllFacebook Marketing Conference New York 2012 teaches you how to best market to Facebook’s one billion users. Experts will teach you how to build brands, engage prospective customers, and grow your follower base in a way that delivers real revenue!

Le Web Dec. 4-6 Paris
Le Web offers a unique experience by gathering industry leaders and visionaries, side by side entrepreneurs, corporate executives, VC’s and bloggers. This diverse group will gather to discuss prospects and fundamental issues about the Web.

Interactive Local Media West Dec. 4-6 Los Angeles
BIA/Kelsey’s Interactive Local Media conference will focus on the latest developments in search, mobile, social and deals. This conference is a must for local digital advertising and marketing professionals!

SMX Social Media Marketing Dec. 5-6 Las Vegas
SMX Social Media Marketing is a must for Social Media professionals. This two-day conference will teach you the tools to ensure you have the most effective Social Marketing tactics.

TechCrunch Moscow 2012 Dec 9-10 Moscow
TechCrunch Moscow, TC’s only Russian event, promises to be crunchier than ever! This event brings together top speakers to explore entrepreneurship in Russia and of course startups!

Future of Mobile Marketing Las Vegas 2012 Dec. 10-12 Las Vegas
This three-day event offers three tracks: Strategy, Execution, and Analytics. Learn about the hottest mobile marketing topics and technologies such as geo-targeting, social marketing and gamification from world class speakers!

The TV of Tomorrow Show NYC 2012 Dec. 10 New York
The TV of Tomorrow Show focuses exclusively on the delivery and user experience of interactive TV across multiple platforms. This highly interactive conference offers open floor sessions as well as workshops. Don’t miss this great opportunity to network with people who are shaping the interactive multiplatform TV universe!

SCS Social Curation Summit Nov. 12 Los Angeles
SCS focuses on the rise of visual social networks and the diverse spectrum of content curation services that have resulted. Discover how curated stories, pictures, and videos can be used by diverse businesses to highlight creativity and innovation. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a kind event!

Social Gaming and Gambling Summit Dec. 13-14 Los Angeles
The Social Gaming and Gambling Summit is where Gaming meets the Social Web. Connect with Gaming and Social Networking Leaders. Learn how to build, monetize, and grow your Social Games.

Each of the events mentioned on this month’s list were discovered using Bizzabo – an app that allows for event discovery based on your interests and location. This app, designed specifically for events, serves to bring information from organizers to attendees. Additionally, it enables the attendees to socially network during the event and make connections that will last long after it is finished.  Check back next month, as we continue to use this tool to discover and share with you the best list of events we can find. You can also download it here and give it a try, or suggest your event’s organizer use Bizzabo to provide a useful professional networking tool for event attendees.

Disclosure: I handle Bizzabo’s social media activity.

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Should you build a mobile app or mobile website? [Infographic] http://socialmedia.biz/2012/10/09/should-you-build-a-mobile-app-or-mobile-website-infographic/ http://socialmedia.biz/2012/10/09/should-you-build-a-mobile-app-or-mobile-website-infographic/#comments Tue, 09 Oct 2012 12:32:48 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=22909 Continue reading ]]>

Target audience: Businesses, mobile operators, marketers, Web publishers, educators.

Guest post by Joanne Del Gigante
Vice President, MDG Advertising

There’s no doubt that mobile has gone mainstream with consumers increasingly on the move and companies seeking more ways to stay in front of their eyes and right at their fingertips. As a result, businesses are realizing the importance of maintaining a mobile presence, yet many are uncertain whether a mobile application or mobile website is the best way to go to reach consumers on the go.

To outline the basics and benefits of a mobile website vs. mobile app, MDG Advertising developed the infographic below. It outlines the options and opportunities behind both mobile methods, along with the facts and figures regarding reach and response to help companies make the right move to mobile.

Mobile apps provide faster speed, while mobile websites are more affordable

First, the infographic details the important differences between mobile websites and mobile applications on issues such as user access and digital accessibility. A side-by-side comparison shows that mobile apps provide faster speed, while mobile websites are more affordable.

Then, usage becomes the focus with graphic evidence showing the amount of time users spend on both mobile means. There’s clearly no contest with mobile apps gaining digital dominance over desktops within the past two years.

In terms of reach and engagement, the lines become more blurred as research reveals mobile websites having much higher numbers of impressions and visits. Yet the data also shows that mobile app users are more engaged and consume an average of 2.4 times more impressions.

Finally, content usage comes into play since this is a determining factor for many businesses. Once again, both mobile application development and mobile website development have their unique strengths for specific tasks. Mobile websites are preferred for the popular pursuits of online shopping, search, and entertainment. Mobile apps are favored for their superior connectivity, navigation, and ability to inform. The better option depends on how the company plans to connect with consumers.

The decision between building a mobile website or a mobile application is ultimately a decision unique to your business. If possible, companies should develop both in order to leverage these two powerful platforms. If only one can be chosen, business must first assess their goals and resources, then closely consider the differences detailed in the infographic and the audience they want to reach. Only then can a business truly tell which mobile method will provide more value, advantages, and opportunities with the massive mobile market.

Click to enlarge the infographic to full size in your browser:

This article originally appeared on the MDG Advertising blog and is republished with permission — and our appreciation! Follow @MDGAdvertising on Twitter or like their Facebook page.
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