Member Posts

Monetizing Social Media 101: Twitter for Businesses

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in Member Posts | 0 comments

Monetizing Social Media 101: Twitter for Businesses

By Jacqueline Davis, NEVA Member and owner of VirtuallyHere.net In Monetizing Social Media 101, we help you zero in on the best social platforms for your business–and how you can use them to increase your business’ bottom line. This week we focus on catapulting your customer connections and engagement with Twitter. Your business can use Twitter to personally connect with customers on an instantaneous basis, or, if you’re in B2B, foster relationships with other business owners throughout the world. 140 Characters to Connect with your Audience Unimpressed with Twitter? You may think most users fill their 140 character posts with casual, banal TMI–but in the world of business, Twitter is a whole different ballgame. On Twitter, your business can: Advertise and promote products and events for free. Communicate directly with your customers. Search out and connect with qualified leads. Connect with and build relationships with influencers in your industry. Circulate your content marketing to a larger audience. Unlike typical Twitter users, your business Twitter account should be focused on your customer’s needs. It’s never all about you–it’s all about servicing your customer. Think of Twitter as an extended customer service platform. Stay attentive to what users post on you and respond to everything–good and bad comments. Don’t be afraid of addressing sticky customer issues. Openly resolving customer complaints looks good on your virtual record. Retweet customer kudos’ or mentions of using your products. You can even use Twitter polls to get specific, immediate feedback from your followers. By just posting alone, you can be your own social media PR–but you can do far more than just blast your news to the world on Twitter. Searching Twitter You can use the search function on Twitter to find and connect with qualified leads; people who are looking for the information you provide and Tweeting about your area of business or related subjects.  You can also hunt down conversations that are relevant to your industry and join in–this will help you get your voice out there to people who are interested in your field–but it can also connect you with influencers in your industry. Twitter users use #’s to make it easier to find subjects they are interested in. For example, searching #blogtips and #sales brings up Tweets focused on upping bloggers sales. Visual Marketing on Twitter Don’t forget about the visual elements of your Twitter page. Not only do you have a gallery you can fill with eye-catching, relevant imagery (images you Tweet go into your gallery) but you can also customize your background on your main page with your logo, tagline and branding. Live Video with Periscope and Blab.im Do you like putting a human face on your business? Video apps allow you to stream live video to your Twitter followers. Periscope lets you broadcast live video from your phone on Twitter–you can broadcast to the public or a select group of followers. You can show people exclusive content by broadcasting product launches, contests, tutorials, live Q & A’s…anything you can dream up that’s relevant to your customer base. Blab.im allows you to stream live conversations with up to four different people–you can host a focused talk with experts in your fields, have employees give feedback to common customers FAQ’s, or even invite your customers to come into the broadcast themselves and ask you questions. If your business has reached the point where you’re considering outsourcing your social marketing, ask us about Virtually Here’s time and money saving Social Concierge service. And if you’ve decided to jump into the Twitter stream to connect with your customers, give us a shout...

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Monetizing Social Media 101: Your Business on Facebook

Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Member Posts | 0 comments

Monetizing Social Media 101: Your Business on Facebook

By Jacqueline Davis, NEVA Member and owner of VirtuallyHere.net Monetizing social media is a big question mark for businesses. Will it work? Yes, if you go in with a solid plan. In this new blog series we’ll be offering a preview of what the major social networks can contribute to your bottom line. Social media itself is free, but advertising—and more importantly, the time and research needed to plan, create and actively monitor your business’ social platforms is going to cost you something. At the end of this series, you’ll be able to identify the social platforms that are best suited to be used with your business. Today, we’re looking at Facebook and its 1.038 billion active daily users, making it the premier platform to connect with potential customers and showcase your business. And unlike you and your employees, Facebook never sleeps, functioning as a 24/7 customer service portal. Customers can leave you a positive review or the next days headache at 3am in the morning. Monetizing social platforms can be tricky. Facebook continually updates and modifies the algorithms that determine how frequently your business’ posts shows up in your follower’s newsfeeds. If you’re personally handling your Facebook page, you’ll want to devote some time to staying abreast of their updates. On the positive side, keep in mind that who likes your page is considerably more important than how many likes your posts get. Know your end goal. There are two things to keep in mind for a successful ROI with Facebook. 1) Your exact target customer and their demographics. 2) The sales funnel destination for your Facebook page followers. The goals with the highest monetizing potential are getting followers to subscribe to your email list, successfully bringing users to your website or selling your product. Facebook isn’t a hard sell platform, but knowing what your money-in-the-bank results need to be for this to be a worthwhile investment of your time will help you steer your social media efforts. Know how you want to make potential customers feel when they interact with your brand. This is an across the board consideration, because unlike your website, which you can take down and change, once it’s up on Facebook, it’s staying there. If a potential customer is so inclined, they can go back through years of Facebook posts from your business to get a sense of how you do business. Facebook Do’s Do Use visual mediums. Infographics, pictures and videos (especially video) all pull viewers attention better than plain text posts. Bare minimum, always include a picture with text posts. Post behind the scenes videos or shoot a short FAQ video. And don’t forget that you can share other users content that’s relevant to your industry to spark conversation with your followers. Do Engage your customers. When someone comments positively or has a question, reply. Say thank you to your followers when you reach a benchmark or hit a business goal. And don’t forget that you can utilize Facebook Messenger to privately answer customer complaints or complicated problems. Do Inform. Let your customers know what’s going on at your business day to day. Update them on new developments, products or events. Do Explore using Facebook Ads. Facebook is developing more and more options that increase your ability to target advertising to a specific customer. With Facebook’s Flex Targeting, you can tailor the audience for an ad to a highly specific, niche audience, with multiple qualifications for who sees your ad. You can also exclude viewers by citing things that would disqualify someone from buying from you, narrowing your audience and stretching your advertising dollars even further. Facebook Don’ts Don’t Be afraid of posting too much. Some small business owners approach Facebook with a fear of...

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Get a Free Site Audit in 3 Easy Steps

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 in Member Posts | 0 comments

Get a Free Site Audit in 3 Easy Steps

By Jacqueline Davis These days, a potential customer’s first impression of you will frequently be through your website. Tony Haile of Chartbeat recently shared that a stunning 55% of viewers spent fewer than 15 seconds actively on a page. That’s not a lot of time to make a first impression. We want to help you maximize that short window you have for a first impression by teaching you how to give your business’ website a site audit.  Some businesses will invest in hiring site auditing experts to do a deep cleaning evaluation of their website’s effectiveness, but there are some simple, basic steps you can take to determine if your website is the best it can be and gaining you more, not less, customers. Here are the three main areas you need to pay attention to as you upgrade your website. 1) Function Navigation. Does your menu bar have all of the main pages listed on it? Are you missing important pages? Contact info page, an About page and a description of the services you offer or sell should be visible and accessible. Ideally, all of the main pages will be represented in your menu. You want to make it as easy as possible for readers to find the information they’re looking for. Speaking of looking, you should also have an obvious Search Box. Many business owners think that this feature is irrelevant since they aren’t a media site; when most of your website remains static, it’s easy to pass over the need for this. If your website has more than five pages, you should have a search function within your site. It’s there for the in-a-rush customer who wants to find things for themselves. Social links. Have a Facebook page? Put a linked icon on your homepage in the header or footer area. This is especially important if your website has begun to fall out of date in any way. Your business’ social platforms can be a new customers window into who you are right now, when your website hasn’t kept up with your business’ growth. Readability. Your site needs to be easy to read. That means no artistic white font over a black background, no illegible cursive script in point 8 font. If you have to squint and lean closer to the computer screen to read your website, it’s time for a redesign. 2) Content Clarity. Is the writing on your site clear and understandable? Will someone who isn’t familiar with your product be able to grasp what you’re talking about, or will they be confused by industry jargon? Are the benefits and advantages of buying from you clearly stated? Do you cite certifications and recognition that will give you credibility in your industry? For this part of evaluating your website, it’s good to bring someone else on board, preferably someone who wasn’t involved in writing your site, even better if it’s an attentive reader who doesn’t know anything about your business. Keywords. Don’t forget the “boring”, obvious words. Your location, business industry, and products you offer should all be referred to in your text. Don’t forget to use common words for your business and product. Yes, you want to be original, but you also want to have the plainspoken search terms readers will use when they try to find you online. 3) Sales Funnel Lead Conversion. You should have some way to collect potential customers email addresses on all pages of your site. Some businesses simply have a box that asks customer to sign up for their newsletter to receive updates. Some offer an incentive for handing over your email address, like a coupon or a free report on a subject their target customer is likely to...

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