3 Tools to Streamline Your Social Media (You’d Be Surprised What’s Worked for Us!)

Last week, Boot Camp Digital hosted a social media lunch and learn class in Cincinnati called “10 Tools to Streamline Your Social Media.” I was able to sit in on the class in which Krista shared some of Boot Camp Digital’s favorite secrets to getting a successful Return on Investment from social media. The best part about the class was that most of the tools Krista shared were unique tools that you would probably never even think of!

While I’d love to share all 10 Tools, and the bonuses, that Krista focused in on, we unfortunately can’t give it all away! But I will share 3 of the tools in the hopes that you will benefit from them in your own marketing efforts! If you’re looking for more explicit training on some of the most popular social networks, like Pinterest or Facebook, you can check out our 90-minute social media online training programs.

#1: Tweet Reach: Ever feel like you’re spending hours of your time trying to find the right way to market on Twitter? Tweet Reach will help you figure out what’s working and what’s not, so you can stop wasting time tweeting things that are having no effect on your target audience. It shows you the number of impressions you’ve made, how many accounts you’ve reached, how many Retweets you received, and more! Definitely check out this awesome website if you’re looking to optimize Twitter for your business.

#2: SlideShare and Scribd: According to Krista, “these are the two sites I love the most in social media right now.” SlideShare allows you to share PowerPoint presentations you’ve given, and due to the popularity of the site, you can easily use it to show others that you are an expert in your field. Scribd is primarily for sharing PDFs (whether it’s a free report or a how-to guide, etc) but you can also share slideshows through that. Be sure to use keywords in your titles to optimize your presentations and help with the SEO of your business or brand.

#3: Rapportive: This is an amazing plug-in for G-Mail. I can personally attest to the fact that it is AWESOME. Basically, when you open an e-mail between yourself and someone else, Rapportive will pull up said person’s social media accounts in the side bar. So if you’re emailing with a new colleague or someone you met at a networking event, you can immediately connect with them on LinkedIn, Twitter, or whatever other site they’re willing to share… without even leaving your G-Mail page! You will quickly become the ultimate social networking ninja. *Sword not included.

So although I couldn’t share all of our secrets with you, these three tools should get you on the right track to making the most out of your social media efforts!

Keep in mind that our upcoming online Pinterest training program is guaranteed to teach you not only how to navigate the explosive site, but how to optimize it and get the most out of your marketing efforts. You can also check out our Google+ for Business online training if you’re looking to get ahead of your competitors and learn how to market your business or brand to Google+’s 250 MILLION users!

Happy networking!

Cincinnati Social Media Seminar – Social Media Planning for 2012

We are so excited to invite business professionals to our final Social Media Lunch Session this year on December 16th, 2011!  This time we’ll be talking about the most popular social media trends heading into 2012.

  • Have you set new goals for your social media strategy in 2012?
  • Are there any new tools on the market that you need to consider?
  • What are the most important stats and updates in social media that you should be aware of before the new year comes?

This session will cover:

This social media training will cover the biggest and most important changes and shifts from 2011 as well as trends to look for in 2012.

  • The key trends to be aware of as you plan for 2012
  • Key tools that can help your social media in 2012
  • How to set goals and objectives for your social media plan
  • Trends to watch in 2012
  • How to build a social media plan
  • BONUS: As an extra bonus you will receive a planning template for your 2012 social media plan
This session will cover EVERYTHING YOU NEED to get started planning for 2012 and the BIG TRENDS TO WATCH AND PLAN FOR.

Details about this Social Media Lunch Session:

  • Topic: Social Media Planning for 2012  ***REGISTER NOW!
  • Date: December 16, 2011
  • Time: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
  • Investment: $27 ***Lunch is included!
  • Special Offer: Buy 4 Lunches Get 1 FREE
  • Location: Boot Camp Digital,  1600 Main Street, M1, Cincinnati OH, 45202
Social media is constantly changing and brining new tools and online marketing solutions to businesses.  As a result businesses that are looking to grow, not only need to keep up with new changes, but also have to stay ahead of the curve on social media.  The goal of this Social Media Lunch Session is to provide business owners, marketing professionals, ad agencies and other business managers with the latest updates in this quickly changing environment.

Lunch Value:

  • Educational presentation
  • Case studies/Examples
  • Q&A
  • FEE lunch
  • Networking opportunities with other business professionals interested in Social Media
Social Media continues to evolve and what used to work just a year ago might have a very small effect today.  Each new tool, new service or new concept in social media opens up new opportunities for marketing your business. During this social media training program we will explore the most important social media trends in 2012 and what they mean for your company.  We’ll also provide you with a template for your social media marketing plan!” says Krista Neher, Boot Camp Digital CEO.

 HURRY UP!  Register NOW!

20 Ways to Utilize LinkedIn to Help Your Business

LinkedIn is a very valuable business resource.  By utilizing LinkedIn in your marketing strategy you open up a lot of new opportunities like driving traffic to your website, online lead generation, connecting with your clients and building an online community around your brand.  As obvious as it could be to some professionals how they should present their company on LinkedIn there is still a big number of companies on the market who completely ignore social media tools because they are unsure of how to utilize such powerful resource like LinkedIn in order to grow their online visibility and build better relationships with clients.

Below is a list of 20 ways to promote your business on LinkedIn.

1. Create a company page filled with important information about your business, products and services. 2. Make sure the top employees of your company are present on LinkedIn and are linking to your company’s website and LinkedIn company page through their page. 3. Include pictures of your products and services as well as a photo on your personal profile.  Show real faces behind the brand. 4. Demonstrate the key characteristics of your products by adding video on your company’s LinkedIn page. 5. Connect your LinkedIn company page to your Twitter account and company’s blog for cross-promotion of your tweets, new blog post and other company news feeds. 6. Share your industry knowledge by answering a question posted in LinkedIn Question & Answers. 7. Join LinkedIn groups relevant to your industry and participate in conversations – this will help you grow your network as well as introduce yourself as an expert in your field. 8. Don’t be shy to ask your clients to provide testimonials for your products and services on your LinkedIn company page.  This will help you build trust in your brand throughout the online community. 9. Promote your social media channel by adding LinkedIn icon (with URL) to your email signature, brochures, flyers and other marketing materials. 10. LinkedIn is a great tool for market research.  Use it for testing your new products or analyzing your competitors.  It can help you improve your marketing strategy by utilizing the information you find. 11. Showcase your company’s portfolio by adding a presentation to your personal LinkedIn account. 12. Share valuable information about your company and interesting industry articles. 13. Occasionally post special promotions, deals and discounts for your products and services. 14. LinkedIn is a perfect place to find new talent for your organization.  Use the opportunity and post all new job listings on your company LinkedIn page. 15. Check your contacts and their connections, see if it would be beneficial to network with some of them.  Ask your contacts for an introduction. 16. When meet somebody interesting in real life, take a moment and connect with them on LinkedIn in order to stay in touch and expand your network. 17. Want to get more followers on LinkedIn?  Add a “Follow us on LinkeIn” button to your company website. 18. Experiment with a targeted LinkedIn Ad campaign.  You can customize it by selecting industry, company size, region and many other characteristics that describe your target audience. 19. Creating a company-branded LinkedIn group for your clients and partners where you can generate industry discussions can be very beneficial for your business and help expand your brand awareness. 20. Be active on LinkedIn to showcase your personality, demonstrate your expertise and with all this – promote your company.  Check in on your LinkedIn account on a regular basis to answer questions, see what’s going on and participate in discussion groups.

Do you have any other tips on how to promote your company on LinkedIn?  Feel free to share them with us!

Mariya Newman Follow me on Twitter (@MariyaNewman) and add me on LinkedIn!  

Social Media Strategy: Lead Retention

It’s one thing to generate new leads, it’s entirely another to retain those leads after their first experience with your internet marketing efforts.  Most consumers do not purchase a product or believe in a brand after just one visit to a company’s website or social media page.  Often it takes several visits from a potential consumer for them to feel comfortable and interested in your product or service.  While social media is a great way to generate new leads for your organization, the real objective is to build a long term loyal customer base.  If your social media sites are all about promotion and not about education, your lead retention is likely to be low. Here are 3 tips in creating social media sites that not only attract new leads, but also ensure they will be back for more.

1.  Don’t Over Promote Your Products or Services

  • There is only so much product promotion that any of us can take and we usually only take it if we have to.
  • Consumers are not driven by promotional content, they are driven to find solutions to satisfy their needs.
  • Consumers do not seek out promotional content on purpose.
  • Web and social media sites that only promote how great their products are offer limited reasons for a consumer to need or want to revisit their sites.

2.  Create Learning Opportunities Through Educational Content

  • If consumers learn something valuable to them while surfing your sites, they are likely to come back for more information in the future.
  • Educational content gives you the opportunity to show off your market expertise and build credibility. Consumers like to buy from companies who know what they are talking about.
  • Educational content helps with SEO (search engine optimization).  Ask yourself how many times you have searched the internet for the answer to a question.
  • Learning about how or why something works is much more interesting and verifiable than reading why a product is the best when stated by the company who is trying to sell it.

3.  Collect and Publish Reviews of Your Products On All of Your Sites

  • Consumers trust reviews from other consumers more than anyone else recommending a product.
  • Reviews and testimonials allow prospective consumers to feel confident and educated when purchasing your product.
  • Bad reviews afford you the opportunity to correct problems that your consumers are having and showcase your attention to the consumers wishes.
  • If your sites offer objective reviews of your products, then your consumers are less inclined to leave your site and look for reviews elsewhere.
The best type of business is repeat business.  Repeat customers are showing brand loyalty and likely doing so because they feel some positive result after purchasing your product or service.  Repeat customers are also more likely to share their positive experience with other consumers.  The same holds true for retaining leads on web and social media sites.  If you offer content that is helpful and interesting to your leads, they are likely to feel positive as a result of interacting with your sites and will often be back for more.  The main goal for any of us in social media marketing is to increase high quality traffic to our different sites and convert that traffic into business.  It is easy when establishing social media content to instinctively promote our product repeatedly to show how great our company is and why people should do business with us.  However a quick analysis of our own buying patterns reminds us that we do not usually buy a product or service because the company selling it told us how great it is.  Instead we put value in companies that help us understand how to use their product, answer questions we have, share interesting information with us and tell us exactly what other consumers think about their product. Creating content that educates, informs and explains is much more likely to foster repeat visitors than content that promotes, promotes and promotes.

What do you think?  Share with us company websites that you visit on a regular basis and why you continue to go back to them.

Mariya Newman Follow me on Twitter (@MariyaNewman) and add me on LinkedIn!  

Social Media for Realtors: 3 Ways Social Media Can Help

84% of Real Estate Agents are using Social Media.  So, how does one stand out from this crowd and attract more clients?  Here are 3 key ideas on how to use Social Media to promote yourself as a great realtor without overselling.

Build Relationships Online

Use social media as a networking event where you can meet new people, participate in conversations and share some information about yourself.  After creating several accounts on social media websites make sure to keep them up to date and engage your audience.  By interacting with your community and providing useful information you have a good chance to create online credibility and be noticed.  According to the National Association of Realtors, last year 89% of homebuyers looked up their houses online before contacting an agent and only 45% attended open houses. With social media you will build better relationships with your potential clients before they even meet you in real life.

Share Good Quality Content

A common mistake for most realtors is using new listings as a main topic for their social media interaction.  Spamming your audience and advertising yourself non-stop are not going to get you anywhere.  Focus on engaging your customers with industry news and expert advice.  Let good quality content be the main part of your social activity and you can naturally promote yourself by adding occasional listings. A great way to establish yourself as an expert in your community is to participate in groups and conversations on Facebook and LinkedIn by answering somebody’s questions about real estate and sharing your opinion.

Be Creative in Showcasing Your Listings

Social media is a perfect tool to inform people about new listings and showcase properties.  There are a lot of ways to be creative and not annoying in doing that.  Homebuyers are actively surfing the Web to find their dream house.  Video allows realtors to show off properties and get the buyers interested before they ever visit a listing.  Social media sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook make it quick and easy to post videos giving your potential buyers the preview they are looking for.  According to ifographic from Mashable (see below) 73% of homeowners say they are more likely to list with a realtor who will make a video about their selling property.

Below is an infographic form Mashable on social media use in the real estate industry.

Check out these interesting statistics and share with me how you use social media in your real estate practice!

Mariya Newman Follow me on Twitter (@MariyaNewman) and add me on LinkedIn!  

Social Media Marketing Training: 5 Reasons to Have a Blog

1. Establish Yourself As an Expert

  • Do you have great ideas to share in your industry?
  • What makes your company special in today’s economy?
  • Do you visit a lot of trade shows and conferences?
These are perfect reasons for any company to start sharing its unique content and show its expertise.  Through blogging you can answer the most common questions your customers have about your products or services, give them tips and suggestions on how to successfully use your products and impress your prospects with the knowledge you have about your industry.  After all, a blog will help your business stand out from your competitors and be a real industry leader.

2. Increase Traffic to Your Website

By creating keyword rich content, blogs give you the perfect opportunity to rank high in organic searches.  By being more important than your competitors in Google search you can easily drive more traffic to your website.  After reading your blog and finding it interesting and useful visitors are likely to check out other pages on your company’s website to learn more about the blogger.

3. Stay Up to Date In Your Professional Field

Creating new content on a regular basis takes a lot of time and effort.  You are spending your time doing research, analyzing competitors and putting your thoughts into a new subject for your new post.  This research and work will help you in your business far beyond the blog itself.  Blogging is a very convenient way to refresh your knowledge about popular industry topics and keep yourself educated on new technologies and achievements in your field.

4. Build Better Relationships With Your Customers

Providing your customers with valuable information and giving them advice in return for nothing will help you connect with your customers in deeper and dynamic ways.  Blogs are not static like most websites and because of that there is a great opportunity to create a real online interaction with your client base.  Customers have the ability to immediately react and reply to your blog posts. Their feedback and opinion about your products and services will help you constantly modify your products and services or customer service in a way that will ensure their opinion is heard, matters and makes a difference.

5. Gives You a Chance to Express Yourself

Blogging is a great tool for expressing yourself and motivating your employees.  By creating a fun and engaging atmosphere around your company blog you have great chances to involve your employees in this process and show them how they bring value to their work place.  When employees are able to connect with your customer base and beyond through self-expression coupled with direct customer feedback and interaction in a fun and creative media, they are likely to enjoy the process of getting the word out about your company. Blogging creates a very informal, direct feedback media for getting your message out to your audience and engaging that audience with dialog and interaction.  Start blogging today and establish yourself as an expert, increase traffic to your website, stay up to date in your professional field, build better relationships with your customers and give yourself a chance to express yourself!

Why have you started a blog?

  Mariya Newman Follow me on Twitter (@MariyaNewman) and add me on LinkedIn!  

15 Awesome Social Media Stats in 2011

Everyday you can find new surprising social media facts and stats.  There are a number of companies who constantly share their latest research, studies and infographics about social media.  In this day and age people have a general understanding that social media is powerful.  When we take this understanding and couple it with data, the argument for why companies should be using these tools in their marketing strategy becomes indefensible.  A lot of times these numbers and facts come in very handy when we are putting together a presentation, writing an article or creating a blog post.  Below are some of the freshly updated statistics on social media with listed sources.  Enjoy!

1. 33% of Facebook posts come from mobile devices. HubSpot

 

2. Facebook claims to have more than 750 million users now.  Facebook

3. Facebook is more effective for B2C businesses and LinkedIn is more effective for B2B business when looking at customer acquisition. HubSpot

 

 

4. LinkedIn attracts 33.4 million U.S. visitors, which is more than Twitter’s 27 million and Tumblr’s 10.7 million. Mashable

5. In 2011 Facebook reaches 73% of the U.S. Internet population each month, while MySpace has lost nearly 50% of its audience in the last year alone. Mashable

6. US marketers will spend $3.08 billion to advertise on social networking sites this year. eMarketer

7. Just Twitter itself is expected to attract $150 million in advertising this year and $250 million in 2012. eMarketer

8. More than 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each day. SocialMediaToday

9. Twitter is estimated to have around 200 million registered users who are sending now 200 million Tweets per day.  TwitterBlog

10. Wikipedia is one of the most visited and trusted websites in the world.  At the turn of 2010 the site played host to over 14 million articles from over 85,000 different contributors.  Browsermedia

11. More than 70% of Facebook users come from outside the United States.  Facebook

Top 10 countries on Facebook by SocialBakers

 

12. Facebook should be able to hit 1 billion users between June – July 2012. 1 billion, that will be 1 out of 7 people on planet earth. SocialBakers

13. YouTube has 490 million unique users worldwide per month, who rack up an estimated 92 billion page views each month.  Mashable

14. On average there are more than 400 tweets per minute containing a YouTube link.  Mashable

15. 65% of U.S. adults use social media and say they have received a positive benefit as a result. Harris Interactive

Do you have any interesting social media statistics to share?

Mariya Newman

 

 

 

Social Media Strategy for Small Businesses

Many small business owners are getting more and more into social media.  Social media has a tremendous impact on today’s marketing evolution.  With the fundamental shift in the way we communicate these days it’s no wonder that companies want to be a part of this new conversation.  Social media gives you a perfect opportunity to successfully market your business without spending millions of dollars!  It’s a great way to build a community and gain recognition from your customers.  While big corporations are trying to humanize their companies and show people behind their brand, most small business owners are already demonstrating their personality in day to day communication with their clients.  Why not expand this humanized personal interaction with your clients through the vast and reaching world of social media? Struggling with where to begin?  Here is a quick start guide for small business owners on how to begin using social media.

1. Create a Team

  • Who is most creative and internet savvy in your company?
  • Who do you trust to be a voice of your company?
The first step is determining who the right people are in your company to manage your social media and represent your brand.  Depending on how small your company is, you may be your team.  Do not let this deter you.  Social media can be a fun and efficient way to stay connected to your business and your customers.

2. Analyze Your Current Position

  • What is the current traffic to your website?
  • Are there any online conversations regarding your business?
  • Do you have a lot of positive comments from your customers that you want to share with everybody?
Starting with an observation is the best way to create a strong social media strategy for your company based on a complete understanding of your current position on the Internet.  Remember, social media not only helps you increase interaction with your clients online but also boosts more traffic to your website.

3. Establish Clear Goals

  • Do you want to improve your visibility and company image online?
  • Are you trying to generate new leads and drive sales through social media platforms?
  • Do you plan on using social media as a new way to deliver customer support?
I know it’s so obvious but a lot of companies still tend to begin their online activity without setting any goals up front.   Make sure you define your company’s goals and expectations as specific as possible, attainable and measurable.

4. Identify Your Audience

  • Whose attention are you trying to draw?
  • Is your audience active online?
  • If yes, what social media channels do they leverage?
  • If not, how can you engage them to want to participate in your conversation?
These are the questions you need to be asking yourself when defining your audience.  If you are unsure of how or if your audience is currently interacting online, spend some time doing research.  Researching your competition or similar business models to yours online and seeing how they already participate in social media can give you an idea of what is working to draw your audience type online.  Understanding what your competition is doing also gives you the opportunity to improve upon their ideas and stay a step ahead of them.

5. Choose Social Media Tools

  • Is LinkedIn the most relevant platform for your business?
  • Would it be helpful for your customers to watch a video on YouTube on how to use your product?
  • Could a blog post presenting you as an expert in your field help build credibility with your customer base?
Instead of jumping on all social media platforms at the same time, take your time and find the online presence that would work the best for your company.  Once you decide on the social media tool that you want to begin with, consolidate your attention there and nurture it before moving on.

6. Start Implementation

  • What are you going to do with all of this new information?
  • How are you going to put all of this research into action?
  • Is it possible for you to manage these new tools with such a small team?
Now that you have gathered the troops, done your homework, set your goals, aimed your sites and chose your tools, it is time to move full steam ahead.  By this stage you have done your due diligence, don’t be afraid to dive in and begin to interact online.  The personal, relaxed and communicative atmosphere of social media is likely to become one of your more enjoyable marketing tasks.

7. Measure, Measure, Measure….and Adjust

  • Are you gaining your fans and follower really slow?
  • Who are those people that are interested in your business?
  • What is your conversion rate?
  • How many people have watched your video and then went to your website?
  • Do you use any analytic tools to determine your results?
It’s always a good idea to know where you are at in the beginning of you social media campaign so you have a starting point for your future measurements.  Keep track of website visitors, followers on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and try to find out who actually turned into customers and brought value to your business.  As with any dynamic environment, social media is constantly changing.  In order to keep your business up to date, it is important to adjust your tactics based on the results of your measurements.  Social media gives you a playground to experiment, adapt and constantly enhance the interaction between your brand and your clients.

What strategy do you find successful for your business?  Share it with us!

Mariya Newman Follow me on Twitter (@MariyaNewman) and add me on LinkedIn!

Want to build up your mobile marketing strategy?

No problem! We have just launched our Pin Point Programs, which are 90-minute social media online training classes about the hottest topics in social media. Our online mobile marketing course is now available on-demand. Check it out here!

How YouTube Can Benefit Your Company

It seems so hard to believe that YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine.  YouTube, the search engine?  Really?  Think about it, how many times have you:
  • Utilized a short tutorial to help you understand how to use a product
  • Watched a video that explained to you step by step how to apply special effects to your image in photoshop
  • Received free guitar lesson
  • Seen a slide show on an interesting topic set to music
YouTube is much more than pure viral entertainment.  It definitely can be used as a place for merging business and humor, but it’s also about education, YouTube enables us to answer the “how to”, “why” and “could I” questions in creative and personal ways.  Posting useful videos about a company’s products or services or showing reviews from real customers can open HUGE opportunities for many different businesses.  Here I’d like to share 3 main ideas on how YouTube can be used as a very effective tool for your business.

Real faces behind products

With today’s social media popularity it became a fact very quickly that people like to buy from people.  It’s naturally interesting for us to know some real, personal details about the company that we work with.  Creating a video with actual employees will add authenticity to your brand and make it more appealing for the job seekers.  Zappos found out that by using regular employees in product description videos they improve the level of trust to Zappos brand.

‘How to’ videos

Another way to present your company on YouTube is to create video tips on how to use products or services that your company offers.  Give your prospects and present customers valuable information without over selling yourself and they will respect your company.  Eventually this will be a buying factor for them.  You can answer any existing question related to your industry or business by making an informative video or sharing a demonstrative presentation.  The key to success here is to do it short and to the point!  Not only will your company receive appreciation for helping out, but it will also gain recognition as an expert.  Home Depot is one of the most famous examples of posting helpful videos about how to use their products on YouTube.

 

Video Testimonials

Posting video testimonials on your website is a very smart marketing idea.  However, uploading video testimonials on YouTube and other social media outlets will increase the chances of finding your video online.  Recording happy customer’s experiences and their feedback about your products is one of the best ways to convince potential customers to do business with you.  Video testimonials are usually more believable and trusted than written ones.  It’s a powerful selling technique that helps to raise immediate credibility for your company. Check out how Square did it posting video testimonials on their website and uploading them also on YouTube.  Krista Neher is keeping up with the new social media trends as well adding her video testimonial on kristaneher.comVimeo and YouTube!   Mariya Newman Follow me on Twitter (@MariyaNewman) and add me on LinkedIn!

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