How Non-Profits Can Use Social Media

Recently I came across an interesting infographic made by Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, on how the most proactive and tech-savvy non-profits use social media.  The main idea was to discover how their net income influenced the effectiveness of their social media strategy.  Do non-profits get better results by having a bigger budget for their online interaction?  The study had a lot of different numbers, characteristics and metrics to compare and analyze and the result was quite interesting.  The research showed that 92 % of the top 50 nonprofits have at least 1 social media button on their homepage and the most popular ones are Facebook (92%), Twitter (90%) and YouTube (70%).  The American Red Cross was the first early adopter on the list to create a Twitter account and now has  534 006 followers.  PBS has the most followers on Twitter – 840,653, but is in the bottom quarter bracket on the list of net income. So, the main outcome of this survey is that the income and time period of a social media presence don’t appear to be the main reason for non-profits success on social media.  The most engaging social media channels do not necessary belong to the non-profit organizations that have more money to spend.  As Craig Newmark says: “The deal is, it’s not about money, it’s about getting people to talk with each other to make people’s lives better”. It’s definitely very inspiring research for charity organizations and non-profits who have less funding, but want to spread their message and get more followers by using social media.  The question is how do non-profits successfully reach and engage their audience in order to build an internet community around their main purpose?  Here are 4 key ideas on how non-profits can use social media to achieve their social goals. 1. Use a blog as the main diary of your organization.  Focus on telling a dynamic and positive story about the work that you do, how it brings value to the society and how it’s important to be a part of your group. 2. Share your story through multiple social media channels. 3. Connect with active bloggers and twitter users in your area.  Extend your outreach by building a relationship with your community. 4. Post pictures and video.  Adding videos and pictures about the activists of your organization and the work that they do is a great way to create an emotional connection with your audience.  Don’t forget to tag people on your videos and pictures on Facebook. Remember, you don’ t have to have the biggest budget to have the greatest impact for your organization through social media. What are you social media success stories done on a small budget?  

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

Hottest Jobs In Social Media

Social media, internet marketing and digital marketing are the most popular trends in the world of marketing right now.  Companies now understand the importance of social media and online community in building brand recognition and influencing the buying decisions of their clients. With this understanding there is a huge demand for specialists who are familiar with digital technologies, content writing, social media marketing and engaging online audiences.  Many organizations are currently in need of a social media manager, social media strategist or online marketing specialist. Research shows that the demand for social media and online jobs has not peaked.  More growth is yet to come!  According to AdAge, digital is the new mainstream media and with that said, ‘U.S. employment at digital-media ventures is on track to pass employment in broadcast TV and in magazines by early 2012′. Another study made by the online career community CareerBliss reveals the Top 10 Hottest Jobs for Social Media.  The number one ranking position is Content Manager with more than 1,500 job openings and an average salary of more than $59,000 a year. With Facebook reaching 800 million users and Twitter having more than 200 million accounts, it’s no wonder companies are so eager to reach social media users.  As social media jobs continue to increase in number, they are becoming the bright spot in a job market that brings more bad news than good these days. Labor reductions, austerity measures and debt crises abound, the demand for social media jobs represents an opportunity for professionals to be optimistic about their future careers.   Honing the latest social media skills and matching oneself with the right company in need of social media help looks likely to be a path to job security for many professionals for a many years to come. Mariya Newman Follow me on Twitter (@MariyaNewman) and add me on LinkedIn!    

Cincinnati Social Media Lunch – Social Media and SEO – August 18

A NEW Social Media Lunch Session is coming up!  We are extremely happy to invite business professionals to our VERY popular monthly lunch session on August 18, 2011. During this session we’ll cover the integration of Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) giving you a detailed explanation on how to grow your business though integrating these two fast growing Internet strategies. Many businesses approach SEO and Social Media Marketing with a piece-by-piece strategy and miss the bigger picture of integration.  In reality, SEO and Social Media combined together can help companies build their presence online and achieve greater exposure for their brand.  In this Social Media Session you’ll gain a clear understanding of how Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization complement each other and in turn help you create a comprehensive Internet marketing plan for your business.

Details about this Social Media Lunch Session:

  • Topic: Integrating Social Media Marketing and SEO  ***REGISTER NOW!
  • Date: August 18, 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
Getting to the top of Google Search Results (which is known as search engine optimization) is one of the most important marketing tools for any business. There are 1,000,000,000 searches on Google every day, and if businesses are not on the front page of search results they are missing out on huge potential opportunities. Social Media can be one of the best drivers of search engine results, and this session will focus on how to help your website get to the top of search engines. “Social Media is not only a terrific way to connect with your customers, it also gives businesses great opportunities to improve their online visibility and brand awareness,” says Krista Neher, Boot Camp Digital CEO, “Combined with search engine optimization businesses can start to drive sales by bring qualified and motivated traffic to their websites. The session will include a free lunch with an educational presentation, interesting case studies and an opportunity to network with other professionals interested in social media marketing.

Please register in advance, as our last social media seminar SOLD OUT!

 

Need to get better SEO results? Try the social network of the leader in search – Google!

We have created a Google+ online training program specifically to give accessibility to people all over the world. Join thousands of other marketers and learn how to get success from Google+ and reach the 250 million users!  

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!

Announcing 2 Day Boot Camp: Social Media Marketing and Internet Marketing Training!

Back by popular demand, Boot Camp Digital is happy to announce Social Media Marketing and Internet Marketing 2 day training class!  Our goal is to provide attendees of this course with a full understanding of the social media landscape and how to effectively leverage key aspects of internet marketing. “In this day and age it’s absolutely crucial to integrate social media tools into your marketing strategy. The key to success is not only to understand the principles of social media but have an action plan so that you can start growing your business immediately.” says Krista Neher, Boot Camp Digital CEO. During this extremely popular 2-day training class business professionals learn exactly how to use internet marketing and social media to grow their business.  The course is designed for both the new to social media as well as the avid user.  Social media is growing very fast and is not going away.  With over 700 million users on Facebook and more people checking Facebook each day than listening to the radio or reading a newspaper, you can’t afford to ignore social media any longer. The fundamental reality in today’s business environment is if you want to stay competitive online your company needs more than just a website. The course includes Social Media 101, Internet Marketing 101 and Social Media Marketing Training.  2-Day Boot Camp is designed to ensure that the training has a lasting sustainable impact on its clients.  In addition to the training, each participant receives a Social Media Workbook and Action Plan that is designed to enable easy implementation of the tools in everyday business.  Participants also receive a copy of Krista Neher’s bestselling book Social Media Field Guide, free lunch both days of training and the opportunity to network with other business professionals attending the course. “Krista really knows her stuff re: social media. She has high energy and can bring tremendous knowledge and skill to your social media strategy and implementation. If your company is thinking of improving its social media presence or developing a strategy, I recommend you give Krista and her company a call.” said past participant Jo McDermott, Principal at Catalyst for Change Consulting. The 2 Day Boot Camp is our most popular social media marketing training.  Past classes have sold our prior to the training, so it is important to register in advance.  Learn how to approach internet marketing and social media strategically and get real results!  Register today and save $40!

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!

Announcing Social Media Lunch Sessions!

As the rainy spring ushers in new flowers, Boot Camp Digital is rolling our its new products.  We are very happy to announce the latest edition to our new spring lineup, Social Media Lunch Sessions! Each month we’ll be hosting a one and a half hour lunch session that will cover different topics and trends in Social Media Marketing.  We want you to stay on top of all the changes in the social media field, have your questions answered and be very successful in implementing your social media marketing strategy.  The goal of Boot Camp Digital’s Social Media Lunch Sessions is to provide business owners, marketing professionals, ad agencies and other business managers with a full understanding of the social media landscape and with the latest updates in this quickly changing environment. The lunch format will include a free lunch, educational presentation, interesting case studies and a great opportunity to network with other professionals interested in social media marketing.  The first Social Media Lunch Session is scheduled on June 2, 2011 with the subject –  10 Social Media Tools You Need To Know About. We’ll go through the most important social media platforms, see what potential they have and find out how can you start using these tools to build your business. We are so excited and can’t wait to see you at our premier lunch session on June 2nd!  Please register here.

Upcoming lunch sessions

  • June 2, 2011 – 10 Social Media Tools You Need To Know About – We’ll cover new and emerging social media tools and opportunities for your business.  Think of this as the gold-mine of lesser known sites, resources and tools that can bring you to the next level.
  • July 21, 2011 – Social Media Policy – Almost any company with over 5 employees needs a social media policy and training system.  Like it or not, your employees are on Facebook, Twitter and the web, and they need to be educated on social media policies and procedures to keep your organization out of trouble.  Learn best practices and what to include in a comprehensive policy.
  • August 18, 2011 – Integrating Social And Digital Marketing – Many businesses approach digital with a piece by piece strategy and miss the bigger picture of integration.  This session will cover other aspects of internet marketing and how to incorporate them into your plan.
  • September 7, 2011 – Community Management Priority Settings – During this lunch session we’ll cover the role/responsibilities and strategies for community managers (or social media managers).  Identifying and connecting with influencers and how to respond to comments online are just a few of the tough issues we’ll consider.
  • October 20, 2011 – What’s New In Measurement? – Measuring social media continues to be a hot topic that can be difficult to fully address.  We’ll cover new tools and approaches to measuring social media to keep you up to date on the latest.
  • November 17, 2011 – Selling Social Media – Sure, you are already convinced that social matters. This session will cover how to sell social media internally and externally – to your boss, your clients, your business partners or your neighbors.  Learn all the reasons why social media is bigger than ever and how to convince others.
  • December 15, 2011 – Social Media Planning For 2012 – Social media is always changing, and during this lunch session we’ll cover the biggest and most important changes and shifts from 2011 as well as trends to look for in 2012. This will keep you ahead of the curve on Social Media.
  Details and a special discounted offer for the Social Media Lunch Sessions can be found at http://bootcampdigital.com/training/social-media-lunch-sessions/    

Why Restaurants Should Be Using Social Media

Many restaurants are already taking advantage of social media as a part of their marketing strategy.  Those who aren’t leveraging social media and Internet marketing might be missing out on one of the most important things that has happened to marketing in the food industry. Social media is ideal for restaurants for the following reasons:

1) They know their customers well

Restaurant owners tend to have first hand knowledge of their customers and the items being served.  Being close to your customers makes it easier for restaurant owners to understand how to leverage social media.  The first step in social media is to understand your customers, their needs and wants and the social aspects of your restaurant business.

2) The price is right

Let’s face it.  Small restaurant owners can be strapped for cash.  While there are costs associated with social media (especially training and time) it is much more cost effective than many other marketing avenues.  For restaurants that need to get a high ROI, social media is a no-brainer.

3) They already have a personal connection

The best way to build an audience for your social media profiles is to already have a personal connection (yes, in real life) to the people you want to connect with.  Many restaurant owners actually know, by face or name, their customers.  This can be a strong point of leverage in your social media execution.

4) They have a real personality

Many big chains and brands have a difficult time determining the personality of their restaurants or can also be redundant.  Restaurants are often chalk-full of personality, which can be brought to life via social media.  In addition, the personal connection of the owner or key manager can be a further point of leverage with your social media strategy.

5) The resources are already at hand

Most restaurants already have resources that can execute their social media strategy for them.  Look for people within your network who are passionate about your restaurant, reliable and passionate about social media.  These people are probably already working for you.  You just need to empower them and give them a strategy!

6) They have a good story to tell

Many restaurants have a compelling story to share.  How and why was the restaurant created?  What makes your restaurant different?  Share this story in an authentic way.  Some owners want to seem more “professional” so they use stock images instead of their own.  Use your own photos, videos and stories to create a real authentic story that people connect with.

7) They can do something remarkable

Large and medium restaurants have layers of bureaucracy that they have to deal with to get anything done.  There are also lawyers and IT folks that have to be included.  Restaurants can try different things quickly and adapt.  Try something really interesting and remarkable.  The risk is usually pretty small. If you restaurant hasn’t taken advantage of social media as a marketing resource, it’s not to late to start.  Not sure where to begin?  Boot Camp Digital has the tools for you to get your social media marketing plan up and running!  For a limited time, you can receive $100 off your social media marketing training package – specifically for restaurant owners.  Visit http://bootcampdigital.com/restaurant-social-media for more details.

Social Media Training: Creating Quality Content

Having accounts for social media networks is just the beginning of your road to success with social media marketing.   Next is creating a plan that focuses on the content.  What is it that you want to post? What message do you want to give to people? Creating good content will help generate a broad fan base and help with your search engine optimization.

Cut to the Chase

Content does not have to be elaborate.  Be direct and short with your message.  On average, the typical Internet user has an attention span of 10 seconds when surfing the web.  Therefore, structure your message to gain your audience’s attention within that 10-second time frame.  If they are interested, they will click to read more where you can then direct them to your blog that can have more in depth posts.  Twitter only allows for 140 characters for each tweet so you have no choice but to be concise.

Be Useful

If I have a problem and I’m trying to figure out how to fix it, the first place I look is the Internet.  With this in mind, your content should address a problem and offer possible solutions.  This is your chance to show that you are an expert in your field.  Provide tips and advice about your area of interest.  When people see that you know what you’re talking about, they will trust your advice and use your again as a resource.

Keyword Rich

Including keywords in your posts is important. This is the way that your audience is going to find you in the first place. However, be strategic with your keyword placement. Don’t go overboard or it may take away from the actual content of your site. Use them, but use them appropriately. Using keywords in our titles will carry more weight for search engine optimization. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. What would they to search for that would make your site come up?

Entertaining

Set yourself apart from the others. Your brand or company should have a personality and this should show through your content. Be entertaining. Be personable. Make connections. Presenting real life scenarios or examples is also a good way to get people hooked.

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