New Facebook Changes a Good Thing for Business

October 20, 2011 by  
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As a company who helps businesses maintain their Facebook pages, my team quickly did an in depth review of all the new features. Here’s a quick guide to the changes and how they will impact your company’s Facebook presence. Overall, it encourages more sharing and interaction, which should help elevate your page’s visibility, so long as you’re giving people content worth sharing. It’s no longer going to be enough to get customers to click “like” on your page; you’re going to have to keep them interested and active.

Newsfeed 

The newsfeed, the running list of friend activity that you see upon opening Facebook, got an overhaul with Top Stories now at the top. These stories are what Facebook thinks are of most interest to you and that have a lot of comments and “likes”. The downside is that you’ll now have to fight to get your way into Top Stories by giving your friends or “likers” something worth making a comment about. Additionally, as users, you can tweak what’s in the Top Stories by clicking on the top right of any post to hide the story or hide all posts from that page. You don’t want your friends to hide your posts because getting them to like your page will have become pointless. So keep your content interesting!

The Ticker

The ticker now runs at the top right of your screen and is a real time flow of all your friends’ actions. I like this because Facebook has taken all the inane stuff from the newsfeed, like accepting a friend request, “liking” links or making changes to your profile, and stuck it here. This helps the newsfeed be less cluttered with uninteresting junk (Farmville, anyone?). The ticker is also beneficial to business pages, because even if you don’t make it into the newsfeed you still have a chance to be here.

Smart Lists

In a direct swipe at Google +, Facebook has added the most popular feature from Google’s latest foray into social networking that it calls Smart Lists (Circles in Google+). Facebook has automatically created lists, such as Close Friends, Family, Business Colleagues, Indianapolis residents, etc. based on the information it has about you and who you interact with most. You can tweak who’s in these lists and choose to share content only with select groups.

Subscriptions

Very much like Twitter, on Facebook you can now “subscribe” to people without becoming their “friend.” This means you don’t have to mutually agree to connect, but rather you can follow someone’s Facebook content without them following you back. However, you don’t have to allow subscribers, but if you do (a great idea for journalists, public figures, politicians, musicians, etc.), go to your profile page, click Subscribers and opt in. Now anything that you post and choose the sharing option for Public will be shared with your subscribers. This can be a great tool for following top people in your industry, for PR people who want follow journalists, etc.

Gestures

In addition to “liking” something on Facebook, soon you will be able to say you are “listening” to a song on the music service Spotify, “watching” a movie on Netflix or Hulu or “reading” an article from the Washington Post. This new use of verbs will likely encourage more sharing of activity, again a good thing for business pages. The more you can get people to comment and share your activity the better likelihood you’ll show up in the newsfeed and get maximum views.

Timeline

Finally, Facebook is unrolling an entirely new profile page called Timeline, which Mark Zuckerberg says will serve as a scrapbook of your life. You can go back to the day you were born, note key moments with content, photos or video, and divide all this good stuff by year. Facebook will even pull out what it sees as major moments in your life since you joined Facebook. So far, it’s getting good reviews. Anything that gets more people to go on Facebook and to stay there longer is good for Facebook … and good for your business page.

Although many people are complaining about all the changes, I promise we’ll all get used to it. These are positive changes for Facebook and ultimately will make it a better tool for people and businesses.

http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/contributors.asp?id=2074

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook’s new changes

September 25, 2011 by  
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Lyn Mettler, from “Step Ahead Inc.”, an Indianapolis Company that manages social media for businesses, joined us on Daybreak Sunday to discuss the new Facebook changes.

Facebook’s new changes: wishtv.com

Social Media for Hotels: Reaching More Customers With Twitter

August 24, 2011 by  
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Think back a decade ago, how did you find the right hotel for your vacation? Probably either using a travel agent, seeing an advertisement in a magazine or word of mouth. Well, flash forward to 2011 and that’s all been turned on its head.

Yes, those previous forms of communication still affect the hotel/resort industry, but word of mouth no longer means the same thing as it did 10 years ago. Now, people talk about the resorts they enjoy using social media, making word of mouth so much more powerful and effective, and one of the most powerful ways for guests to get their messages out is with Twitter.

Twitter lets users reach a very large audience very quickly! Not only can users reach their followers, but each tweet is searchable on search.twitter.com, indexed by Google (so anyone can come across it even if they are not on Twitter) and has the potential to be “retweeted” (shared with another Twitter user’s followers), which is how a single tweet can reach thousands of eyeballs in a flash.

So if you haven’t checked out what folks are saying about your hotel or resort on Twitter, make that a top priority TODAY and consider how you can  use that tool to capture new guests, solve customer service issues and influence what people think about your property.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Follow Your Competitors:

In any sound marketing strategy, you always look to see what the competition is doing. Follow your main competitors on Twitter and monitor search terms for them as well. We find using a program like Tweetdeck makes monitoring accounts and search terms in real time much more efficient. Monitoring your competitors will allow you to see what they are doing on Twitter and let you tweak your social media strategy accordingly. By monitoring your competitors, you’ll also be able to find users who are unhappy with your competitors, and then you can reach out to those users with open arms!

Keywords are Key:

To get the maximum benefit from Twitter, set up keyword searches. These searches will allow you to monitor all that is said about a certain topic or phrase. One or your keywords should be the name of your property, as well as phrases that indicate a user may be interested in your service. Try terms that include the name of your area or city and then the phrase “stay,” “visit” and “hotel”.

Using these searches will allow you to reach out to users currently staying at your property, those who are reviewing your property and potential customers who are planning to come to your area. This one-on-one interaction can help sway a potential customer. Just make sure you’re timely in your response, as many on Twitter expect responses, especially to customer service issues, within six hours or less. That means you need to be on Twitter not just Mon-Fri 9-5 but nights, weekends and holidays, too. After all, those are the times when most people are planning their vacations.

Interact and Offer Strategic Content:

Another key component for running a successful Twitter account is what you tweet out into the world. You want to make your account the go-to account for whatever geographic area you’re servicing. Research local events, post photos, inform users about the weather and just be an overall fountain of information for your city and property.

Now you can’t just tweet out content and not interact, that will make your account look too “salesy” and one-sided. It demonstrates that you don’t care about your followers. Ideally, you should be sending out three to four “planned” tweets a day in addition to interacting many times a day with your followers and potential followers. This mix of tweets will make your account look more personal and allow the account to take on its own personality.

Another mistake we see often among hotels is setting up Twitter and not following anyone. We’ll see accounts with a thousand followers who are following 26 people. Again, this demonstrates you’re not interested in what your followers have to say and that’s not appreciated in the world of Twitter.

Don’t Forget to Link:

Another common mistake is pumping out a lot of content without ever linking back to your website. Give your followers the chance to go to your site for more information – and to book a room! They can’t do it if you don’t provide them with a way to do so.

Now, set up your Twitter account, follow us :) and keep us updated on how you’re filling your rooms on Twitter.

 

Get a Handle on Guerrilla Marketing

August 1, 2011 by  
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http://businessonmain.msn.com/browseresources/articles/brandandmarketingstrategies.aspx?cp-documentid=29575212&source=msnmoney#fbid=xNrFU-8PS_E

We’re living in a brave new world of guerrilla marketing. Learn how these businesses are making it work for them.

An Austin, Texas, movie theater — notorious for its rigid no-talking policy — takes a phone message from an irate customer and morphs it into a controversial viral YouTube smash.

A bit tamer but no less innovative, a Lawrence, Kansas, computer repairman sticks his company logo on copies of popular magazines and delivers them throughout town to businesses with high-traffic waiting rooms.

These examples represent the power and value of guerrilla marketing — a tactic that allows small businesses to spread their names and messages using creative and response-generating strategies.

Guerrilla marketing is widely cited in the age of social media — and just as often misinterpreted, according to Jay Conrad Levinson, who authored the seminal 1984 book “Guerrilla Marketing.” He explains guerrilla marketing this way: “The short definition is to go after conventional goals through unconventional means.”

Broken down further, guerrilla marketing is especially geared toward entrepreneurs and small businesses. For one thing, you don’t need to run an expensive ad campaign. It’s about creativity and tapping into human psychology and behavior to craft a message that’s provocative and worth passing along. “It’s an investment in time, imagination and knowledge,” says Levinson.

Here’s a look at how some small businesses use guerrilla marketing to boost their profiles — and how you can, too.

Playing to your strengths

Strapped for marketing funds but eager to reach new clients, Ithaca Audio — a music and sound design firm in Brighton, England — pieced together a video and music montage demonstrating the company’s skills and style. “The mash-up was created over two days with zero budget,” says company director Chris Evans-Roberts. “We decided to play to our strengths and create a video to capture people’s attention.”

The video has led to more than 14,000 views on YouTube and, as Evans-Roberts puts it, “a strong increase in new client inquiries.” He adds, “The video aimed to show our creative attitude and the resourceful, innovative approach we take with all our projects.”

Playing to your strengths

Strapped for marketing funds but eager to reach new clients, Ithaca Audio — a music and sound design firm in Brighton, England — pieced together a video and music montage demonstrating the company’s skills and style. “The mash-up was created over two days with zero budget,” says company director Chris Evans-Roberts. “We decided to play to our strengths and create a video to capture people’s attention.”

The video has led to more than 14,000 views on YouTube and, as Evans-Roberts puts it, “a strong increase in new client inquiries.” He adds, “The video aimed to show our creative attitude and the resourceful, innovative approach we take with all our projects.”

Stirring up controversy

Another benchmark of guerrilla marketing is triggering referrals from existing clients. Alamo Drafthouse is a Texas movie theater whose viral campaign hits home with every film buff whose night at the movies has been ruined by off-screen dialogue from other patrons.

A miffed patron left an angry voice mail for Alamo when she was tossed from the theater for using her cellphone (talking and texting are strictly verboten). Rather than apologizing, Alamo created a video out of the caller’s profanity-riddled, grammar-challenged diatribe and added a note of its own at the end that might as well say, “Thanks for not coming back.”

Going for the win-win

But guerrilla marketing need not be so edgy. DoctorDave Computer Repair in Lawrence, Kansas, slaps stickers with company information on copies of popular magazines. The magazines are then handed out for free to doctor’s offices, auto repair shops and other locations where time can drag and reading material is welcomed.

“It’s a win-win for all parties,” says owner Dave Greenbaum. “The business gets a steady stream of magazines, the patrons get something to read and I get my name out there.”

Scaling up with social media

Social media have broadened the means and possibilities of guerrilla marketing. In particular, they allow small businesses to share news and information at a minimal expense. Notes Lyn Mettler of Step Ahead, a Charleston, South Carolina, marketing concern: “Using social media allows creative ideas, promotions, contests, videos and more to go viral much more efficiently and quickly than through traditional word-of-mouth.”

To help boost her husband’s video and film production business, Margelit Hoffman started a blog, developed email campaigns and launched other online programs. Five years later, Hoffman Productions in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is booming. Says Hoffman: “From 2009 to 2010, we tripled our revenue — and this year we’re hoping for twice that.”

Going guerrilla isn’t always easy

Despite its powerful potential, guerrilla marketing isn’t an effortless slam dunk. For one thing, strategies like blogs, Twitter and Facebook mandate creating a schedule and sticking with it. “Don’t commit to anything you can’t handle consistently,” counsels Hoffman. “Being consistent — continuing with blogging and posting and emailing on a regular basis — is the key to successful marketing.”

Also, be sure to track the reach of your programs by monitoring their affects on such indicators as sales or inquiries. If something seems to be working, keep riding it. On the other hand, if you try something that just doesn’t seem to be panning out over three to six months, don’t be afraid to scrap it and try something new.

One last rule of thumb, adds guerrilla marketing godfather Levinson: Try not to offend anyone.

That brings us back to the controversial Alamo Drafthouse video, which has language that could embarrass a sailor. Ever tuned in to the world of guerrilla marketing and sensitive customers, Alamo didn’t back away from its initial strategy, but did create a censored version — cleaner, but guerrilla at its core.

 

 

 

Social Media for Hotels: Filling Rooms with Facebook

July 25, 2011 by  
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The hotel industry has changed dramatically over the past decade, first with the introduction of online booking sites such as Expedia.com, then with the increased popularity of review sites such as TripAdvisor.com and now with social media.

Step Ahead Inc. demonstrated the power of social media for hotels with a group of Myrtle Beach area hotels, for whom we managed all Facebook pages and a single Twitter account for the group. The results we saw over time were astounding including dramatically increased web traffic, revenue in excess of $14K per month directly trackable to social media and an ability to handle some 15-20 major customer service issues per month.

We were able to increase Facebook friends from just a few hundred in 2009 to over 47,000 for all pages together by early 2011. We turned their pages into a source of helpful information about theMyrtle Beacharea, literally turning each Facebook page into a virtual “front desk” for the hotels. People loved it.

The Power of a Review

Facebook, it turns out, is a place where people feel very comfortable sharing positive and negative reviews. We saw lots of positive reviews on theMyrtle Beachpages and the occasional negative review, as well.

Some argue they don’t want a Facebook page, so as to avoid negative reviews, but people will share them whether you want them to or not. If they’re on your own page, at least you can monitor and respond to them. If they get posted somewhere else in Cyberspace, if you don’t have an active online monitoring service in place, you’re likely to miss it and it could easily spiral out of control.

Positive reviews, on the other hand, are a great selling point for your hotel, and can help sway potential customers. We found that often when someone said something negative about the hotel, other people would come to the defense without us even asking. What a powerful testimonial!

Beyond 9-5

A big key to successfully managing social media for hotels is being present outside of office hours and that means more than scheduling posts outside those hours. You have to be on and engaging.

If someone posts a complaint or negative review, you need to respond within a couple of hours max. Twenty-four hours is a lifetime in the world that is social media.

Also, don’t forget that people are very active on Facebook over weekends and holidays, often more so than during the week. That’s the time when they tend to be planning trips, doing research and booking hotel rooms. If you’re not on, you’re missing a key chance to engage your prospects.

This constant monitoring may seem tedious, but when you make your Facebook friends feel special and important they become even more loyal brand ambassadors and return visitors.

Social Media as a Money Maker

Who says you can’t make money on social media? Hotels who offer online booking certainly can and we proved it!

In early 2011, Facebook was averaging $14,000 per month of bookings for this hotel group directly trackable to Facebook and Twitter. This more than covered their social media fees, making social media a very profitable endeavor for them indeed.

Keep in mind, this number only includes direct traffic to their website, not phone calls from Facebook or Twitter friends. They did not have a tracking system in place to track phone calls that may have been generated from a visit to their page and we can only imagine how many of those originated on Facebook.

Traffic, Traffic and More Traffic

On a monthly basis, the Myrtle Beach Facebook pages were sending more than 5,000 visits to the websites, making Facebook one of their top referring sites.

We also noticed that the quality of traffic sent to the sites was very high, with a lower than average bounce rate and people stayed on the sites longer than average.

An important thing to note here is that in order to get the traffic and get the booking, your Facebook page should be made up of friends who are the right target, not just anyone you can get to click “like”. We take a very targeted approach to building a friend base and we believe that’s critical to generating these dramatic, measurable results for our hotel clients.

Social media has become a must-do marketing strategy for hotels, enabling them to be more effective at customer service, generate more revenue by providing followers with information for booking online and a way to get more eyes on your hotels as people research where they want to stay. Take a dedicated, consistent, targeted approach to social media and see if you don’t see your results from social media take a sharp turn upward.

 

July Social Media Star: Kirk Stelsel

July 1, 2011 by  
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Every industry needs to reach out to its members, and Kirk Stelsel of the National Precast Concrete Association uses social media to reach his members and create an online community. How does Kirk create an active online community in a very niche industry? Well, he uses many different social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn and blogs.

The key here is that when trying to reach a large group, your best bet is to uses many different avenues. Each tool will in turn compliment the other, leading to more success in the end.

Read more about Kirk and how he has transformed communication in his industry.


What is your job/company/profession/title?

Company: National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA)

My profession: Communications

Profession of my employer: National trade association for the precast concrete industry.

Title: Communication Manager

Job: I manage the online communications, including the social media; write and edit for two magazines and dabble in various other communications functions. For social media, I have built a program from the ground up that includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn and blogs to engage members, prospective members and related audiences. The goal is to engage members and create an online community that communicates the benefits of precast concrete.


What was the first social media technology you used?

The definition of social media technology is sort of loose, but the first “modern” social media technology I used personally was Facebook when it became available on my college campus in 2004. Professionally, I sort of dove in head first using multiple technologies. Although there are many more social media sites out there, the six listed above are the tools I felt would be most beneficial to our members, and the places where they are most likely to engage with us.

What is your favorite social media tool?

It depends on what I’m looking to accomplish, but overall I like the depth of Facebook. I like the ability to have a more meaningful and rich connection. Twitter is great if I just want to make a quick observation or am looking for some immediate feedback. With Facebook, though, I think they’ve done a good job of expanding the ways you can connect and share information with friends and fans, particularly the change that made pages able to function in the same manner as personal profiles.

How have you used social media for your business/company and how has it benefited?

I’ve used social media at work in three ways: 1.) To connect with members and their companies 2.) To promote the benefits of precast concrete and 3.) To connect with those closely aligned with the precast concrete industry, such as architects, engineers, contractors, etc. With social media, there’s never going to be a point where you can say “the work is done, we can’t do anymore,” but so far the benefits have been an increase in member relations, an increased profile for precast concrete as a building product, and, through my scanning of the industry for information to post, the generation of leads for our sales department and discovery of quality topics for blogs and magazine articles.


How much time would you say you spend a day engaging social media?

I probably spend a good three or four hours a day working on items related to our social media efforts. Some days are more, some are less, but that’s a good average.

How do you incorporate it into your day so it’s not a time waster?

Any time your attention is drawn away from what you’re doing, it takes a while to get back into the swing of things — even if it’s just for a second. For that reason, I don’t have any alerts set up but rather check in on it and work on it periodically throughout the day. That way I can spend periods of time concentrating on my other responsibilities without interruptions. Very few things require instantaneous feedback, so if I respond within a few hours that’s usually more than adequate.

 

Is there a social media tool/technique that you think is underutilized that you would like people to know about?

I went to a communicators conference in Chicago recently and was reminded how large the gap is between registered Facebook and Twitter users. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but suffice it to say there are A LOT more people on Facebook. As communicators, we as a community are more likely than the general population to be on Twitter. As a result, get wrapped up in it and lose sight of the fact that it has a long way to go to catch up to Facebook in terms on users. Not to say Twitter isn’t a great tool for businesses, it certainly can be, but placing a heavy emphasis on Facebook, in my opinion, is going to yield the best return for most companies. That said, you should direct the bulk of your efforts wherever the greatest concentration of your target audience happens to be.

I’m also very interested in Tumblr and plan to spend some time soon seeing if it can benefit us in a way that is not already covered by our other social media tools.


Where can people find you online and via social media?

Professionally, you can follow NPCA at www.facebook.com/nationalprecast and on Twitter at @nationalprecast. The rest of our social media links and our blogs can be found on our website at www.precast.org.

Personally, I’d love to connect with you on Twitter (@kirkstelsel) and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/kirkstelsel). I also write a weekly entry for the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association’s blog at www.doingindy.com. I post every Monday.

May Social Media Star: Shauna M. Heathman

May 26, 2011 by  
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As the owner of South Carolina’s only full-service image consulting firm, Shauna Heathman understands the importance of a brand’s image. Shauna has brilliantly built up her own company’s image with the use of social media. She uses multiple tools to reach out to different demographics and distribute information appropriately.

The one take-away that Shauna really stresses is that social media relationships should be treated with the same respect given face-to-face relationships. If businesses start to view their followers and friends as real relationships, they’ll have much more success in the future.

Read more from Shauna to find out how she manages multiple social media accounts daily and still manages to have real relationships online.

What is your job/company/profession/title?

Owner of Mackenzie Image Consulting, South Carolina’s only full-service image consulting firm. I am a certified image & brand consultant.
What was the first social media technology you used?

I suppose AOL instant messaging & chat rooms back in the mid-90s were the first social media technology I ever used. Ah … the early days of the “buddy list” and “screen names” … so nostalgic.
What is your favorite social media tool?

It’s really a toss up between Facebook and Twitter because I use them in different ways. I love Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family and I love Twitter for the new friends and colleagues I’ve made and the way it’s complemented my business.
How have you used social media for your business/company and how has it benefited?

Social media has benefited my business in so many ways, each differently. LinkedIn has been great for referrals and making business connections. Building my Facebook fan page has helped me to grow my brand, capture new clients and share valuable information. Twitter has been most beneficial for building key relationships, attracting publicity and also gaining new clients.
How much time would you say you spend a day engaging social media?

Such a hard question to answer. If I really sat down to track the minutes I use sending tweets, posting on Facebook, etc., it’d probably average out to be an hour or two. With all the tools available, using social media can really be an efficient process.
How do you incorporate it into your day so it’s not a time waster?

I don’t view social media as something that I schedule into my workday; it’s integrated throughout everything else that I do. I think every industry has to find their own approach. Because my brand is tied to me personally, it does make it slightly more efficient to build relationships and have relevant content available to share.
Is there a social media tool/technique that you think is underutilized that you would like people to know about?

I think the biggest social media technique that is underutilized is simple relationship-building skills. Why treat a relationship online differently than a relationship that is face to face? If you can see both mediums of interaction as one, you’ll have more success in gaining a following. Take that down to the basics: Say thank-you if someone shares your content or RTs you on Twitter, respond to your fans on Facebook if they make a comment, be courteous and genuine. Being robotic or fake won’t take you very far in the social media world, just as it wouldn’t in a face-to-face interaction.

Where can people find you online and via social media?

Twitter: @MackenzieImage

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mackenzieimageconsulting

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/shaunaheathman

Share a Coupon, Double Your Savings?

May 4, 2011 by  
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By Kelli B. Grant

Sharing has its benefits: helping others, fostering cooperation and conserving resources. But it can also cut your bill at checkout, as manufacturers and retailers start issuing new coupons that increase in value when you pass them along to other people.

iStockphoto

For example, a $1.50 Huggies couponsuddenly becomes a $3 one when you agree to email or instant-message it to three people, or post the link to Facebook, Twitter or MySpace. On deal site PeopleDeals, currently in beta, New Yorkers can grab a $1 coupon toward lunch at local restaurant L’asso, which mushrooms to $2, $3 or $4 when you post a link on Facebook and other friends nearby use the link to get their own copy.

The idea is a riff on what daily-deal sites like Groupon promise: get enough people interested in an offer, and you’ll secure a better price. While these social coupons haven’t yet taken off like daily-deal sites – coupon management firm Inmar, which tracks the industry, says it is aware of a handful, but the trend wasn’t significant enough last year to track amid the 3.3 billion offers consumers redeemed – experts are expecting them to gain popularity.

Indeed, consumers on Facebook and Twitter are likely to see more of these offers as brands strive to engage with their customers on social networks, says Lynn Mettler, the founder of Step Ahead, a marketing firm in Mount Pleasant, S.C. “The couponing crowd is very active on social media,” she says. “People are happy to spread the word to get the coupon value up.”

It’s a win for coupon-clippers, but also for the companies hoping to increase sales. A 2010 iModerate study found that 67% of Twitter users and 50% of Facebook users said they were more likely to make a purchase from the brands they follow. Sharable coupons reinforces that, because you’re likely to forward the deal to friends who you think would find it useful, and more likely to use that higher value coupon, says Vijay Pullur, the chief executive of SocialTwist, the social media marketing firm behind several of the promotions. While a typical manufacturer’s coupon has a redemption rate of just 10% to 20%, a current promotion for $0.75 off Jimmy D’s – $1.50 when you email it to three friends or post it on either Facebook or Twitter – has a redemption rate of 81%.

Would you bombard your social network with coupon offers to save more at checkout?

http://blogs.smartmoney.com/paydirt/2011/05/04/share-a-coupon-double-your-savings/?zone=intromessage

April Social Media Star: Steve Hofstetter

April 27, 2011 by  
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Social media has proven to be a successful marketing tool for many big businesses, but even small, one-man operations can benefit greatly from using these tools!

Author, columnist and comedian Steve Hofstetter has been using social media since Six Degrees started up in 1997. Anyone remember that tool? He’s kept ahead of the curve and is truly a social media star.

Not only does social media help to spread the word about Steve’s act, it literally fills the seats for him. When he started on Facebook, he was performing at coffee houses, and now 7,000 + Facebook friends later, he’s performing in theatres!

Read Steve’s social media tips and go check out his accounts. We promise you’ll get your laugh for the day!

What is your job/company/profession/title?

Comedian.

What was the first social media technology you used?

Six Degrees. If you’ve heard of it, you’re lying.

What is your favorite social media tool?

Friendster, in the way that I appreciate 80s music. But I rely on Facebook for real.

How have you used social media for your business/company and how has it benefited?

I set the record for the most Facebook friends back in the day. When I started my quest, I was performing at coffee houses. By the end of it, I was performing at theaters. Social networking spread the word about comedy.

How much time would you say you spend a day engaging social media?

Hours.

How do you incorporate it into your day so it’s not a time waster?

As a comedian, spreading my comedy is not a time waster. If I was a banker, yes, Facebook couldn’t really help my career.

Is there a social media tool/technique that you think is underutilized that you would like people to know about?

No, because then they’ll catch up. I will tell you the way to predict the next tool – portability is key. YouTube would be nothing if it couldn’t have been embedded in MySpace. Oh, remember MySpace? Adorable.

Where can people find you online and via social media?

http://www.twitter.com/stevehofstetter

http://www.facebook.com/stevehofstetter

http://www.youtube.com/thehofstetter

Twitter Marketing Dos and Don’ts

April 21, 2011 by  
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Businesses conduct informal surveys on Twitter all the time. They want to know what their customers think about the products or services they provide. Sometimes they want to let their current and pontential customers know about new products and services that will be available in the future. As noted in a previous post, that’s great when done in extreme moderation.

Several marketing and business experts participated in an email interview that led to the creation of the following list of Twitter marketing Dos and Don’ts:

Thumbs upDO – Address customer problems in real time. Be there whenever the customer or prospect may need you. If possible, even before they need you, said Lindy Moses, marketing associate for FabulousSavings.com. It’s all about being available.

DO – Use Twitter as a source of information for customers and prospects. Don’t just gather information from your followers for your market research projects. Share useful information, tips and links [that will help] your followers to see you as a credible source, said Holly Fisher, executive director for Charleston Step Ahead, Inc.

DO – Start by engaging people you already know. Find current clients, prospects and friends and have conversations with them, recommended Jeff Gibbard of True Voice Media, LLC.Acknowlege their content and participate in the community that emerges.

Thumbs downDON’T – Bombard your followers with your company’s brand messages. A big no-no is sending automated direct messages to everyone who follows the company, cautioned the director of marketing for Reach Local, Mike Merrill.

DON’T – Retweet yourself to the point of distraction. Over-targeting individuals through repeated use of the same messages or targeting and retargeting the individuals is as annoying as spam email or political flyers in your door, said Matt Van Hoven, the communications director for Skinny NYC.

Whether you use Twitter as a way to conduct informal surveys and market research, to engage with customers and prospects, or both, heeding the warnings and following the advice of those who have done it successfully could help you increase business and promote your company’s brand naturally.

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