Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn’

The Importance of a Professional Website

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Your website is your business card. It’s your resume. It’s your company’s reputation.

Yes, you can use a free Blogger or WordPress template or worse yet – not have a website at all! But consider the fact that every person who sees you online will judge you and your business by what your website looks like.

Would you rather do business with a professional-looking person in a nice, clean suit, with combed hair and neatly organized paperwork; or would you care if the person looked like he or she just rolled out of bed and “the dog ate their homework?” The point is that your website should be your online sales representative and serve as the face of your company just as much as a live salesperson would be in the real world.

If you are ready to take the plunge and build a new website or re-design your old website, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your customer will form an opinion about your company within the first 10 seconds of coming to your website.
  • Well thought-out web design gives an impression of business stability, which means your new clients will be comfortable with making the purchase or calling you.
  • An interesting-looking site will be intriguing enough to make people want to explore it.
  • If you are selling products online, a professional web designer will run you through all the options of making your website secure; the safer people feel with giving you their credit card info, the more likely they are to buy.
  • A good website will make you stand out above your competition.

There are so many things you can do with a website that without the help of a professional web design service you can easily get bogged down in all the minutia.  A web designer will not only make your website good-looking and functional, but he or she will also help you define your online goals and achieve them by using proper applications within your new site.

Some optional website features might include: use of social media icons on your site; email capture; live chat; “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO) and targeted keyword insertion; addition of a blog; a video presentation for your visitors to see; and many other similar options, all geared toward converting visitors into leads primed for conversion into customers.

In addition, professional web design companies have lots of tricks up their sleeve as the Internet is constantly evolving and changing. Web development companies that have been in business for many years know the skills of the trade and can help businesses have a powerful web presence so that they can excel online.

4 Ways to Master Social Media Marketing

Monday, August 9th, 2010

In the August issue of Inc. Magazine there is a terrific article on social media marketing called “4 Ways to Master Social Media Marketing.” The basic theme of the article is that social media is no longer an option; rather, it is a necessity.

According to Nielsen, 79% of large businesses are using social media “to engage their audience…build buzz, establish relationships, foster communication…and cultivate long-term brand awareness and consumer trust.”

The article claims that it doesn’t matter what type of company you are or how much experience you have. All you need is to learn a few simple rules. “Social media is not so much a new idea as it is a way to communicate ideas, and the nature of a good idea hasn’t changed. The same marketing principles from 50 years ago apply today; they are simply communicated in a different way.”

This is a very good article that offers concrete suggestions on how to use social media. There are four “take aways” that you can immediately utilize in your own business.

  • Raise Brand Awareness
  • Drive Valuable Traffic
  • Grow Consumer Loyalty
  • Build Brand Equity

In addition, the article gives a handful of very valuable examples of successful social media campaigns from which we can all learn.

Top 10 Social Networking Sites

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Here are the Top 10 Social Networking sites that drive the most traffic, as per Vertical Measures blog post. OK, so there are really 16; who’s counting? This is mandatory reading! Check out these sites and decide which ones make the most sense for your online marketing strategy.

1. LinkedIn

2. Merchant Circle

3. Facebook

4. Twitter

5. Yelp

6. Plaxo

7. Fast Company

8. MyWikiBiz

9. Ecademy

10. Spoke

11. 123People

12. BxBusinessWeek

13. Fast Pitch Networking

14. ZoomInfo

15. Google Profile

16. Naymz

How do you measure ROI for your social media marketing efforts?

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

So how do you measure ROI for your social media marketing efforts? This is a question all business owners who experiment with social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook must ask themselves. Or if you have someone managing your social media marketing campaigns – what criteria do you use to measure results?

In a blog post entitled Looking for clear-cut social media ROI? There’s an SEO for that!, the author, Hugo Guzman, claims that you can calculate the ROI of your social media efforts by correlating the relationship of these efforts with the improvement in search engine rankings. Simply stated, social media marketing improves SEO, which increases website or blog visitors, which increases leads, which increases conversions (or sales).

Truly, it’s a lot more complex than this, and Guzman lays out a very convincing case for the importance of social media marketing. You be the judge, though, and determine for yourself if your business can benefit from marketing on the various social media sites.

Social Media: Hype or moneymaker for your small business?

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

In this article, Rhonda Abrams, a writer for USA Today, asks the question that many of us involved in social media are asking:  Is social media money-making machine or is it just a bunch of hype?

Abrams cites the example of small company in California, which has built a thriving business as a result of the owner spending “about five around hours a month” working social media sites.

According to Abrams, “The truth is that social media marketing for small businesses can work. Or, it can be a colossal waste of time. Like every other part of your business, it doesn’t just happen, it takes work and strategy.”

How can you make social media work for your small business? To summarize:

• Get beyond Facebook and Twitter

• Develop a niche

• Keep LinkedIn up-to-date

• Make a commitment

• Understand your goals

• Watch review sites

If you’re trying to figure out a social media strategy for your business this is a “must” read.