I love tools that give me maximum exposure with minimal effort. I use Twitter Feed (www.twitterfeed.com) to move posts from my blog to my twitter profile. My twitter profile links into my Facebook status - and poof - one writing is now in front of hundreds (dare I say thousands) of people. Twitter Feed checks my blog hourly for new posts (you can adjust the time span) and adds the post title, some description and a tiny url link to my twitter profile (www.twitter.com/newward while you are there - follow me :) ) I use several tools to pull my blog into my Facebook profile and pages. The first is the Twitter app that takes my latest twitter post and puts it in my status bar. The second is the Blog RSS Feeder which imports my new blog posts and third I have the Notes application automatically import my newest blog posts onto my Profile page ( http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=675796115) and the NewWard Fan Page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ballston-Spa-NY/NewWard-Development-LLC/7345601548). So - check out Twitterfeed (http://www.twitterfeed/) and some of the handy Facebook applications that enable you to write once and span your social network in the blink of an eye :)
If your brick and mortar store front depends on local business - then your web site needs to be found in local search engines. Not only should you use your city, town and county in the title bar of your web page and have you physical address in the content, but you should sign up for some of the search engines that offer local listings. Most of these are free - some have paid listings. Try the free ones first and see how you make out. Goog411 -- http://www.google.com/goog411 Yahoo Local Business -- http://listings.local.yahoo.com/signup/create_1.php TrueLocal.com -- http://www.truelocal.com/listabusiness.aspx Switchboard.com Yellow Pages -- http://www.switchboard.com Ask Local -- http://city.ask.com/city MSN Local/Live Maps/InfoUSA -- https://ssl.search.live.com/listings/ListingCenter.aspx CitySearch -- https://selfenroll.citysearch.com SuperPages -- http://advertising.superpages.com/spportal Internet Yellow Pages -- http://www.yellow.com/advertise Chambers of Commerce -- http://www.chamberofcommerce.com/public/index.cfm Yelp.com -- http://www.yelp.com
Due to the nature of my business I keep myself in the public eye, so to speak, through advertising and marketing online. I like knowing that I am accessible to my clients and the people / businesses that can gain knowledge and insight into how to better marketing themselves and make them more successful. It is, without a doubt, something that I am very passionate about. It is a very different dynamic, however, knowing that there are people out there who track your posts and search for more information on you for malicious purposes. Looking for dirt? Trying to get an edge on the competition? Have nothing better to do? Jealous? All of the above? My advice to any one is, never post anything publicly that you are not willing to share 100% with everyone in your world. Also – keep in mind that information can be misinterpreted or twisted to sound like something it is not. What’s more fascinating is that someone would actually take the time to do it. Better advice – if there is something you actually want to know about me… simply ask. It is a lot less spineless and you will most assuredly get far more accurate information.
While there may be hundreds or thousands of people who share your “job title” there is only one person who does what you do – YOU! How do you define what you do to others? How do you make yourself stand out in the crowd? Step 1 – Define your purpose. What is it that you want to achieve? What is at the core of who you are? Once you know (and I do mean KNOW) what your core values are, you will become more passionate about your business. If you are working only to make money, then you are stuck in the J O B mindset. If you are working to bring greater meaning and fulfillment to yourself, then the money will follow. Step 2 - Define your market. How can what you do best serve others? Who are the people or businesses that can most benefit from your service or product? Write it down. Define the characteristics of your perfect customer/client. See them in your mind. See how you benefit their lives and business by doing what you love to do. Step 3 – Consider giving yourself a new job title. If you step outside your home or office and throw a rock, odds are you will hit someone who calls themselves a web designer. While most people tell others I am a web designer, I define myself as a Marketing and Internet Master. Wouldn’t you rather do business with a Master then with a mere developer? I don’t simply create web sites and do search engine optimization. I teach people how to get themselves and their business out there, to be bold, achieve growth, think outside the box, make money and flash [...]
Clarks Toys (http://www.clarktoys.com) an online retail shop dedicated to sports memorabilia, was looking to develop a web site where sport collectors can gather, share, buy, sell, trade, and kibitz about baseball, football and anything else sports! After searching high a low for the perfect piece of software, they contacted NewWard Development, LLC for some suggestions. After listening to their goals and site needs, I suggested Ning. Ning already has a ton of built in features and open source plug ins to make the site fun, entertaining and eventually profitable. In a little over a week - the new sportsfanhuddle.com has received over 10,000 page views, 160 members and is still growing. All participants have been active, uploading photos, participating in conversations, sharing videos and naturally what their favorite toys are... Can you say ca ching?
In today's marketplace one way communication mediums such as print, radio and television are not enough to get the sale. Potential customers want interaction and most importantly to feel like they have a stake in your product or service. Opening up a two way dialog and thereby building and being involved in the community at large is the most effective way to break out your brand and specific product or service. E-commerce has become R-commerce. Relationship building, interactive dialog, and community involvement are the keys to building a successful business both online and off. Social Media and the web in general give you a way to connect with individuals in a way that we have never seen before. Your reach far exceeds anything you can physically imagine. Through linking and connecting with other web sites and social media web portals not only can you get your message across but you can share with real human faces, express and receive real thoughts and options. Open your business up to real dialog, two way conversations with a huge group of potential consumers; a.k.a the community. The most effect use of Social Media lies in the following roles and methods: Community First: Give the community and potential consumers priority over your company. The person or business who becomes an advocate for the community wins their trust. Go out and join the community rather then try to build it. A prime example is Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist. Craig is passionate about keeping the internet free. Craigslist in totally non-commercial, there are no fees to post and no ads to view. Craig makes his money through development and public appearances. He is passionate about maintaining a free internet – [...]
I responded to a post in a Facebook group and I thought the point was important enough to carry over to here. The statement was made that you should not friend people just to sell them on social networking sites such as Facebook. My reply: I'd like to take a crack at this if you don't mind. To some marketers - Social Platforms are the new bright shiny thing that they all have to get into, blast around and build connections from. The point that most miss are - if you don't take the time to know that I am looking for a blue sweater and you are trying to sell me red pants - I am going to be offended, bothered by the interaction and see no use in building a relationship with you. If, on the other hand, you take the time, say hi, shake my hand, and ask what I need help with, share your insights and knowledge - learn what it is that I may need then ask if you can be of service... you will get a totally different result. We are talking about the difference in push vs. pull marketing. Push marketing is television commercials, radio ads, print ads and online pitches. They come at us usually without our consent to throw a product or service in our face. The pull marketing method is slow, it builds, and the "prospect" is always in control. You can read the blog or not, you can thumb through the posts or not, you can ask questions or not and if you see value in what is being offered you can approach to buy (or not). Totally different mentality and technique. Far less invasive [...]
Google Analytics is one of the most comprehensive web traffic programs available on the internet. Sign up for your free account by visiting www.google.com/analytics. Once you sign up for an account, you will be given a few lines of code. This code must be placed inside the body tag at the bottom of each page on your web site. Once your google code is installed, it will begin to collect data from your web site. This data is placed in various categories that describe where visitors came from, what they did when they entered your site, what type of browser they use, what page they exited from and much more. Knowing how many visitors your web site has received is not enough to make any real assessment of how effective your web site is. You need to know what pages keep the visitor's attention, how the site flows and if the structure of the site is meeting your business and marketing goals. The first page on your Google analytics page is the Dashboard. The dashboard gives you a "big picture" summary of what has been happening on your web site for the time period that you specify. Visits: The total number of people who have visited your web site Pageviews: The number of pages that have been viewed within your site (this number is often called "hits" – but it is an overinflated number and does not represent the number of people who have visited your web site). Pages/Visit: How many pages the average visitor looked at while on your web site. Bounce Rate: How many visitors came and immediately left the web site. Average Time on Site: How much time the average visitor spent [...]
Satellite Content is content you post outside of your regular web site on MySpace, Facebook, Squidoo and other 3rd party social marketing sites. This can supply steady stream of long term targeted traffic to your web site. On all sites that you post on, include links back to the page on your web site that speaks to the content you are talking about or to a well designed squeeze page advertising your product or service. If you are writing about email marketing, the link should go to your email marketing page, if you are writing about how to use word of mouth marketing effectively, then your links should point to your word of mouth marketing page. Include photos, audio or video in your satellite content to create more interest and maintain the visitors attention. Imagine putting a video on youtube.com, then inserting that video into your Squidoo lens. You just created 2 streams for incoming traffic into your web site... See how easy that was?