Choosing social networks to market micro business

Choosing social networks to market micro business

Have you heard that Instagram, the photo and video sharing app, took over Pinterest’s spot as the world’s fastest growing social network?
If you’re a solopreneur or micro business owner, you may find that news dismaying.

“You mean I have to market my business on yet another social network? I don’t have time to use Facebook, let alone Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and whatever’s next down the pike.” Overwhelming Social Media

Figuring out which social networks to join and how to market your business via those channels is the challenge of the decade. As the owner of a micro business, I face those same tough choices. I faithfully publish content to my Facebook business page, but I’ve become a Twitter recluse. My Pinterest boards see a lot of action, but YouTube hasn’t done much for my business. I have a Google+ business page, but rarely chat in Google+ hangouts.

Why am I not everywhere, doing everything, all the time?

Like you, I’m busy serving my customers. And living my life. But the most important reason I don’t try to be everything to everyone: my audience is not active on every social network.

I define “audience” as one’s ideal target customer, client, or constituent. When I ask micro business owners who their ideal audience is, they often respond, “Everyone in the world.”

Wrong. While everyone in the world seems to be online, your ideal audience is a specialized slice of the world. The ideal target audience for my company, for example, is a Baby Boomer business professional with moderate-to-severe Internet phobia.

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As you plan your social marketing goals for 2014, devote time to defining or refining your ideal target audience. Once you have a clear picture of your audience, study user demographics for the major social networks. If your ideal audience hangs out at a specific network, focus your online marketing there. Actively participate in one or two social networks that provide the best return on your time investment, and let the others go.

My “A-list” social networks get plenty of TLC. I feed them daily with fresh content crafted to meet my readers’ needs. I listen to my followers’ conversations and respond to their comments in a timely manner.

I dress my social channels in their Sunday best. Many business owners neglect this critical step. One of my friends, the owner of a health care service, spent thousands of dollars on a gorgeous website and then slapped a blurry picture of petunias on the company’s Facebook page. The page looked as if was promoting Grandma’s garden rather than medical services. I informed my friend that this was unacceptable. I brought in my company’s graphic designer, who created a cover photo that complemented the design of the health care provider’s website.

Every social network at which your company has an account should feature a professional-looking cover photo that matches your brand’s look and feel. The “About Us” text must include information about your services or products and links to your website.

I’ve reaped the benefits of carefully choosing and customizing the social networks on which my company is active. When prospective clients contact me, they invariably open with, “I saw your Facebook page, and was so impressed that I visited your website and spent two hours reading your tutorials. I love your site’s design – can you make my company look like that?”

My answer, of course, is “Yes, we can!”

I believe you will see similar results when you define your ideal target audience, design an attractive space for them to hang out and consistently deliver content that meets their needs.

 

Blitz Mogul internet marketing and social media marketing.

 

7 Myths of Internet Marketing You Probably Believe

7 Myths of Internet Marketing You Probably Believe

There are more myths of Internet marketing than ancient deities. Everyone has their home-grown solution, their tips and tricks, and follow flavor-of-the-month strategies.

But even if you aren’t directly involved with marketing, it is important to acknowledge and dismiss some of the more common myths of Internet marketing:7 Myths Of Internet Marketing You Probably Believe image images

1 – It works all of the time

Internet marketing, as opposed to common speculation, doesn’t always work. Just because you have a domain name, social media accounts, and a blog doesn’t mean you’re doing everything you can to draw in new customers and retain old ones. For starters, it is still important to buffer online marketing tactics with old-world strategies. Take these, for example:

  • Depending on the business, it never hurts to stick with the old business card. Instead of the company name and contact info, you can add in a “Find us on Facebook” and other directions to online assets.
  • A lot of marketers overlook snail mail. With the right approach, however, you can easily tailor a series of physical mail-offs to encourage customers to visit online. Slip a coupon in there, too.
  • Word-of-mouth and traditional networking are still extremely powerful tools. Become involved with local organizations, fundraisers, and professional societies to develop business-to-business relationships.

2 – It is a costly time sink

No. Marketing online isn’t expensive or time-consuming as long as you think ahead and check out the options. Social media only costs if you’re paying for promoted posts or tweets. Website domains are usually a single lump sum every year. It only takes a few minutes to throw up a post or blog. The idea is to split up the work so it doesn’t become a hassle, a counter used against most of these myths of Internet marketing.

Consider creating a publishing schedule for your social media accounts. In a small office, it’s easy to have everyone write one blog post a day and send them to a media manager or someone Web-savvy. Throughout the day, check on recent posts and analytics to see how things are doing; if there’s a dip, scour the Web for something fun and entertaining to post that ties into your business.

3 – “Viral” is the end goal

Most people and businesses who create something “viral” do so on accident. These YouTube videos, posts, and tweets all have one thing in common, though, and that is the fact that they are entertaining and generate discussion. Don’t waste your time trying to create that one-shot post of video because it won’t work; instead, keep your current followers interested and, if you’re lucky, your fan base will start sharing on their own.

4 – SEO is dead

SEO, or search engine optimization, is when marketers utilize a combination of keywords and phrases. When queried, Google returns results that best match these. It is a complicated, ever-evolving strategy that, due to recent Google algorithm updates, can penalize your sites and blogs. To do SEO properly, just remember that moderation is key and it never hurts to do in-depth research before making a costly mistake.

5 – I have to make an app!

No, you don’t! Apps are great, but not every company has the right industry angle to make one that pays itself off in downloads and advertising. Forgo the app (unless you’re a corporate giant and already have a marketing team) and stick with in-app advertising.

There are a number of agencies out there that you can pay to have your company appear on their games and apps. It is similar to PPC, which, most of you are overwhelmed by.

6 – PPC is overrated

On the contrary, pay-per-click advertising is a great way to generate new leads to your websites and landing pages. Google AdWords, for instance, charges clients once an Internet searcher clicks on the advertised link (that is positioned above organic search results). With the right management and keyword selection, PPC is an efficient and affordable way to start building up a company and to stay ahead of competition.

7 – Blogging doesn’t work

Blogging is now considered content marketing, or when a company publishes articles and posts that generate additional exposure (and climb page rankings at the same time). Everyone has a blog — at least for a few days. Like with social media, it’s a struggle to keep ahead of publishing. It’s a game of patience and commitment.

You need to take the time to write out informative, highly-searchable blogs that you share on social media and that people actually read. Blogs are usually present on myths of Internet marketing lists. Why? Because blogs, like SEO and PPC, are easily misunderstood.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/7-myths-internet-marketing-probably-believe-0710072#MYWcByRE1zJoIHWM.99

Consumer Targeting and Retargeting

Consumer Targeting and Retargeting

Imagine if you could flip a switch and attract a stream of visitors to your website that contained your perfect prospect. Consumer targeting is the process of engaging a sales prospect for the first time on the internet. Our consumer targeting system finds consumers who have specific traits, interests, hobbies, personality types, social circle, health status, or other definitive characteristic you’re looking for.

Let’s say you want to target women between the ages of 25 and 35 who have master’s degrees, drive BMWs and read about politics, we can do that for you. You won’t waste your money advertising to markets that aren’t interested in your product, which cuts down on advertising costs. We have thousands of different categories to choose from, but if you want to define your own genre, we have that capability too. You can build a custom contextual category with the person’s location, browsing time, personal attributes or interests, and a wealth of other information to target exactly the right prospect.

Retargeting

Retargeting redirects the people who have been to your website and brings them back to your website, which greatly increases the probability of converting them to a prospect or a sale. Once someone is familiar with your brand, the targeting program uses a different advertising approach to remind them to come back to your website and purchase your product or service. Our software can redirect them to any page of your website, which increases your marketing options. We can advertise discounts to them, make special offers, up sell, or simply remind them that you’re there until they’re ready to buy.

Branding

Branding is the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates one product from other similar products. It takes millions of dollars in continuous advertising for large companies to make sure when 300 million Americans go shopping in a sea of buying options, they remember their specific brand.

You can now brand your business, no matter how big or small, in your particular city or region. If someone does a Google search for baseball gloves in your town, and you’re the local mom and pop baseball equipment shop on Main Street, it’s possible to set up a campaign that will put your ad in front of consumers for however long you want, as frequently as you want, on your choice of websites. Three weeks down the road this consumer will be so familiar with your business name and local brand that you will have effectively differentiated your business, and when he thinks about baseball gloves, he’ll think about your business, not your competitors business.

A Learning System
With advanced algorithms, the “brain” in this system can actually learn who your perfect customer is. It records roughly 500,000 clicks every second across the internet. It learns from prospects that have visited your website and successfully converted into customers. After 50 to 60 successful conversions, the brain learns the profile of your perfect customer. The “brain” will then begin to advertise to what we call “DNA look-a-likes” of the profile compilation of your ideal customer. Our system takes the guess work out of who to target with your advertising.

Blitz Mogul consumer targeting and retargeting ad campaigns.