Social Media Strategy Advice From Kelly Bolton and Entrepreneur Magazine
In today’s technological world, it seems that social media dominates everything. This can make it difficult for a company to stand out. Big companies as well as smaller companies and entrepreneurs will be all over social media, trying to gain the attention of customers. All of this can make it harder for the less social media-adept companies to get a foothold among their competitors.
Related: Social Media Marketing
All of these companies want to get in on the social media craze and use it to their advantage, to advertise and market themselves to all the users out there. But there are so many different social media channels out there, and so many different ways to market on social media. What can a company do to make themselves stand out among the crowd of other companies on social media? What strategies are there they could use?
Twitter is a very popular social media channel. It’s a great way to build a following and keep in contact with your customers. However, it can be tricky as it limits your posts to 140 characters, and it’s fast-paced. It’s demanding in that it requires constant communication with your followers. If you can handle that, one way to stand out on Twitter is to send a thank you any time your company gets mentioned. Try to respond to questions the same day, or within the hour if possible. Add symbols and emoticons for a fun twist to your posts as a way to cultivate interest in your posts while also making them shorter and easier to read.
Related: 4 Keys to Marketing on Twitter
Facebook recently changed up their algorithms, so brands are getting less exposure. This makes it more important for them to stand out. One way for this is make short and simple posts. Longer posts tend to not perform as well. Also, asking questions rather than making statements tends to increase interaction.
Pinning posts is also a good tactic, especially for drawing attention to current specials or important information. Experiment with Facebook ads, too.
Use images when you can. It doesn’t matter what it is — a photo of a favorite celebrity, a pretty landscape, a cute animal, a colorful infographic or a fun GIF. A photo or animation will catch the eye and more than likely make them stop browsing long enough to look. It will also help with your SEO optimization. Videos also work well for this.
Content is king. Remember that. Once your image has caught their eye, the viewer will be looking for the content behind the photo. What they read will determine if they click through. So provide content that will make them want to click. Be sure to keep your target audience in mind when creating your content. What will catch their attention? What are they looking for from you? What answers can you provide to their questions?
- Build a community.
Don’t just look for followers. Build a community with them. Put some personality and humor into your brand with your posts. You want to be “social”, after all. That means you need to entertain your followers once in a while. And remember to converse directly with your followers. Interact with them. Like and respond to their posts. Retweet them. And ask them to interact directly with your posts.
To keep your audience engaged, you need to be engaging as well. One way to do that is run cross-channel campaigns on all you social platforms. But while anyone can run a contest or campaign like this, to stand out you need to make yours have a charitable, inspirational, or emotional component to it — something that will tug at the heartstrings of whoever is reading about it. If your company is already involved in some sort of volunteer work, this is a good way to inspire and engage followers. How do you do this across channels? 1. Tell a powerful story. Use short quotes about if you have to, and link back to your website so they can find out more. 2. Brand your campaign with a unique name and hashtags to make it memorable and stand out.
In today’s crowded app marketplace-MEDIA is king….
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, March 20, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/— People are searching for new apps on search engines, but more often these days they’re downloading apps as a result of search and display ads. Currently, more than 50% off apps downloaded are a result of an ad seen on smartphones. This market shift in how consumers discover apps is driving app developers to begin collaborating with marketing and media companies to help spread the word on the app discovery and awareness. These display ads are demonstrating great return on brand awareness and app visibility by showing up at the exact moment a consumer is actively seeking for apps…and that drives downloads.
Smart Media Marketing & PR http://www.smartmediamarketingpr.com is a Northern California-based marketing and media company that specializes in working with app developers. CEO Landon Charles says “We’ve seen a 40% increase in app marketing and development this year, with developers focusing much of their budgets on marketing and brand awareness.”
Successful app development and launch is a team effort in today’s competitive marketplace. Charles went on to add, “Developers and owners of apps realize the success or failure of the business depends on an effective marketing campaign and so they are turning to the experts to ensure the right mix of ad placement.
For marketers, this means the app has to stand out of the crowd wherever smartphone users are looking to discover apps relevant to their interests. Statista, the stat and study-reporting portal, is reporting that more than 3 million mobile apps in the marketplace for download, that staggering stat is more important than ever in today’s overflowing app market.
CEO Landon Charles says “We’ve seen a 40% increase in app marketing and development this year, with developers focusing much of their budgets on marketing and brand awareness.
VetX, http://www.beta.vetxapp.com is an exciting new app dedicated to helping provide telemed care and vet services for the pet and animal niche. John Dillon, Co-CEO of the company states, “As a high-growth Boston based start-up in the pet-care industry, we have been looking for opportunities to link up with West coast marketing and media firm to augment our existing team’s marketing efforts and user footprint. Smart Media has been instrumental helping us connect with our marketplace and in the Silicon Valley market with individuals passionate about the health of their pets.”
Getting your app noticed is the first step in getting a customer to download, but just how do you get your app noticed? One method of increasing visibility is to focus your ads and app promotion on a consumer location or niche designed for downloads, using what are referred to as, mobile app install campaigns. This way, your app is able to reach a wider market segment while looking for an app similar in type to yours. Varying the format and location of the ads, in addition to search will also help to drive app installs. Using video, text, native and display ads will help can help people discover your apps in all their preferred locations.
Isaac Phoenix, developer of the soon to launch augmented reality gaming app, Shadow Hunters states, “As an app developer I have zero interest in understanding this intricate network of ad platforms and placement but I understand I need these to be successful.”
Phoenix went on to say, “Smart Media Marketing and PR has given me the opportunity to break through this crowded market and is helping me to make my business successful. They have the connections, knowledge and determination to turn this project into a full-fledged business…we could not do it on our own.”
Given the sheer volume of apps in the market available for download, it’s more difficult than ever to overcome app user ADD. That’s why your app needs to stand out from the crowd– So if you’re an app developer or a business looking to expand brand and bottom line by creating and launching an app, you may want to leave the marketing piece to the pros.
By Smart Media Marketing & PR, Landon Charles
Building Your Site
Building an amazing site and stuffing if full ofworld-class products won’t make customers automatically show up. When you are starting out in an online business, or even a brick and mortar location, you have to come to grips with the fact that launching your online site is just the first step in a marathon journey to building successful business. There are are a number of crucial steps after the opening..
Social proof and some customer feedback will help with conversions. This is a common error that I see in many new startups- They are failing to incorporate social media, customer reviews, and proof of their products. Most of the time, the social proof is being used incorrectly or it’s forced.
Social proof wrong implemented wrong can do more harm than good:
When you’re starting your business, you probably should wait just a bit before including a product review section on your site until you have some customers that you can ask for reviews from. Do not be afraid to ask customers for their feedback, and be sure to let them know you value their opinions, most people will be happy to help…and if their upset they will be VERY quick to let you know. Often time you will learn far more from the complaints than the praise and remember you will not please everyone, it is an impossibility….but try your best to please the masses. This is especially important if you have a larger catalogue of products or services.
Focusing On Too Many Aspects of the Business
Business can be hard, lonely, and trying sometimes. Imagine a basketball player trying to play in two games at the same time. It would be a nightmare! The same is true for running a business. Solopreneurs often feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders, and often times their life and the life of the business likely is.
Entrepreneurs will get sidetracked, chasing their tails, and the next shiny easy button offered instead of focusing on the basics of getting clients in the door that they started. This results in an ineffective action plan that will rarely show any results for the business.
By Smart Media Marketing & PR, Landon Charles.
This information is from an article by
Progress is hard to define for SEO because it has so many independent variables (on-site SEO, content, links, etc.) and so many independent variables (keyword rankings, search impressions, organic search traffic, etc.). If you want a good understanding of where your SEO campaign is and where it’s heading, you need to examine these 10 factors.
1. How many people find the site through organic search? This is the single best indicator you have to the overall performance of your campaign, so let’s address it first. You can find this under “Organic Traffic” in Google Analytics; it will tell you how many people found your site through search. This is more important than your keyword rankings (we’ll touch on those later) because it tells you how many people actually clicked through to your site. This number should grow steadily over time.
2. How many people find the site through referrals? Referral traffic is the traffic you’ve received through external links pointing to your site. This has nothing to do with search engines, but speaks volumes about the quality of your link building strategy, which is crucial to any SEO campaign. If you’re building high-quality links with good content on high authority sites, this number should grow alongside your organic traffic.
3. How many pages get at least some search traffic? It’s possible to opt for aspecialized SEO strategy, optimizing one or a few pages more than any others, but generally it’s better to spread your efforts across your domain. Check out how many pages of your site have gotten at least some organic traffic; this will tell you how effective you are at optimizing every page of your site (as well as how good you are at targeting your search audience with new content).
4. How have my rankings changed? Though organic traffic should still be a more significant indicator of your overall success, it’s also important to pay attention to your keyword rankings (even with today’s Hummingbird/semantic search-driven engines). Noticing a sudden drop in one niche due to an emerging competitor can help you redirect your strategy to a more competitive target. You can track rankings automically using software like AgencyAnalytics, AuthorityLabs, orAdvancedWebRanking.
5. What new links have I earned? You can use any link profile tool (such as Open Site Explorer, Majestic, or Ahrefs) to examine what links are pointing to your site; do this often, even if you keep strict tabs on what links you build manually as part of your ongoing strategy. You can also use BuzzSumo to get notifications in real-time whenever a new link is found pointing to your site. You’ll find that, as you gain prominence and authority, you’ll naturally attract links you haven’t built yourself. Evaluate the quality and quantity of these links to gauge your authoritative strength.
6. How is my content performing? Take a look at your content performance using comment threads, social activity, and traffic data from Google Analytics as your guide. Which topics are performing well? Which ones are underperforming? Are you seeing a gradual rise in overall effectiveness? Learn from this information and adjust your strategy accordingly.
7. What social signals am I getting? Social signals are not as important to your rankings as some people might claim. Getting lots of social shares does little for your rankings directly, but it does serve as an indication of your content’s strength, and does carry peripheral benefits (like earning your brand more visibility and links). Pay attention to which pieces of your content get the most social shares, and how those shares grow over time.
8. How many conversions am I getting? An SEO strategy by itself doesn’t guarantee conversions (even if it’s top-notch); for that you’ll need a dose of conversion optimization. However, the number of conversions made by your organic traffic can give you an indication of that traffic’s relevance to your brand. If your conversion rates suffer, it could be due to inefficient audience targeting in your SEO strategy.
9. How have I grown since the beginning? This question can apply to all the metrics we’ve seen above–how have these metrics changed since you’ve started? They may have gone up since last month, but what about the months before? Where are you now compared to a year ago?
10. How much am I spending? This may be the most important question of all, since it determines the value of your SEO campaign. You know how your results are changing, how much traffic, and how many conversions you’ve received, but how much did you pay for those results? After the first year or so, your benefits should start handily outweighing your costs.
This list isn’t comprehensive; there are several factors I haven’t examined ranging in importance from trivial to marginal. Depending on the goals and structure of your campaign, these questions may be of little use to you; I tried to select the questions that are most important for the greatest number of people. With them, you should be able to gain a firm grasp on your strategy and where it’s headed, and make changes as necessary to improve your standing.
The rest of the article can be found here
When it comes to success, it’s easy to think that people blessed with brains are inevitably going to leave the rest of us in the dust. But new research from Stanford University will change your mind (and your attitude).
Psychologist Carol Dweck has spent her entire career studying attitude and performance, and her latest study shows that your attitude is a better predictor of your success than your IQ.
Dweck found that people’s core attitudes fall into one of two categories: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
With a fixed mindset, you believe you are who you are and you cannot change. This creates problems when you’re challenged because anything that appears to be more than you can handle is bound to make you feel hopeless and overwhelmed.
People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.
Common sense would suggest that having ability, like being smart, inspires confidence. It does, but only while the going is easy. The deciding factor in life is how you handle setbacks and challenges. People with a growth mindset welcome setbacks with open arms.
According to Dweck, success in life is all about how you deal with failure. She describes the approach to failure of people with the growth mindset this way,
“Failure is information—we label it failure, but it’s more like, ‘This didn’t work, and I’m a problem solver, so I’ll try something else.’”
Regardless of which side of the chart you fall on, you can make changes and develop a growth mindset. What follows are some strategies that will fine-tune your mindset and help you make certain it’s as growth oriented as possible.
Don’t stay helpless. We all hit moments when we feel helpless. The test is how we react to that feeling. We can either learn from it and move forward or let it drag us down. There are countless successful people who would have never made it if they had succumbed to feelings of helplessness: Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas,” Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as a TV anchor in Baltimore for being “too emotionally invested in her stories,” Henry Ford had two failed car companies prior to succeeding with Ford, and Steven Spielberg was rejected by USC’s Cinematic Arts School multiple times. Imagine what would have happened if any of these people had a fixed mindset. They would have succumbed to the rejection and given up hope. People with a growth mindset don’t feel helpless because they know that in order to be successful, you need to be willing to fail hard and then bounce right back.
Be passionate. Empowered people pursue their passions relentlessly. There’s always going to be someone who’s more naturally talented than you are, but what you lack in talent, you can make up for in passion. Empowered people’s passion is what drives their unrelenting pursuit of excellence. Warren Buffet recommends finding your truest passions using, what he calls, the 5/25 technique: Write down the 25 things that you care about the most. Then, cross out the bottom 20. The remaining 5 are your true passions. Everything else is merely a distraction.
Take action. It’s not that people with a growth mindset are able to overcome their fears because they are braver than the rest of us; it’s just that they know fear and anxiety are paralyzing emotions and that the best way to overcome this paralysis is to take action. People with a growth mindset are empowered, and empowered people know that there’s no such thing as a truly perfect moment to move forward. So why wait for one? Taking action turns all your worry and concern about failure into positive, focused energy.
Then go the extra mile (or two). Empowered people give it their all, even on their worst days. They’re always pushing themselves to go the extra mile. One of Bruce Lee’s pupils ran three miles every day with him. One day, they were about to hit the three-mile mark when Bruce said, “Let’s do two more.” His pupil was tired and said, “I’ll die if I run two more.” Bruce’s response? “Then do it.” His pupil became so angry that he finished the full five miles. Exhausted and furious, he confronted Bruce about his comment, and Bruce explained it this way: “Quit and you might as well be dead. If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there; you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”
If you aren’t getting a little bit better each day, then you’re most likely getting a little worse—and what kind of life is that?
Expect results. People with a growth mindset know that they’re going to fail from time to time, but they never let that keep them from expecting results. Expecting results keeps you motivated and feeds the cycle of empowerment. After all, if you don’t think you’re going to succeed, then why bother?
Be flexible. Everyone encounters unanticipated adversity. People with an empowered, growth-oriented mindset embrace adversity as a means for improvement, as opposed to something that holds them back. When an unexpected situation challenges an empowered person, they flex until they get results.
Don’t complain when things don’t go your way. Complaining is an obvious sign of a fixed mindset. A growth mindset looks for opportunity in everything, so there’s no room for complaints.
Bringing It All Together
By keeping track of how you respond to the little things, you can work every day to keep yourself on the right side of the chart above.
Do you have a growth mindset? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.
Mental Biases are those delusions that we let our brain talk us into. TheChive.com blog listed these today and I thought they were worth mentioning here. I know Entrepreneurs seem to be very susceptible to these mental mind twists when it comes to their business. Be sure to keep these in mind when you’re evaluating your business planning, marketing decisions and discovering customer needs. I think you’ll find we struggle with these….I know I have.
According To Robert Carr, who writes for the National Real Estate Investor- There are some “new kids in town” when it comes to cities that lead the US, and world in commerce, tech, jobs and real estate. I tend to agree with these choices. I see many of my new clients and contracts coming from these areas of the country. Let me know your thoughts below. Here is a copy if his article.
The traditional hierarchy of global cities is breaking down, according to experts, as technology, globalization and urbanization trends have started to attract real estate investment on a broader scale.
According to a new report by commercial real estate services firm JLL, the new trends have allowed some small and midsize cities to rival the larger, more established cities in drawing investment capital. These “new world” cities score high with residents and businesses for livability, sustainability and fast adaption of new technology and transportation infrastructure, says Jeremy Kelly, director of global research programs at JLL. Basically, people and companies want to move to those cities, whether it due to a strong spike in jobs, as is the case with San Francisco, or mild climate and high quality of life, such as in Denver.
“There’s increasing evidence that these ‘new world’ cities are attracting a disproportionate level of real estate investment,” Kelly says. “While global real estate volumes have been flat as a whole, investment into ‘new world’ cities is up about 73 percent in the past 10 years, and about 20 percent in the past 12 months. They’re really starting to punch above their weight.”
‘Old world’ cities would, of course, include the established “big six,” he says, including New York, Tokyo, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore. That makes sense, as property fundamentals in those cities are far better than in the rest of the world. ‘New world’ cities, are smaller cities with high income levels, efficient infrastructure, high quality of life and fewer social, environmental or economic drawbacks such as crime, pollution, congestion, high cost of living or high income inequality, Kelly notes.
Globally, these cities include Brisbane, Hamburg, Helsinki, Munich, Melbourne, Vancouver and Vienna. Below we list (in no particular order) the top five ‘new world’ cities in the U.S, according to Kelly and JLL.
Entrepreneur.com had a great piece on Branding Properly I wanted to include here and add in my own 2 cents.
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or B2B. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does “branding” mean? How does it affect a small business like yours?
Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
Are you the innovative maverick in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can’t be both, and you can’t be all things to all people. Who you are should be based to some extent on who your target customers want and need you to be.
The foundation of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and promotional materials–all of which should integrate your logo–communicate your brand.
Your brand strategy is how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages. Where you advertise is part of your brand strategy. Your distribution channels are also part of your brand strategy. And what you communicate visually and verbally are part of your brand strategy, too.
Consistent, strategic branding leads to a strong brand equity, which means the added value brought to your company’s products or services that allows you to charge more for your brand than what identical, unbranded products command. The most obvious example of this is Coke vs. a generic soda. Because Coca-Cola has built a powerful brand equity, it can charge more for its product–and customers will pay that higher price.
The added value intrinsic to brand equity frequently comes in the form of perceived quality or emotional attachment. For example, Nike associates its products with star athletes, hoping customers will transfer their emotional attachment from the athlete to the product. For Nike, it’s not just the shoe’s features that sell the shoe.
Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. It requires, at the very least, that you answer the questions below:
- What is your company’s mission?
- What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
- What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
- What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your current and prospective customers. And don’t rely on what you think they think.Know what they think.
Because defining your brand and developing a brand strategy can be complex, consider leveraging the expertise of a nonprofit small-business advisory group or a Small Business Development Center .
Once you’ve defined your brand, how do you get the word out? Here are a few simple, time-tested tips:
- Get a great logo. Place it everywhere.
- Write down your brand messaging. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? Every employee should be aware of your brand attributes.
- Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of your business–how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature, everything.
- Create a “voice” for your company that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal. You get the gist.
- Develop a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
- Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent.
- Be true to your brand. Customers won’t return to you–or refer you to someone else–if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
- Be consistent. I placed this point last only because it involves all of the above and is the most important tip I can give you. If you can’t do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.
If you want a free, fully detailed guide to Branding, just click here